If you've got Katherine Harris in the Dead Pool…

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…now's the time to double down. The endless soap opera that is Rep. Harris (R-FL)'s career has reached another plot point: With the revelation of a minor-league Duke Cunningham situation, her U.S. Senate campaign against Bill Nelson is in trouble once again. Mitchell Wade, Cunningham's one-time paymaster, contributed $32,000 to Harris' campaign under fake names; it's not necessarily the case that Harris knew the source of these contributions, but it's certainly suspicious that she tried to get $10 million in budget earmarks to benefit Wade's company MZM, and that one of her staffers ended up taking a job with Wade. It's another up-and-down surprise for the candidate who just last month seemed to have quieted opposition from Bush family ingrates and locked up the Republican nomination; and true to her drama queen pattern, Harris has left us with a cliffhanger: She'll be making a "major announcement next week concerning [her] candidacy." We can only hope that the announcement will come at a blowout gathering of the Florida GOP, the Bush family, the Ewings, and the Carringtons, and will include at least one cocktail tossed in some cad's face and several poolside catfights.

What will happen next for the GOP's now-longshot campaign to unseat the weak Nelson is up in the air. Florida House Speaker Allan Bense, once the leading challenger to Harris' ambitions, has made no comment, while U.S. Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fort Pierce) mixes a pro-forma statement of support with the announcement that he'll take the job if Harris drops out. I'm saddened, though entertained, to see the anti-heroine of the 2000 election in trouble again. I always thought there was a heavy helping of misogyny (which I realize I've engaged in in the previous paragraph) in the attacks on Harris' physical appearance, and I'll always have a soft spot for any candidate who can deliver a good drunken victory speech.

NEXT: The name of the game is called... Fizzbin

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  1. “…the weak Nelson…”? Afraid not. Senior citizens in Florida will probably go for him given his strong opposition to Bush’s social security plan. The Florida GOP has been totally incompetent in launching an effective attach against him.

    Of course, this means that the GOP will be embarrased later this year to learn that they were unable to unseat a single one of the incumbent Democrats in so-called “red states.” Bingaman is safe in New Mexico; Ben Nelson has strong approval ratings among Democrats, independents, and moderate Republicans in Nebraska; Kent Conrad is the second-most beloved politician in North Dakota, behind the Republican governor, who Karl Rove could not convince to run against Conrad; Robert Byrd, close to passing God’s dog in longevity, is basically guaranteed re-election in West Virgina thanks to the usual extra-large helping of pork; and now Bill Nelson is safe.

    I would be sickened at the sight of the likes of Byrd getting re-elected, but ya know what? I just can’t feel any sympathy for the GOP anymore.

  2. “…attack…” Oops.

  3. Jesus, is it horse race season already?

  4. Nelson ‘weak’? I gotta agree with panurge. Nelson’s got a lot of traction in this state.

  5. The attacks on her physical appearance are quite unwarranted. She’s petite and very attractive – the way all our politicians should be.

  6. Wait, did Mark Foley get over that bad case of “The Gay” he caught in 2003-04 that stopped him from running for Florida’s other senate seat?

  7. Bill Nelson won by a very slim majority in 2000, and is the last Democrat to win national office in the Sunshine State-whose demographic has become more Republican, not less, since Nelson’s last win. Under ordinary circumstances he’d be vulnerable. He doesn’t seem to be vulnerable anymore, but I covered that by referring to the “GOP’s now-longshot campaign” to unseat him.

  8. …and several poolside catfights.

    I could Ann Coulter and Mary Matalin mixing it up after Ann accuses her of fraternizing with the enemy…

  9. What what what?
    Why isn’t anyone backing Dick Cheney to run for president?
    I guess the old saying is true;
    Nice guys DO finish last.

  10. Why isn’t anyone backing Dick Cheney to run for president?

    CHENEY 2008: It’s time to put a real Dick in the White House. – or –

    CHENEY 2008: He’s tanned, reloaded, and ready

  11. Jesus, is it horse race season already?

    When isn’t it?

    *sigh*

  12. Is anyone running a pool on when she gets a show on MSNBC?

  13. So when they put Jeb Bush up for president in a couple of years, do you think Dick will be VP on the ticket?

    Is it constitutional to be VP for more than two terms?

  14. “Is it constitutional to be VP for more than two terms?”

    Presumably so, as the 22nd Amendment only provides in relevant part that “No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.”

    However, under the 12th Amendment, read in conjunction with the 22nd, someone can’t be elected President twice and then serve as VP, so Bill Clinton and Dubya are both out of luck if their relatives win the office in the future.

  15. “Is anyone running a pool on when she gets a show on MSNBC?”

    Reality Show! Reality Show!

    It’s “The Anno Nicole Smith Show” meets “The Real Life.”

  16. She’s…very attractive…

    By which standard? Oh…there was a time when she was physically attractive. But that ship has sailed. Now she’s just another clown with too much makeup. My fav is the pic of her as Cruella DeVille.

    Still, that’s hardly an indicator of her effectiveness as a politician. So consider this piece from the Herald Tribune…

    In just under three years, U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris has had four chiefs of staff, four district directors and four press secretaries. Harris has had to replace key people on her staff every nine months, a rate of staff turnover that far exceeds most of those in Congress. On average, members of Congress hold onto their high-level staff for four to five years. Turnover isn’t limited to Harris’ congressional office, either. As she prepares to run against Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, Harris has been hampered by turnover on her campaign staff. Her campaign manager quit last week, after just a few months on the job and not long after she lost a pollster and a campaign finance director earlier this year.

  17. The attacks on her physical appearance are quite unwarranted. She’s petite and very attractive – the way all our politicians should be.

    At least if they were all good looking they’d have one redeeming feature. We could get rid of the political debate crap and the TV mudslinging, in favor of nationally televised mud wrestling and wet T-shirt contests. Hell, they could charge admission and pay for their campaigns that way.

    We’d have as much basis for voting on a candidate as we do now. PLUS in December we’d get Playboy: The Congressional Issue.

    All in favor say “aye”.

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