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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

National Review calls on Katherine Harris to quit Senate race

The conservative opinion journal did just that in an editorial yesterday.

Perhaps it was only natural that one day she would consider running for Senate. The thought occurred to her as early as 2004, when Florida Democrat Bob Graham retired. Ultimately she declined, largely because Republicans convinced her that the memories of 2000 were too fresh in the minds of many former supporters of Al Gore and that her presence on the ticket might hurt Bush.

But now Harris believes she has a legitimate chance against Nelson. Her belief is almost surely mistaken. Polls routinely show her behind by more than 20 points. It is not unusual for a challenger to trail an incumbent at this point in an election cycle, in large part because challengers need time to introduce themselves to voters. Yet Harris needs no introduction: She is already well known, and many Floridians simply refuse to support her. In February, a GOP poll of likely voters found her to have a favorable rating of just 35 percent and an unfavorable rating of 45 percent. Those numbers are fatal.

“Harris can’t


Polls suggest that Nelson is beatable — he is a colorless career politician whose voting record will strike many Floridians as too liberal. But he is also experienced, and is unlikely to make any large mistakes between now and November. Harris can’t defeat him. In a year when the GOP majority in the Senate is in jeopardy, every seat is crucial, and the party can’t afford to forfeit a chance to beat a vulnerable Democratic incumbent.

Although it’s late in the day — the filing deadline for candidates is May 12 — there is still time for another Republican to enter the race. The best option may be Florida house speaker Allan Bense. Or perhaps businessman Tom Rooney, who recently explored a candidacy, can be convinced to reconsider. But neither of these men is likely to launch an underdog effort unless Harris first drops out. It is now imperative for Harris to do so, for the good of the party she has served so loyally.

It can be an act of bravery for a soldier to charge the enemy lines, armed only with his determination. It can be an act of foolhardiness, too. It takes wisdom to tell the difference. For Katherine Harris, there is still time to be wise. But time is ticking out.

I've been reading TNR for over 20 years and have found myself in agreement with the magazine's editors many times. Back in the 80's I even had the pleasure of meeting William F. Buckley Jr.

But on this editorial I couldn't disagree more.

Harris is free to run. That shouldn't be a discouragement to other candidates. In 1994 the Republican gubenatorial primary saw something like 6-8 candidates at least four of whom were possible winners. Jeb Bush was the favorite but he scared no one off.

However here in 2006 no one besides Harris wants to run for the nomination against Sen. Bill Nelson. The GOP is dominating FL politics at the moment, you'd think some one would come forward.

They haven't. Nobody will. Jeb Bush has said no, Alan Bense who is mentioned by NR has declined already. Charlie Crist and Tom Gallagher are busy running for governor. Lt. Gov Jennings lacks higher ambition. Rooney who? If Tom Rooney is unknown to a FL politics junkie like me, he has even less chance with Florida voters.

Harris being in the race isn't the stumbling point, it's other Republican wants to run. Beverly Young would be nice, but I'm under no illusion as to that happening.

NR is right about seeing every Senate race as important, FL is just a lost cause in 2006 barring Nelson's death or some political calamnity. I predicted Nelson's victory last December. TFM stands by it. Nelson may be career politician and a lightweight but no Republican but Harris in Florida wants to take him on. Let her try, I will vote for her.

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