Jay Reding.com

Everyone Ready For A Trainwreck?

As expected, Katherine Harris has won the GOP primary in Florida and will now be beaten senseless by incumbent Senator Bill Nelson. Harris’ campaign has been one disaster after another — Harris simply has absolutely no chance of winning much beyond the Republican base.

Granted, Harris did correctly apply the laws of the state of Florida in 2000, despite the cruel and infantile attacks made against her. However, none of that provides any justification for a campaign that has been ineptly run from the beginning and will invariably lead to a massive defeat. While Harris is the more conservative candidate and Nelson is wrong on many of the key issues of our day, many Republicans will see this candidacy as a lost cause which could perhaps have an effect on other races in the state.

When parties and principles collide, principles should take precedence. However, there is no principle in this race other than Harris’ own political ambitions — ambitions that go against the interests of other Florida Republicans. The voters of Florida will have the final say on all this, but it seems virtually certain that Harris’ candidacy is doomed to defeat. One should just hope that her actions don’t hurt other more viable candidates in Florida.

16 responses to “Everyone Ready For A Trainwreck?”

  1. Seth says:

    Thanks, GOP voters of Florida, for allowing my party to save $10 million, which we can now put into Tennessee and Missouri. I fully expect Rhode Island to follow suit and impress me next Tuesday.

  2. Mark says:

    Between horrendous candidate recruitment by Elizabeth Dole and poor choices by Republican voters in primaries, you guys are making the Democrats’ job so much easier. It would be icing on the cake if the Club for Growth pushed Steve Laffey over the top in RI next week as well. We appreciate the help is yanking the Speaker’s gavel out of your hands.

  3. Mark says:

    Notice how Jay hasn’t said anything about the Minnesota Senate race lately? You know, the one with that “weak” Democratic candidate Amy Klobuchar. Especially considering that he now lives in Minnesota, I wonder what could possibly account for his silence on the race….

  4. Seth says:

    Mark–
    Could it be the polls that show Klobuchar up 7-12 points in a state Jay thinks is trending Republican?

    Don’t forget the governor’s race, where the USA Today/Gallup poll that just went out shows Hatch 44%, Pawlenty 43%–and that is with Hutchinson. And apparently Pawlenty thinks he needs a boatload of money to win.

  5. Mark says:

    “Could it be the polls that show Klobuchar up 7-12 points in a state Jay thinks is trending Republican?”

    Nah, it’s gotta be something else. I’m sure if Kennedy was up by 7-12 points right now, Jay would be just as silent.

    “Don’t forget the governor’s race, where the USA Today/Gallup poll that just went out shows Hatch 44%, Pawlenty 43%–and that is with Hutchinson. And apparently Pawlenty thinks he needs a boatload of money to win.”

    Hatch’s continued strength in the face of a summer full of semi-controversy and a stealth campaign is quite amazing. I remain pessimistic about Hatch’s chances, however, since the needle on Minnesota gubernatorial races almost always moves seismically following the televised debates in October, and that’s a format that strongly favors Pawlenty (and since the IP still gets major party status, Hutchinson will get the opportunity to raise his profile in the debates as well, which will also hurt Hatch unless Hutchinson tanks in the debates).

  6. Jay Reding says:

    Notice how Jay hasn’t said anything about the Minnesota Senate race lately?

    That has more to do with the fact that I’m a full time law student, not a full time blogger. I’ll get to that when I’m not up to my neck in federal supplemental jurisdiction…

    Could it be the polls that show Klobuchar up 7-12 points in a state Jay thinks is trending Republican?

    Minnesota is trending Republican, although Kennedy’s campaign is in trouble. The campaign season is only starting, and yes, Klobuchar still is a weak candidate. Kennedy has a chance to pull ahead, but he’s going to have to start really campaigning now to do it.

    Don’t forget the governor’s race, where the USA Today/Gallup poll that just went out shows Hatch 44%, Pawlenty 43%–and that is with Hutchinson.

    Which would be well within the MOE. I haven’t read that poll yet, so I won’t comment on it further. I generally don’t trust polls for which I haven’t seen internals. However, Mark’s analysis is quite apt – Pawlenty will be helped by the debates, and Hutchinson will steal some votes from Hatch. (Hutchinson is great on policy issues, but is a very poor politician, and the Independence Party remains the joke that it always was…)

    Should I have time, I’ll delve into the race further, but that’s unlikely to be for a while.

  7. Jay Reding says:

    Notice how Jay hasn’t said anything about the Minnesota Senate race lately?

    That has more to do with the fact that I’m a full time law student, not a full time blogger. I’ll get to that when I’m not up to my neck in federal supplemental jurisdiction…

    Could it be the polls that show Klobuchar up 7-12 points in a state Jay thinks is trending Republican?

    Minnesota is trending Republican, although Kennedy’s campaign is in trouble. The campaign season is only starting, and yes, Klobuchar still is a weak candidate. Kennedy has a chance to pull ahead, but he’s going to have to start really campaigning now to do it.

    Don’t forget the governor’s race, where the USA Today/Gallup poll that just went out shows Hatch 44%, Pawlenty 43%–and that is with Hutchinson.

    Which would be well within the MOE. I haven’t read that poll yet, so I won’t comment on it further. I generally don’t trust polls for which I haven’t seen internals. However, Mark’s analysis is quite apt – Pawlenty will be helped by the debates, and Hutchinson will steal some votes from Hatch. (Hutchinson is great on policy issues, but is a very poor politician, and the Independence Party remains the joke that it always was…)

    Should I have time, I’ll delve into the race further, but that’s unlikely to be for a while.

  8. Mark says:

    “and yes, Klobuchar still is a weak candidate.”

    Jay, you’re the only political analyst (professional or amateur) who refers to Amy Klobuchar as a “weak candidate”. What on Earth could be your justification for this claim when even die-hard Republicans like David Strom concede that she’s an excellent candidate?

  9. Seth says:

    Hey has anyone heard Jay say that he’s in law school recently? I’ll bet if he spent less time telling everyone how busy he is in law school he would have time to do all the things he can’t do now.

    Kennedy’s campaign is in trouble because of Kennedy himself. He’s running ads that make him look so kind and sweet I’d set him up with my sister, but everyone in the state knows he’s a right-winger.

    An incumbent govnah with the record Pawlenty claims to have should have no trouble beating a guy who’s not really running a campaign at this point and has spent all summer talking about himself and not the issues. And if Pawlenty is only polling around 43% and he’s the most recognized and popular statewide GOP candidate, I like where we’re going with this.

  10. Jay Reding says:

    Jay, you’re the only political analyst (professional or amateur) who refers to Amy Klobuchar as a “weak candidate”. What on Earth could be your justification for this claim when even die-hard Republicans like David Strom concede that she’s an excellent candidate?

    Have you heard the woman speak? Granted, her stumping abilities can get better over time, but she hasn’t come off very well in anything I”ve seen her in.

    Granted, that is subjective, so others may differ. The other problem she has, and this is something I’ve heard from DFL insiders as well, is that the hardcore anti-war wing of the DFL keeps pushing her to modify her stance on Iraq and support an immediate pullout – something she doesn’t currently support.

    There’s no doubt Klobuchar is ahead, and by a very significant margin. However, I don’t think Kennedy’s really started to put up a fight yet, and he knows that voters are only beginning to pay attention to the race. If he lets Klobuchar get shrill (which she did in the last debate I saw) and puts himself as the moderate candidate, he has a shot. Doing that will be politically difficult, but it’s not impossible.

  11. Mark says:

    “Have you heard the woman speak?”

    Yes….several times. And she’s almost always the most charismatic speaker of the group. I don’t know where you’ve seen her, but she must have been having an off day. At last week’s debate at the Minnesota State Fair, the consensus opinion was that she filleted Kennedy.

    “The other problem she has, and this is something I’ve heard from DFL insiders as well, is that the hardcore anti-war wing of the DFL keeps pushing her to modify her stance on Iraq and support an immediate pullout – something she doesn’t currently support.”

    I can’t see it happening. Klobuchar has no reason to give in to strongarm tactics of the hard-left at this point unless Independence Party candidate Robert Fitzgerald makes himself relevant with an incredibly charismatic pitch for immediate withdrawal and thus wins the group over. Seems like a stretch. I suppose there is a risk the anti-war voters could stay home because of Klobuchar’s centrist position, but that also seems like wishful thinking.

    “However, I don’t think Kennedy’s really started to put up a fight yet, and he knows that voters are only beginning to pay attention to the race.”

    If 2004 was any indication, it’s when Kennedy “puts up a fight” and exposes his true gutter rat colors that he actually loses support. The only rabbit Kennedy can pull out of his hat which might help him is to run an ad featuring disgruntled former employees of the Hennepin County Attorney’s office giving horror stories about their “bitch” boss. Even that is unlikely to turn the tide unless the accusations are truly repugnant and Klobuchar is unable to effectively refute them.

    “puts himself as the moderate candidate, he has a shot. Doing that will be politically difficult, but it’s not impossible.”

    It will be very difficult for a guy who votes with George Bush more than 95% of the time.

  12. Jay Reding says:

    The only rabbit Kennedy can pull out of his hat which might help him is to run an ad featuring disgruntled former employees of the Hennepin County Attorney’s office giving horror stories about their “bitch” boss. Even that is unlikely to turn the tide unless the accusations are truly repugnant and Klobuchar is unable to effectively refute them.

    There’s an 800-pound gorilla sitting right next to Klobuchar, and that isn’t it. Kennedy has a very effective tack that he can use against Klobuchar, something that’s potentially devastating, but he’s holding off on it so far. I have a feeling that it will be turned into one of the primary issues this campaign, but Kennedy is wisely keeping his powder dry at the moment.

  13. Mark says:

    “Kennedy has a very effective tack that he can use against Klobuchar, something that’s potentially devastating, but he’s holding off on it so far.”

    And that is? Please don’t tell me the rising crime rate in Minneapolis. That will just further insult residents of Minneapolis.

  14. Jay Reding says:

    Please don’t tell me the rising crime rate in Minneapolis.

    You better believe that’s going to be an issue.

    That will just further insult residents of Minneapolis.

    Which is a patently ridiculous assertion. The residents of Minneapolis are the ones getting shot at. They’re the ones who have to live in streets that look like war zones thanks to years of utter incompetence from the DFL machine that runs that city – the same machine that put Klobuchar where she is. How they’d be “insulted” by the truth is beyond me. Hell, even Mayor Rybak couldn’t hold a press conference in North Minneapolis, and a DFL candidate was battered while campaigning. And Klobuchar’s running ads talking about how she prosecuted tax sheets while people are dying in the streets.

    And of course, Kennedy isn’t going to win in Minneapolis anyway – that’s a one-party city. He doesn’t lose anything by taking that route, and it’s Klobuchar’s biggest vulnerability,

  15. Mark says:

    “The residents of Minneapolis are the ones getting shot at. They’re the ones who have to live in streets that look like war zones thanks to years of utter incompetence from the DFL machine that runs that city – the same machine that put Klobuchar where she is.”

    That canard might work if the city of Minneapolis wasn’t the victim of Pawlenty-imposed budget cuts from the state that forced the dismantling of its gang task force. Even at that, holding the County Attorney responsible for crime in a couple north Minneapolis neighborhoods is a huge risk in a blue state, particularly since it would likely require a TV ad featuring Minnesota’s equivalent Willie Horton, a black guy from Minneapolis who “went on to kill again”, if you were to effectively scare the bejeezus out of the soccer mom from Bloomington. What may work in Alabama is less likely to win up in the north woods.

    Unless there are some clearcut examples of prosecutorial misconduct by the County Attorney’s office, Kennedy would be smart to avoid playing into the hands of the DFL’s “see, we told you these budget cuts would have consequences” message. Besides, Kennedy’s “Republican? Who me?” and “elect a CPA who hasn’t done any accounting work in a quarter century” routines seem to be doing him so much good thus far, he won’t even need to summon the ghost of Lee Atwater to pull out a victory at north Minneapolis’ expense.

  16. Jay Reding says:

    That canard might work if the city of Minneapolis wasn’t the victim of Pawlenty-imposed budget cuts from the state that forced the dismantling of its gang task force.

    Except that canard won’t fly. If they want to make that argument, let them explain why Saint Paul (a city that also got its state aid cut) hasn’t had an equivalent rise in crime. Minneapolis charges an obscene amount of city taxes, yet they can’t fund their own police department? Anyone can see right through that argument.

    Granted, it would be unfair to blame Klobuchar for the rise in crime, but she can be blamed for not taking an approach that would have prevented a lot of these punks from being right back on the street.