July 21, 2005


GOP tries to dissuade Harris (Donald Lambro, July 21, 2005, THE WASHINGTON TIMES)

White House political strategist Karl Rove and the National Republican Senatorial Committee have been trying to talk Florida Rep. Katherine Harris out of running for the Senate next year, but have been unsuccessful thus far.

Mrs. Harris has had several private meetings with Mr. Rove and with NRSC officials, including Chairman Sen. Elizabeth Dole, North Carolina Republican, who have urged her to forgo the Republican Party's high-priority Senate race. Instead, they want her to run for a third House term, pointing to internal polling data that shows she cannot beat freshman Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in 2006.

But the congresswoman, who won national attention as Florida's secretary of state during the bitter ballot recount in the 2000 presidential election, has argued in these meetings that she has proved the polls wrong throughout her political career. To prove it again this time, she has put together a cadre of heavyweight campaign advisers, including Ed Rollins who managed President Reagan's 1984 campaign. [...]

Fearing that a weak Senate candidate could endanger the Republican Party's gubernatorial contest next year, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Mr. Rove and the NRSC have been urging Florida House Speaker Alan Bense to get into the race. Mr. Bense, who has been aggressively recruited by Mr. Bush back home and by Mrs. Dole and Mr. Rove at recent meetings in Washington, is said to be looking at the race but has not reached a decision.

Ed Rollins could win that seat for her in his sleep.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 21, 2005 7:51 AM

She's rubbed them very wrong somehow for both the president and Jeb Bush to publically be unsupportive.

Posted by: erp at July 21, 2005 10:23 AM

She has the charisma that Jeb doesn't. She's rich and doesn't really need their money to win. And, I suspect they are afraid of the whole "selected, not elected" theme.

But she will hang every Democratic excess around Bill Nelson's neck. Whether that is enough, remains to be seen.

If this guy Rense is the best alternative, then the Bushes need to eat crow and get moving on Harris. NOW. All the other GOP talent in FL is otherwise occupied.

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 21, 2005 11:06 AM

There was that Kaballah water thing.


Posted by: Ali Choudhury at July 21, 2005 11:07 AM

This, combined with the absurd support of the Democrat Specter, is evidence that Rove/Bush either have a big blind spot or aren't the savants they are touted to be.

Maybe they are just lucky.


I fear they won't back down and assist. I fear they'd rather she lose. Such is blind spot of people who place too much value on "loyalty."

Posted by: BB at July 21, 2005 11:14 AM

I don't understand. Is the statement that she has the charisma that Jeb doesn't, a joke? If she has charisma, it hasn't been in the papers.

Jeb looks like exactly what he is. A straight forward manager trying to do the best job he can working with those who want to undermine his every move. Unlike his brother, who relishes playing poker, Jeb looks like the kind of guy looks forward to getting home, putting his feet up and maybe catching a game on the tube or falling asleep over a book. Not dynamic, but honest and workaday.

As for the Kaballah water??? Is Harris this much of a lightweight? Hanging out with Madonna even if only figuratively?

I live in Florida, but I guess I haven't paid enough attention to state politics. I don't see how I can fit it in until the current scandalette is over and all our guys are safely confirmed and/or exonerated and Plame, Wilson, Miller, et al., are all safely in jail.

Posted by: erp at July 21, 2005 11:47 AM

'Kabalah water'????

What's next 'Kabbalah pork rinds'?

The snake-oil stuff is completely disgusting and it is imperative for members of the organized Jewish community to speak out against such perversions of our traditions.

Madonna the Kabbalist? Perhaps she should try some of the modesty that is required of Orthodox Jewish women when they go out in public before she starts trying to push the virtues of weird elixirs.

Posted by: bart at July 21, 2005 1:19 PM

She beat Jeb's preferred candidate for Secretary of State to gain that office. I have heard the "she can't win" mantra for months, but no one who spins that yarn has been able to make a case that anyone else would be a winner.

Posted by: Dan at July 21, 2005 3:19 PM

She beat Jeb's preferred candidate for Secretary of State to gain that office. I have heard the "she can't win" mantra for months, but no one who spins that yarn has been able to make a case that anyone else would be a winner.

Posted by: Dan at July 21, 2005 3:19 PM

Chief Justice? Seriously, you need to offer her something to get her out. Why should she stay in Congress?

I think that it is just the political people panicking because of her profile in 2000. Rove et al. are not all seeing. For instance, the Mel Martinez choice only barely worked out. She may or may not win but she has at least as good of chance as a colorless speaker of the state house. If Floridians want colorless, they can keep Nelson.

I live Jeb but if he wants her out, he should run himself.

Posted by: Bob at July 21, 2005 3:34 PM

"love" Jeb, not "live" Jeb

Posted by: Bob at July 21, 2005 3:36 PM

She can finance the campain out of pocket change. She is very wealthy.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at July 21, 2005 9:42 PM

Her electoral record is pretty shaky though. She has never won her seat, which was designed to be a solidly GOP seat, by a significant margin. It would not be unreasonable to predict that she would run 3-5 points behind the generic GOP candidate, and that will not leave her with enough to unseat Nelson.

Posted by: bart at July 21, 2005 10:28 PM