The Tempest

Not Exactly Shooting For \”Miss Congeniality\”

The Kit Kat Clubbed

Posted by Daniel on Wednesday, September 6, 2006

As the votes are still being counted, it appears that incumbant Representative Katherine Harris (R – 13th District, Fla.) has won the Republican primary nomination to the Senate seat currently occupied by Senator Bill Nelson (D – Fla.). Nelson had no primary challenger.

With 50% (+/-) of the vote going to Harris, despite pleas from the state GOP leaders for her to drop out of the race, Harris has now set her sights on unseating a hugely popular Democrat. The GOP had hoped one of Harris’ other Republican Primary challengers would prove to be stronger candidates and thus a more serious challenge to the incumbant Democratic Senator.

“Tonight is a great victory for our party and for Florida,” Harris said. “It’s a great victory because it shows each of us can overcome adversity to achieve extraordinary victories.”

As Florida Secretary of State six years ago, Harris oversaw the recount that gave Bush the White House. She became a rising star in the Republican Party, turning her name recognition into two terms in Congress as a Representative for Florida’s 13th District.

But state GOP leaders tried to talk Harris out of running for the Senate, citing fears she would lose to Nelson while spurring a large November turnout by Democrats, which would hurt the entire Republican ticket.

Harris’ campaign for the nomination was widely derided as spectacularly inept. Fundraising lagged, prompting her to pledge $10 million of her own money. Her makeup, clothes and personality were mocked on national TV. She was linked to a corrupt defense contractor. Staff members kept quitting in frustration.

Still, she won comfortably, thanks to weak opposition and a strong base of Republicans who loved her because of her role in the recount furor.

While it is highly doubtful that Harris will unseat Nelson in November, it is important that Florida voters truly understand just where Harris stands on the issues. Looking only at het campaign website (linked here), one would miss the true character and motivation of the candidate. Recently, in various interviews and campaign speeches, Ms. Harris has shown her true colors.

Indeed, Congresswoman Harris has shown us the ugly side of her campaign. See here, here, here and here…just to point out a few.

It is our opinion that Senator Nelson’s campaign has little to fear from the Harris campaign. It is a foregone conclusion that the her team will run a more religion-charged campaign that, as her rhetoric of late has shown, can only prove to turn off supporters and fire up the Democrats.  Senator Nelson really needs only to sit back and enjoy the fireworks of the Harris campaign.

“Tonight I say to Bill Nelson: Come home, Bill. Enough is enough,” Harris said. She said the campaign “can’t rest for even a moment.”

Nelson didn’t address Harris’ win directly but said in a statement, “I look forward to … spending the next six years continuing to fight for the people of Florida in the United States Senate.”

Now that Harris’ win has handed the state GOP their candidate, it will be interesting to see the complete turnaround in their recent treatment of her. How will they explain on the impending news interviews how they will be forced to support a candidate they openly dissed a week before?


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