Better the Devil You Know…

Kendrick Meek

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One of our contributors from Florida in the comment section has posited that he is experiencing regret regarding his early vote for Kendrick Meek. I have to concur. I’m not sure what would happen if Meek dropped out now anyway. Would the early votes for him just be for naught? Meek is falling ever more steadily behind second place Independent Crist and first place Republican (and Tea Party) candidate Rubio.

Rumour has it that former President Clinton strongly hinted at asking Meek to drop out and endorse Charlie Crist for Senate. The idea being that his supporters would push Crist to victory over Marco Rubio. This isn’t actually a bad idea. Rubio is a Tea Party nut job. Florida and the Senate would be better off without him. Crist is a well seasoned, well liked politician who genuinely seems to have Florida’s best interests at heart.

There is one factor that I think polls miss out on. It’s one thing to declare your intentions to a polster. It’s quite another thing to stand in an election booth, staring at those levers and knowing that you have to decide who is going to pilot this craft you are a passenger on, and pull a lever different from the one you told that pollster you were supporting. Sixth sense usually wins. People generally know what’s best most of the time.

Meek has been dropping in the polls and I suspect Floridians are coming to the same conclusion: better the devil you know than the one you don’t.

Only I don’t think they think Crist is el diablo. Rubio, however,  is another matter.

Update: Halloween.

On Thursday night on Countdown, Crist dropped the suggestion that Bill Clinton had asked Kendrick Meek drop out of the race and support his campaign. Both Meek and Clinton have denied this. It would appear that Crist is trying to motivate Democratic and moderate voters to switch their votes with a last ditch, hail Mary pass by suggesting that a vote for Meek is a vote for Rubio.

It’s likely true that Clinton never made such a suggestion to Meek. But by making the assertion that he did, Crist has driven the narrative in an attempt to pilfer voters at the last minute. There are a lot of Clinton supporters in Florida. If they even suspect that he might want Meek to bail, they might change their votes to Charlie Crist; essentially bullying them with the fear of Marco Rubio as the alternative.

This is a blatant act of desperation on Charlie Crist’s part. Sadly, it just might work. It’s a win at all costs strategy, though. Because if it fails, Crist is politically finished. He already has the reputation of an opportunist by defecting from the Republican party and making nice with Democrats by alluding to caucusing with them. Floridians prefer politicians who actually stand for something, hence Rubio’s popularity. Crist must believe this last minute ploy will work. My guess is Floridians will see through it and by muddying the waters he all but guarantees a win for Rubio.

And Florida, once again, sends a bad politician to Washington. And that’s pretty scary.



About Mr. Universe

Mr. Universe is a musician/songwriter and an ex-patriot of the south. He currently lives and teaches at a University in the Pacific Northwest. He is a long distance hiker who has hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. He is also an author and woodworker. An outspoken political voice, he takes a decidedly liberal stance in politics.
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24 Responses to Better the Devil You Know…

  1. shrinkers says:

    I don’t think an early vote for Meek was wasted. Any vote against a Tea Party crazy person is a valuable vote. It helps to indicate the level of support that Teapers don’t have. It helps, however little, to put the lie to the idea that these clowns are mainstream.

  2. Scott says:

    Reposting my comment from the other thread: SCOTT… you’re in FLA, right? What is the reaction there to the “Clinton-asks-Meek-to- retire” dustup? I saw a commentator say that whether Meek goes or not, Clinton has done what he set out to accomplish by sending a signal the establishment D’s are pulling away from Meek… thus giving other D’s permission to do the same and go to Crist.Is that your impression?I actually plan on posting something this on my blog tonight (cheap plug!), but here’s the Cliff’s Notes version:Marco Rubio SHOULD win this seat anyway, no matter what happens. Yes, the story served its purpose – it essentially signals that it’s “okay” to vote for Charlie Crist by furthering the “anyone by Rubio” meme.Kendrick Meek has worked his tail off for months to get to this point, and he shouldn’t HAVE to get out of the race. I suggested last night when the story first broke that he SHOULD do it, but that’s more opinion. The FACT is that Meek has every right to stay in, and I’ve already voted for him. I lose either way – if he stays in, Rubio cruises to election. If he drops out, I lose because my vote is wasted AND Rubio might still win anyways.That being said, I would say that the ratio of “voting for Crist-vs-voting for Meek” amongst my admittedly smallish circle is probably 2 or 3-to-1 – I’m legitimately surprised that so many people are going to vote for the Governor over Rep. Meek. Again, I understand it – just surprised by it.I hope that answers the question. If not, let me know what I need to do to clarify more.

  3. Scott says:

    I also want to add that this race in particular is an interesting case study in why Instant Runoff Voting would be worthwhile experiment. It can help avoid the situation where a candidate that 60+% of the people DON’T want gets elected.That’s not to say that Rubio wouldn’t win even with IRV – he very well could – but I do think it’s a consideration going forward.

  4. Bart DePalma says:

    I am unsure what further Crist can do to alienate himself from both the GOP and the Dems.You have a GOP governor who first screws the GOP voters by going Indi and then tries to screw both the Dem and the GOP voters by entering into a conspiracy with the Dem party to run out the Dem nominee and run as the de facto Dem candidate.Why should any voter trust this dirtbag? I would vote for Meek first.

  5. Scott says:

    You have a GOP governor who first screws the GOP voters by going Indi and then tries to screw both the Dem and the GOP voters by entering into a conspiracy with the Dem party to run out the Dem nominee and run as the de facto Dem candidate.Bingo, Bart. I couldn’t have put it better myself. I can’t not look at Gov. Crist and see a Republican who embraced many of President Bush’s policies and the GOP platform. He stumped with John McCain. That so many people think he’s all of a sudden going to start caucusing with the Democrats is plain lunacy. It’s really just wishful thinking on the part of many Dems. I understand that Gov. Crist is definitely more center than right on social issues – and it’s helped move some voters – but it just wasn’t enough for me. I can’t trust that he won’t just caucus with whatever side is in power.There’s really just one solace in Marco Rubio winning (if you’re from the left) – the seat was ALREADY in GOP control, so it’s not a net loss.

  6. shiloh says:

    @BartlesI would vote for Meek first.~~~~~Interesting disingenuous, inane, hypothetical since you have never voted for a Dem in your life!solo estoy diciendo

  7. filistro says:

    @Bart.. You have a GOP governor who first screws the GOP voters by going IndiYeah, that whole “going Indi” thing is pretty dastardly… but at least he’s not pretending to be a libertarian! 😉

  8. shiloh says:

    Fili, isn’t Bart’s whole teabagger concept er nonsense about being an Independent politician.solo estoy didciendo

  9. filistro says:

    @ shiloh… Fili, isn’t Bart’s whole teabagger concept er nonsense about being an Independent politicianQuite so. And Indis are the bulwark of the Tea Party, according to Bart… except when they are “screwing their own party” by being Indi…It’s all just so confusing, isn’t it?

  10. robert verdi says:

    if you want Crist, you can have him.

  11. Mule Rider says:

    http://specials.msn.com/A-List/Lifestyle/Liberal-genes.aspx?cp-documentid=26133721One of those crazy things I came across. You guys should check it out.

  12. Mainer says:

    I’m not sure what direction Christ will go but considering the angst that the Teapublicans will have over him if he should win he might as well caucus with Liberman and Bernie Sanders because he wouldn’t dare turn his back in the Teapublican meetings……Talk about an Isle of Misfit toys. Heck throw in our two ladies and one might start to have an actual 3rd viable caucus.Mule I saw that too. Kind of odd, what? so what DNA factor explains extreame conservatism? No genes? Just curious.The day Bart votes for a Democrat his climate predictions will actually come true as hell freezing over would have to cool some thing.I suspect there is more to the Clinton/Meek meeting. Not Bill’s stle to try to crowd some one out in that manner. An bets Bill told him the facts of life and some took it as a get out message. In an astute political sense getting out might have been a respectable option. Meek just go caught in a war he didn’t start but was a long shot to win from the beginning. The sad thing is that cooler heads didn’t or coulldn’t have reached him sooner and preserved his political future. Things happen in election cylles that are often out of the control of individual candidates. It does not make them bad candidates and certainly not bad people it is just the moment. Hanging in to fight the good fight is not always the best move (spoken from an old boxer that learned early that there are some fights better fought at a different time)

  13. Jean says:

    Scott,This winger’s comment at redstate on this subject may explain what you’re hearing: “The problem is there are still a large number of Americans who really aren’t paying attention to what’s going on in their country. So when these people herar the name Crist they think ‘Oh he has been a pretty good Gov. I’ll vote for him.’ I’m convinced that’s the extent of the thought process – name recognition.”

  14. Scott says:

    No, it’s not just that Jean. My friends often cite his vetoes of HB1143 and SB6 as the main reasons for trusting him enough to vote for him.It’s a bit more than name recognition.

  15. Mainer says:

    Scott, I have just been on the phone to my boss in Florida and he is all about money and such…..he and his gang appear to be going for…..Crist. All they want is some one willing to listen….I have met some of these folks and they are of the old school pragmatic fiscal conservative stay out of my bedroom type Republicans. I was frankly surprised. I know anacedotal but I thought it an interesting observation.

  16. Monotreme says:

    I’m going to write an article on brains/biology and voting preference, but I’ll wait until after the election has been cooked, chewed, digested, and spat out. Maybe mid-November. I have a hard time writing anything else during National Novel Writing Month, but for youse guys, I might be able to string together 500 words or so.(I think the 500 words have to be sequestered for five days while we think about it, right?)

  17. Jean says:

    Monotreme,re: (I think the 500 words have to be sequestered for five days while we think about it, right?).I think the official teaper rule is five days per 1,000 words. But if they are hard words (by teaper definition), then you may need to be sequestered for a longer period of time.

  18. Monotreme says:

    Well, I would say 2.5 days (plus the one overhead day for everything, so 3.5 days) but that would involve math, which is even harder than reading, apparently.

  19. Gainsbourg says:

    Mainer, most Floridians, regardless of party affiliation, are very similar to your boss. That’s what makes this state so different than other southern states. Also, whites down here have been around Hispanics all their lives and they’re not scared of them. That renders a lot of the GOP fearmongering null and void. Democrats down here are voting for Crist because he’s a moderate. Rubio could’ve had these same voters if he hadn’t pandered to the Teabaggers. As simple as that. When he and Jeb decided it would be wise to ride the Teabagger wave, eventhough they couldn’t be more establishment if they tried, they alienated a lot of voters who would’ve voted for the young, republican moderate of hispanic descent.

  20. Gainsbourg says:

    Scott, Crist may not be a progressive but he seems like he’d work with Obama. Rubio, on the other hand, is going to be a guaranteed no vote.

  21. shiloh says:

    My only connection to FL being (3) years on the Saratoga stationed in Mayport, but have have heard political pundits say for the past (10) years the reason FL is different is because of northern folk relocating to FL. Read an article around (15) years ago that 20% of FL’s population is Ohioans who have moved over the past (40/50) years and of course retirees from several northern states especially Jews from NY, etc.Also one of the reasons NC is more blue as it voted for Obama in 2008. IN, MI, OH, PA, NY et al northern states keep losing a portion of it’s population to peeps relocating to NC, SC, FL … also NM and AZ.People go where the jobs are as manufacturing is a dying industry in many northern states.OH’s population:1960 ~ 9.7 million2000 ~ 11.3 millionFL’s population:1960 ~ 5 million2000 ~ 16 millioncarry on

  22. mike says:

    Here’s what should happen: Obama needs to offer Meek a cabinet position. that way Meek will have a job that is better than senator, and that will leave Crist to pick up practically all of Meek’s numbers and win, and everyone is happy. Well except for Rubio and his supporters, but who cares about them? nobody intelligent. He’s a corrupt tea partier. Dems are gonna need this seat to offset probable losses elsewhere. Part of me wonders if Obama should have fired Tom Vilsack, made Blance Lincoln Secretary of Agriculture (she is the Chairment of Agriculture in the Senate right now), and that would have freed the way for Bill Halter. I don’t know if Halter would fare any better, but who knows. Boy, Nate Silver’s new gig is completely absurd. Sometimes it takes well over 24 hours for comments to post, and 2 of mine never were published, and there was nothing wrong with them. I also get tired of all the Nate Silver shoe-licking people are doing over there. “Oh my God Nate, you are the best, this site is the best, this move to the NYT is the best, can I lick your boots as well?, this is great” Oh please, all Nate is doing is taking a bunch of biased Rebpublican leaning polls and making an average out of them. Not useful or creative.

  23. shiloh says:

    @mikeThe offer Meek another job scenario sailed some time ago. The reason Dems didn’t push that was w/Meek still in the race, supposedly it helps Alex Sink win the governor race as all of Meek’s supporters will vote for Sink and Dems think Sink winning the governor ship would be a real coup.Haven’t been to Nate’s new gig in about a month as he has gone totally corporate which is no surprise. And yes, The NYT’s posting process is slowww as molasses w/no rhyme or reason. And peeps did a pretty good job licking Nate’s boots at his old site as well lol as it was somewhat amusing when winger trolls like Bartles were some of the biggest ass kissers …

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