This isn’t getting as much attention as it deserves: whack-job millionaire Jeff Greene is now leading Kendrick Meeks in the Florida Democratic primary for US Senate.
If Greene gets the nomination, I would expect the Democratic party to throw him under the bus and treat Charlie Crist as the de facto Democrat in the race. That could make a big difference in the general election.
Also too: given all the supposed hostility towards the rich, we sure are seeing a lot of self-funded rich people do well in high profile state elections. Corrupt health-care CEO Rick Scott is also leading in the Republican gubernatorial primary. This, in addition, of course to the Whitman and Fiorina victories in primaries in California.
It’s probably for the best. Meek seems like an okay guy but maybe he’s in over his head. Doesn’t inspire too much confidence. Plus, this is an opportunity for the Democrats to pay the Republicans back for Lieberman, and it just seems like the smart choice. I don’t trust Crist too much, but if his base is Democrats and Independents with a smattering of Republicans then that’s how he’s going to vote, ultimately.
Okay, so I’m mostly for it because of paying the GOP back for Lieberman in 2006. Actually, it would be worse for Republicans since Lieberman is still in the Democratic Caucus, while I highly doubt that Crist would caucus with the Republicans.
Maybe Crist will come out of the closet if he gets elected as an Independent.
Way off topic, but I’m disappointed no one’s talked about this pathetic display from CNN of the equivalency journalism that is ruining this country. On one side we have a group of scientists and a decade of research, on the other…a right wing thinktank, an organization sponsored by oil companies, a guy who’s hobby is the climate, and a random blogger. But hey, Lindsay Lohan is eating Twizzlers in jail!
@Loneoak: I don’t see why. He’s got aims on the Presidency and even if he didn’t, I’m sure he’d want to stick around in the Senate long enough to make it through a second election.
That these two did well in the Republican primaries is not surprising because their challengers were so weak. But in the past Governor Arnold overtook Congressman Darrell Issa (R, Net Worth $250 million), who had helped finance the recall of former governor Gray Davis.
Former gov Jerry Brown is picking up easy points against Whitman with his background work with regard to corrupt politicians in the city of Bell.
Money almost changes everything.
OT: Wild story on the foggy beginnings of the industrial intelligence complex after WW II, in the form of the precusor to the CIA known as The Pond.
Link here (trying out new Safari which is not behaving) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100729/ap_on_re_us/us_spy_agency_the_pond
These fools, with their rigidly paranoid anti-communist BS, combined the typical hubris and self-righteousness that we still are having to deal with.
Has Crist ever stated which party he would caucus with?
@MattR: I don’t think he has, but I doubt he’ll go back to the GOP after they all but threw him under the bus and burned their bridges with him, to mix my metaphors.
When I lived in Florida I found many people loved them some rich people. I never understood that. Maybe that happens in other places too but I never saw it like there. The only time I heard complaints about rich people was when they wanted to help poorer people. Fantasyland extends well beyond Disney
@parksideq: That was my thought, except in the unlikely event that he controls the balance of power.
Who is the Green anyway & how did he come to be a candidate? I don’t think I’ve read any more about clearing up this mystery than when he first came on the scene. Did I miss it? If not, why hasn’t anyone ferreted out the answers?
The dem party has never been behind Meeks, ever (except Bill Clinton, out of loyalty), even when Crist was calling himself a Republican. So this does not surprise.
It’s sad, but I am 33 years old, and after Obama, I have this sinking suspiscion that there will not be another Afr Am Senator in my lifetime, and that really saddens me. I thought that maybe Jesse Jackson Jr may have had a chance, but seince the Blago mess, then JJ Jr is done. He’ll never be more than a Congressmen.
Oh well, I also suspect that only 15% of the US population really cares about the fact that there are no Afr Am Senators.
I guess I’ll have to wait for Malia or Sasha Obama, are maybe Michelle will go the Hilary Clinton route!
It’s sad, but Alvin Greene is SC, seemed to have more “support” (well ridicule) than Congressmen Meeks, and it’s a shame, he has absolutely NO chance.
@MattR: At this point, I’ll take Crist doing his best Lieberman impression than Marco Rubio. Hopefully Crist remembers who buttered his bread when he gets sworn in.
@lamh32: I bet 5 years ago, you never thought you’d see a black president in your lifetime either. I’m just saying, you never know.
ETA: I understand your sentiment though; I’m part of that 15% of America that is disappointed by the prospects, but it’s too soon to stop hoping that I see another senator that looks like me.
Sorry, but Barack Obama was an anomaly in US politics, I say that as an Afr Am. Special time, special place. After Obama, EVERY Afr Am candidate for Senate will have to be better, and Obama is at the top of his game.
It’s the nature of America, whenever an Afr Am reaches a pinnacle, the next one has a even higher pinnacle to reach, and will always be compared to the one before, just because there is no one else to compare them too.
Edit: Then you know what I mean. The next one’s gonna have to be better than Obama for the majority, cause ya know the majority will compare anyone else to him. Hell, they do it already. What exactly made Arthur Davis “like Obama” not one thing, other than being Afr Am and going to an Ivy League school.
Oh crap. Wrong Greene and wrong state. I’ve been way too long without sleep. Never mind..
@lamh32: Was it Chris Rock who said he would know that racism is dead in America when a black C student can be elected president?
Now that Arnie has beaten Meg to the punch with this.
What’s left for her to do as gov? Bet she haz a sad over a good idea stolen. Can’t wait for that zombie Reagan statue unveiling to see what offerings are left there by the acolytes.
Politics in general is all about timing. Clinton had Ross Perot, Reagan had Carter as an opponent, H Bush had Dukakis’s vague “if your wife was raped” answer (though the question itself was total BS) and GOP race baiting with Willie Horton. George W has the supreme court etc.
You get the point. In some alternate reality, John Kerry attacked the Swift Boaters hard, and never said he was against the war before he was against it, and is President now.
I really hope Meeks pulls it off, I do, and I’m going to vote for him in the primary. But if the Dems nominate Greene, I’m voting for Crist, without hesitation. Fuck that guy, seriously. I don’t like Crist, but he’s shown as governor that he can be pressured to change his mind, and if I can’t have a solid Dem, I’d rather have that than either Rubio or a fucker who made his billions off shorting the real estate bubble and brags about it.
@lamh32: I definitely see what you’re saying, and I do agree with you that any black politician aspiring for national office is going to have to basically be flawless from here on out. I just think it’ll happen sooner than you expect.
I guess it’s just the optimist in me; maybe I expect too much from this country, but I think it’ll happen.
I think that saying there won’t be another black senator in your lifetime (granted I don’t know how long your lifetime is) is kind of ridiculous. There were black senators before Obama (Brooke, Moseley Braun) and race relations aren’t going to degrade to where they were when Edward Brooke was elected.
At least, I’m pretty sure. And it’s Kendrick MEEK fer God’s sake.
As far as the super-rich being successful goes, I think it only counts when they win the general, and I don’t any of these stooges will.
I say super-rich because most congressfolks are at least regular-rich to begin with.
These things are very hard to predict, I think.
I’m on the meta watch here, but have noticed DougJ that almost every post of yours includes “also, too”. Is it conscious or has it become a tic?
Once you start it’s really hard to refudiate.
I like “also too” and try to use it as often as possible.
Let’s see, now. Thurgood Marshall, Civil Rights giant, former Solicitor General, won thirty plus cases argued before the Supreme Court, great Supreme Court Justice.
Clarence Thomas, not nearly as impressive.
Barack Obama’s rise was not simply an anomaly. By ignoring most of the conventional thinking about paths to power, he has given future candidates of all ethnicities and genders more freedom of movement.
As an aside, I wonder sometimes what would have happened had Colin Powell decided to run for president as a moderate Republican. If he had been willing to buck all the conventional wisdom, etc.
Maybe we would have been spared the stupidity of Dubya.
I wonder what would have happened had Powell decided to run as a conservative Democrat.
Edited to add: yeah, even though it will probably be a struggle, I think that Obama’s victory has even created a path for openly gay candidates. And I am not being inclusive just for the sake of being inclusive.
Certainly wasn’t true for Supreme Court justices.
All kidding aside I share your concerns. If it makes you feel better Cory Booker can likely win the next NJ seat that becomes available walking away. 2014 at the latest.
Maybe the Democratic Party should make a rule that no one with the last name “Greene” is allowed to run for a Senate seat.
@lamh32: Meeks didn’t lack support because he was black, he lacked supported because there was no way he could beat Crist or Rubio head on.
Johnny Gentle (famous crooner)
I think it’s more than a bit strange that some white rich guy with little-to-no Democratic bona fides shows up out of the blue and is suddenly leading in the primary. Meek’s from South Florida, which is where the bulk of state Democrats are. I’d be curious to know if he’s lost his base, or if there’s some heavy Dixiecrating going on upstate.
I don’t trust Greene at all and wouldn’t vote for him over Crist. Okay, I wouldn’t vote for either of them over Crist. I’m not risking a Rubio win for the sake of party purity.
I feel really bad for Meek, though. He does deserve better than this. He’s been a vocal and successful Democrat. I still remember early in his career when he led the sit-in at Jeb Bush’s office after Bush ended affirmative action. Had he been running in 2008, he might’ve coasted on Obama’s wave. Sadly, the atmosphere in Florida these days is not exactly conducive to a liberal, African-American candidate winning statewide office.
@Johnny Gentle (famous crooner):
You’re being unfair to yourself. You wouldn’t vote for Green over Crist, heads up, right?
I think the world of Kendrick Meek. Just a bad race for him to get lost in. He can lose here and find a race to run in in 12 when FL gains congressional seats post census.
People are ready to embrace anyone who can distance themselves from the status quo in some way (status quo of politics, that is; we are too far gone into consumerism to stop adulating the rich).
After Obama, small wonder.
I don’t think Greene’s even that much of a spoiler. The way the polls were going, no one outside Dade knew who Meek was, anyway, and weren’t going to vote for him, period. Neither Greene nor Meek is capable of beating Crist or Rubio. Democrats pretty much have to depend on Crist to keep superbagger Rubio out of the Senate and hope that he caucuses with them.
There are Democrats who are already supporting Crist, DougJ. They’re not even waiting for the August primary. The teachers union split their endorsement between Crist and Meek. There have been some smaller unions, traditionally lined up behind Dems, who have endorsed Crist as well.
Crist really pissed off the GOP establishment down here when he called a special session of the legislature to finally ban off-shore drilling (by putting a referendum on the ballot). The GOP-led House adjourned after about 45 minutes, doing not one damn thing. The Florida Senate adjourned in under two hours.
I suspect when Crist met with Harry Reid a couple of weeks ago, he confided that he’d caucus with the Dems.
Meek got the challenge from recession pimp Jeff Greene in the primary, and his first TV ad is an attack on Greene, who is no doubt a sleazeball. Meek is on the record as saying he sees Greene as a Republican, which is kind of true. The guy ran as a Republican for Congress in ’82. From California.
What I can’t figure out is, why isn’t Meek running against Charlie? Charlie represents the real Democrat — so to speak — in the race. He’s sucking up any support Kendrick might’ve had from the base. Instead, Meek is burning it all on Greene. It’s pretty weird.
Meek’s just a bad candidate who’s never had to run competitively before in his life. He’s a nice guy personally of course but he has no one to blame but himself for his current predicament. He let himself get completely swamped by Rubio and Crist.
And now he may not even make it out of the primary? Seriously?
I’d prefer him to Crist but if he doesn’t get his act together, people are going to have to be pragmatic about the whole matter.
Greene will take the primary and lol, you’re correct that Meek’s been a weak candidate. He might have gathered some steam these last few months, but once Charlie went Independant it was over for anyone else.
Rubio goes to the scrap heap of history, Meek continues in politics and comes back when he’s a little older, and Charlie goes to Washington.
Here (I”m Floridian) we also have another richey rich guy (and a near felon to boot) who looks like he might walk away with the GOP nomination for Gov. And I never thought I’d say this, but his opponent, Bill McCollum, the sort of conservative I really really dislike, is nonetheless an honorable man and a serious public servant. But he’ll fall under the money train.
Also. Check out hedshots of Greene and Alan Grayson. Separated at birth, I swear.
via taegan goddard:
A new Quinnipiac poll in Florida shows two businessmen without previous political experience have completely changed the dynamics of the gubernatorial and Senate races in the final few weeks.
In the Republican race for governor, Rick Scott leads Bill McCollum, 43% to 32%, with another 23% undecided.
In the Democratic race for the U.S. Senate nomination, Jeff Greene has jumped in front of Rep. Kendrick Meek , 33% to 23%, with 35% undecided.
Said pollster Peter Brown: “If there was any doubt that enough money can make a political unknown into a front-runner, the Democratic Senate primary and the Republican primary for governor should lay them to rest. Both Greene and Scott have come from nowhere to hold double-digit leads with just a little more than three weeks until the voting.”
in case you don’t know, the dem, greene, made a bunch of money betting against the housing market and the goper, scott, ran a health care outfit that got hit with the biggest medicare fraud fine in history..