Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Clueless Cruella

If you were a Republican candidate for the United States and the granddaddy of the conservative magazines and opinion makers in the country suggested that you drop out of the race for the good of the party and the conservative cause, don’t you think you’d at least listen?

Not if you’re Katherine Harris.

National Review, the conservative magazine, is calling for Katherine Harris to take herself out of the race for U.S. Senate in Florida “for the good of her party and for the good of her own reputation.”

In an unsigned editorial that reflects the view of its editors, the magazine says the embattled Republican can’t defeat incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, but that there’s still time for another GOP candidate to get in the race against the Democrat the magazine calls a “colorless career politician.”

The editorial, posted early Monday on the magazine’s website, is only the latest in a series of body blows to Harris’ campaign, which has suffered a staffing revolt, fundraising woes and poor polling.

“Harris believes she has a legitimate chance against Nelson,” the editorial reads. “Her belief is almost surely mistaken.”

Harris responded in the form of an open letter to magazine founder William F. Buckley Jr., saying she was “disappointed in the short-sighted editorial” and that she “will be the next senator from Florida.” She even invited Buckley to campaign with her in Florida, suggesting that “D.C. insiders” are sabotaging her Senate bid.

“Despite the recent bumps our campaign has encountered, we are steering this campaign in the right direction today by bringing Floridians a message of hope and a brighter future,” she wrote. “They don’t care about internal party politics or whomever is my campaign manager — only D.C. insiders, power-brokers, and the lobbyists on K Street in Washington care about this gossip. This is irrelevant to Florida voters.”

Excellent response, Ms. Harris. Just keep the whole election about you. That’s the sure way to win the hearts and minds of the voters. And blowing off the National Review will certainly win you a lot of friends and influence among the movers and shakers in the Republican hierarchy.

Congratulations on your re-election, Sen. Nelson.