Friday, October 29, 2010

October Non-Surprise

I'm shocked, shocked that Charlie Crist, Bill Clinton, and the White House were apparently working on a backroom deal to get Kendrick Meek to drop out of the Florida Senate race and endorse Crist so as to beat Marco Rubio...
Bill Clinton sought to persuade Rep. Kendrick Meek to drop out of the race for Senate during a trip to Florida last week — and nearly succeeded.

Meek agreed — twice — to drop out and endorse Gov. Charlie Crist’s independent bid in a last-ditch effort to stop Marco Rubio, the Republican nominee who stands on the cusp of national stardom.

...Crist also confirmed the planned scenario Thursday night, telling MSNBC's Keith Olbermann: "I had numerous phone calls with people very close to President Clinton."

...Clinton campaigned with Meek in Florida on Oct. 19 and 20, and thought he had won Meek over. But as the week wore on, Meek lost his enthusiasm for the arrangement, spurred in part, a third Democratic source said, by his wife’s belief that he could still win the race. Clinton spoke with Meek again at week’s end, three Democrats said, and again Meek said he would drop out.

The Crist, Meek and Clinton camps even set a date for an endorsement rally: the following Tuesday, Oct. 26. Meek was to give Crist his blessing and explain to his disappointed supporters — many of whom deeply distrust the governor, who was elected as a Republican — that their votes could save the Senate for the Democrats and save America from the rise of Rubio, who is viewed both as a hard-line conservative and a potential national figure.
Meek is denying this strenuously, while Crist is saying he talked to the White House about it (although in classic weasely fashion, the Orange Goblin won't tell anyone who he spoke with at the White House).  A fee thoughts...

1.  Love Instapundit's headline that he took from Drudge.

2.  In a similar vein, Michael Steele gets to kinda sorta toss out the race card, in a way where he can plausibly deny it.  Beautifully done, by a guy who hasn't been all that adept in other circumstances.

3.  I would like to be angry about it... but let's face it, this should have been expected.  It's the smart political ploy for the Dems, since there's no way they can beat Rubio in a three-way race.  Slick Willie has a personal connection with Meek, and has already carried the water for a similar attempt with Joe Sestak in the spring.  The White House is desperate to stem the loss of at least 6 seats in the Senate (likely estimate is between 7 and 9) by grabbing the GOP seat of Mel Martinez.  Charlie Crist would probably give Iran nuclear material if it would help him to win this election, so cutting Kendrick Meek off at the knees isn't unexpected.

4.  Meek's wife is now my candidate for most unlikely conservative hero of the midterms.  This despite the fact that she's completely nuts if she thinks her husband has a chance to win. 

5.  Bubba has now confirmed the story to CNN, which is pretty much the signal that the Dems are tossing Meek to the wolves.  Meek's getting killed by friendly fire since he chose not to give up.  Nice.

6.  The play is probably too late.  Rubio's office correctly points to the fact that tons of voters have already cast ballots; even if the polls are correct that Rubio's lead has narrowed to 7% in the last week, Crist would need to pull at least 48% of the remaining votes, and probably more, to get a win.  If Meek is still in the race, it's hard for me to believe his numbers will plummet below 10%, giving Crist little room for error. 

7.  Imagine if Meek decides to respond, per Allahpundit's suggestion, by dropping the race card himself.  Even better -- imagine if Meek follows the Sestak model and claims Clinton offered him a job to drop out and said the offer came from the White House. The House investigation of the Sestak situation next year will need to prepare some new subpoenas.  Imagine the number of lawyers that would be employed.  Do it, Congressman Meek -- you'll be creating more jobs than Obama's policies.

8.  Anyone else surprised at the intensity of the White House's fear of Marco Rubio?  Maybe we should start printing Rubio for President signs.

9.  Before someone asks, as slimy as all this is, I'm not sure the slime factor will adversely impact Crist enough to beat him all by itself.  People tend not to worry about such issues too much, although it's possible it wuld make a difference in a local race.

10.  Politico noted that Dems may need to worry about lowering African-American participation by sending Meek to the bunch.  Not a good thing when they're trying to grab the Governor's chair to be vacated by Crist and defending several House seats.

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