Mel W. Martinez?

The Memo is having at least a passing effect on the polls for Mel Martinez. It’s also exposing him as a chip off the old “Take no blame and retaliate hard if criticized” Bush block that put him in office. The St. Petersburg Times reported what it’s like to be Mel these days.

After a spate of public criticism and humiliation, Sen. Mel Martinez vowed to sit down and talk about his mistakes and possible changes in how his staff operates.

But on Friday, a day after a new poll showed he has lost favor with voters, Florida’s freshman senator said he won’t talk about it, he just wants to get this episode behind him.

“I don’t intend to dwell on it,” Martinez said… “We’re learning from it and we’re moving on.”

What happens if you’re one of his goons and you talk to the press has a familiar ring. Oh yeah, it’s pure W.

Several Florida supporters who got reassuring calls from Martinez’s staff said they were reluctant to talk about their conversations because they feared they would be shut out of the senator’s inner circle.

Also eerily familiar is Mel’s ability to flip-flop without irony, especially on accountability.

Earlier this week, Martinez and his staff indicated he would sit down and talk about the memo following reviews by his office and the Senate Rules Committee. “I’m waiting to do it right,” he said.

By week’s end, Martinez did not want to talk about it. His spokeswoman Kerry Feehery said there was nothing more to say.

No, there couldn’t possibly be any questions left, especially when you read the Times’ recap of Mel’s version of the events.

Martinez said last week that he had not known that a senior staffer wrote a controversial memo explaining how Republican members of Congress could exploit the Terri Schiavo case. Unbeknownst to him, he said, the memo ended up in the pocket of his suit jacket and he handed it to another senator without realizing what it was.

Makes perfect sense to me. No questions.


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