Florida Republicans fall into two camps: 1) Anybody But Katherine Harris, and 2) Jeez, O.K., Katherine Harris.
The Sarasota Herald Tribune said MSNBC talk show host Joe Scarborough, recruited by Elizabeth Dole, is:
…the latest on a growing list of candidates who have been asked to run instead of Harris. Retired Gen. Tommy Franks, Florida Senate President Tom Lee, Sarasota businessman Vern Buchanan, Florida House Speaker Allan Bense and Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher are among those on the list.
Harris â€” whose political baggage most famously includes throwing the 2000 presidential election to Bush â€” has been euphemistically called, “too polarizing” by GOP leaders. What they don’t say is that her history of shady finances and her well-known zippy side â€” including accusing the press of doctoring her image to make it appear she wore heavier makeup and inviting Kabbalah mystics to try to cure citrus canker â€” don’t exactly qualify her as “carry-on” either.
But the scariest prospect is the one being bandied about the Sunshine State now. Harris herself has let it be known that the only person for whom she would step aside is the one, the only (please, Jesus), the King of Snide himself, Jeb Bush.
With only 17 months until Florida is free of him, the horrifying idea that Jeb could be our next senator is painfully easy to imagine. Like his brother, despite piss-poor management and a record of failure at every turn, Jeb remains popular. He talks the talk, in perfect English (something his brother can only envy), Spanish/Cuban/Puerto Rican, and most Caribbean Creole tongues as well. People say he has charisma (although I havenï¿½t noticed). In short, he could go the Ted Kennedy route standing on his head.
Scarborough is saying he “leans against” running. Harris has said only Jeb could end her candidacy. Republicans continue to hope for a miracle. The rest of us can only pray that Harris stays in, and that a record of fair, decent, energetic, honest public service is enough to win re-election for the slow-talking and sedate Bill Nelson. If not, Washington is about to learn a whole new definition of the word, “nasty.”