Thursday, October 15, 2009

Name Dropping

Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-FL) says that he’s got the support of the White House for his Senate bid for the open seat here in Florida.

“Look, I’m a walk on candidate,” he said. “No one said ‘let’s go recruit Meek to run for the Senate.'” But the four-term Miami Rep. said he’s proven he’s the right man for Democrats in 2010.

To prove his point, Meek suggested he’s got the support of the most powerful Democrat there is — President Obama. “I’m pleased with what Obama has done with me early on,” Meek said, claiming that he’s been “in discussions” with the White House about a more formal role for the President down the road.

“I haven’t personally crossed my legs with him about it,” he said, “but [the White House] sees the seriousness of our campaign.”

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

I dunno, it seems a little premature and presumptuous to be saying that he’s got the backing of the White House. It’s not to say he doesn’t, but Mr. Meek could be setting himself up for a rather embarrassing situation. Right now the focus in the race is on the GOP primary outcome between Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio. If Mr. Crist comes through it unscathed, chances are that he will probably beat Mr. Meek in the general by ten points, if not more, no matter if he’s got the support of the White House or not. Anyone who’s paid attention to politics (or caught a few episodes of The West Wing) knows the president is not going to invest in a losing campaign, especially during the crucial mid-terms of 2010.

If, on the other hand, the GOP primary is nasty and brutish and Crist or Rubio emerges as damaged goods, Mr. Meek might have a chance. But until the outcome of the primary, it would be a waste of time and political capital for the White House to support him, especially since there’s barely a primary fight being waged on the Democratic side, the recent announcement by former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre notwithstanding.