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FL-Sen: Kendrick Meek Will Run

by: James L.

Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 4:35 PM EST


The Hill:

Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.) is expected to announce he is running for retiring Sen. Mel Martinez's (R-Fla.) seat on Tuesday morning, making him the first Democrat in the race.

Meek, a four-term congressman, has announced a 10 a.m. EST press conference in Miami, where Democratic sources with knowledge of his plans said he is set to announce he is entering the race.

I'm no big fan of Kendrick Meek, in no small part thanks to his non-support of our trio of Democratic challengers in South Florida this past fall, but thankfully I doubt that he'll have a clear primary field to himself. State Sen. Dan Gelber will also announce a decision shortly, and Florida CFO Alex Sink is also weighing a run.

Open seat fans have no reason to fret -- Meek's 17th CD has an absurdly Democratic PVI of D+35.

James L. :: FL-Sen: Kendrick Meek Will Run
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Hopefully we get a credible candidate
Meek won't win a general election statewide.  At least we should be able to get a better Dem elected to his vacant house seat.

not a very good run, it
would be a disaster really. A liberal Democrat from downtown Miami will not play well statewide. We need a stronger Democrat, preferably Alex Sink, a more moderate Democrat with a statewide profile, or at least a profile and popularity in a critical swing area of it.

He brings nothing to the table, geographically.  

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus


And even better
With Meek in we're all but guaranteed race will play a role in the primary.  Just what we need.

I still say we should press Klein as a second option after Sink.  He raises ungodly amounts of cash, is somewhat (but not overly) moderate and knows how to win a swing district


[ Parent ]
the seat would be a tough hold.


Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
It would be
But I think it's well worth the risk for a U.S. Senate seat.  Keep pressing Sink to run though.  She's easily the best candidate.

[ Parent ]
agreed.
With the present 257 to 178 advantage in the House, it's well worth gambling a House seat to pick up an open Senate seat.
After all, not a lot of difference between having 257 or 256...

[ Parent ]
Not to mention
Districts in Florida will be redrawn in 2012 by republicans.  The 22nd district is already drawn to be as republican friendly as possible.  There is practially nothing they can do to make is less favorable to Dems.  My guess is they concede the 22nd district to us and make it more democratic in order to shore up the increasingly marginal republican held seats in south Florida and to attempt to make the new south Florida seat a marginally republican one.

[ Parent ]
now that's impossible,
I see them giving at least one of their 3 new seats to democrats and trying to make two marginally Republican ones.  

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
Three new seats?
I was under the impression we were likely to net only two new seats - one probably in central Florida, the other probably in south Florida.


[ Parent ]
I thought the state's growth was stronger than that
But, like I said, I just don't think they have the votes in South Florida to make four Republican seats, especially with the way Mario Diaz-Balart's and Ros-Lehtinen's seats are moving. I figured they would be content to settle with a 50/50 split and not press their luck. I figured they would make Kosmas' district and Grayson's district more securely Democratic in order to create another Republican leaning central Florida district, and then they'd sort of cede a south Florida district to Democrats.

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
Countless marginally repub district are eroding
I'm not sure how they'll even manage to make the new Central FL seat anything better than an R+0 or R+1 seat without hurting surrounding seats.  Even districts that used to be very republicans like Mica's and Putnam's are trending against them quite fast.

[ Parent ]
Well, the foreclosure crisis hit Florida hard.
And short-term models have them gaining only 1 seat. http://www.swingstateproject.c...

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28, New Democrat, Female, TX-03 (hometown CA-26)


[ Parent ]
Not if we pass the two fair districting referendums in 2010
to me that's as important as the senate race in a state that will have 27 house seats in 2012. Go to Fairdistrictsflorida.org

[ Parent ]
Not if we pass the two fair districting referendums in 2010
to me that's as important as the senate race in a state that will have 27 house seats in 2012. Go to Fairdistrictsflorida.org

[ Parent ]
Is it constitutional?
The state Supreme Court struck down a similar effort several years ago.  And referendums take 60% to pass in Florida.  It won't pass, trust me.

[ Parent ]
That makes me cringe just a little.
It'd be preferrable if everyone would leave race out of it (Bobby Rush, Nikki Tinker, and Geraldine Ferraro come to mind), but either we get to see black candidates standing next to white candidates and possibly have to talk about race or we tell all the black people they can't run for statewide office.

[ Parent ]
Good response
It won't be about race unless Congressman Meek makes it about race.

[ Parent ]
Not necessarily
I don't think it will necessarily not be about race if Kendrick Meek doesn't make it about it. Yes, Bobby Rush, Nikki Tinker and Roland Burris have made their situations more explicitly racialized, but countless white Democratic and Republican candidates have implicitly racialized primaries and general elections. If Kendrick Meek does run, this primary is at just as likely to be racialized by him as a white opponent.  

[ Parent ]
I don't think Meek will "go there"
I think he'll run a campaign more in the Harold Ford model, though a good deal less conservative than Ford's run.  However I do expect the CBC to "go there" as they usually do.

[ Parent ]
And in Harold Ford's case
we saw which side decided to play the race card.  I'm no fan of the guy but he did conduct himself honorably and ran a good campaign, he didn't deserve what the Tennessee GOP did to him.

[ Parent ]
notwithstanding his idiotic actions in 2008
Kendrick Meek, along with Delahunt (MA), Wasserman-Shultz (FL) and Ryan (OH) ranting about the illegality and unconstitutional behavior of dubya's people (including his enablers in the House) on latenight C-Span in 2004 and 2005 were one of the few islands in the sea of insanity.

Meek seems well spoken, intelligent, and reasonably progressive.  His decision (along with Wasserman-Shultz) not to help out 3 excellent House candidates in South Florida against the Diaz-Bohlert brothers and Iliana was despicable and wrong, but I have absolutely no problem with him as a candidate (if he has a good shot at winning) or as a Senator.

Let's see some early numbers, hear his positions, see how he is at fundraising, and then go from there.  It's too early to write the guy off due to a mistake or 2 in the 2008 election season (I guarantee I can name at least several substantive errors made by any position holder anyone wants to name).


Ryan and Meek
Ryan is one of Meek's best friends in the House. Interesting that they are both putting their toes in the water for the Senate this cycle.

Watching their Mutt and Jeff routine with the GIANT rubber stamp on C-Span was pretty funny though.


[ Parent ]
Really???
I mean, come on. DWS would be just as absurd IMO.

Didn't he basically inherit his seat?  


Pretty much yeah
His mother Carrie Meek represented that district from 1993-2003.

[ Parent ]
Its Sink or swim here
The only Democrat who would be able to win in this state with a strong Republican machine is Sink.  Klein is probably too liberal as is Meek.  

[ Parent ]
Not necessarily
I can see some tool like Putnam (opie) getting the nomination on the republican side.  Facts are most of Florida's growth is in the urban parts of Central and South Florida.  Someone like Putnam is every bit as toxic in those areas as someone like Meek is in the North FL and the other rural parts of the state.

[ Parent ]
Putnam has said he's not interested, though
Linky:

U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam, one of Florida's brightest Republican stars, says you can scratch him off that list of potential candidates to fill Mel Martinez's U.S. Senate seat.

"I am not giving serious consideration to the Senate seat," he tells Buzz. "You could say my interests lie elsewhere."



[ Parent ]
Ahh thanks
My bad.  Thought he was still considering it.  Hopefully McCollum makes the jump in that case.  Even Meek would have a shot against him.

[ Parent ]
Connie Mack Jr.


Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
Looks like it will probably be Mack vs. Rubio for the GOP
We can only hope McCollum joins in the fray.

[ Parent ]
I dunno...
If it's Mack vs. Rubio I think Mack wins.  If it's Mack vs. McCollum vs. Rubio I think Rubio wins.  McCollum and Mack both appeal to the group of republicans and would probably split that vote.  In a general election Rubio would be by far the hardest to beat out of the three in my view.

[ Parent ]
Klein is actually one
of the most conservative Democrats in the house, with a Progressive Punch score even lower than Gene Taylor, Chet Edwards, and Jim Marshall, even lower than oft-kicked around Allen Boyd.  

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
Uh, since when?
Klein has a 92.6% progressive score and is ranked 106th in the House. Allen Boyd, who I consider a major league asshole, has a 69.5% score and is ranked 246th in the House.

[ Parent ]
here's a link
I was little wrong, he's ahead of Boyd, but, according to this link: http://progressivepunch.org/me...
he ranks 185, with a 65.30 score.  

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
Different metric
That's the "Chips Are Down" rating, rather than the classic Progressive Punch scoring system. More explanation on that is available here.

[ Parent ]
Wasnt Boyd a supporter of the Bush Social Security plan?
I think he was the only Democrat to support that awful plan.  

[ Parent ]
You are correct
And I would hope that, if Boyd is foolish enough to enter the Senate race, his Democratic opponents will hammer him hard over that shit.

[ Parent ]
Wouldn't it be Sink or sink? : )


Male, 23, DC-At Large

[ Parent ]
Right. If it's Sink, we swim, and if it's not Sink, we sink.
Or something.

[ Parent ]
lol!


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28, New Democrat, Female, TX-03 (hometown CA-26)


[ Parent ]
Alan Grayson
I definitely think the best new Congressman from the 2008 elections is Alan Grayson in Florida. Visit his campaign website to see what I mean. If he is able to deliver what he promised then I definitely want him to be considered for the Senate, even after only 2 years. This is one disadvantage of starting the campaign so early; it doesn't give new Congressmen enough time.

26, male, Dem, NJ-12

It's about imagine
Grayson turned out to be a hugely pleasant surprise in the 8th district, but statewide is another matter.  He's not very polished so far and is very unabashedly liberal.  He'd be better served not jumping into a race that big.

[ Parent ]
Yeah, Grayson should try to get reelected
in FL-08 first.  Republicans are going to come after him pretty hard I think.  

[ Parent ]
Unless he wants to self-fund 40 million plus and pull a Corzine
After our better candidates all say no, then I'd take him.  But he'd have to run a different race.  There's no way he could run the same way he did in the 8th district and win statewide, especially against a stronger Republican.  

[ Parent ]
I think Meek
Is trying to scare the others like Gelber and Sink out of this race. I imagine Meek has a fairly substantial bank account as he's entering his 4th term in congress and has never had an opponent. BTW his lack of opponent is not figurative, Meek has never actually had an opponent.

Its not a bad idea, running against him in a primary would be tough. He's got a lot of money and 1/4 of the vote before campaigning even begins.


Not necessarily
Given how blue his district is, I'm not surprised he's never had an opponent. However, I doubt he'd be able to scare away Alex Sink (who would probably cream him statewide).  

[ Parent ]
Never said it was surprising
Just an interesting point that this is a guy who has literally never had a race.

In a 2 person race Sink would be a significant favorite, but with each credible candidate that enters the race Meek becomes a tougher opponent because like I said he'd have about 1/4 of the voters before campaigning even started. Meek probably can't get 50%+1, but I think 40% is very possible.


[ Parent ]
I like Kathy Castor
She's from the tampa bay area, and would have appeal statewide.

Castor would be good.
I think most us agree Alex Sinks is the best candidate. After Sinks, Klein and Castor I think would be good candidates. I personally do not want Meek to be our nominee. As he showed in his refusal to support his fellow Dems last cycle, he appears to be a political opportunist that lacks strong beliefs (I can forgive and forget about abandoning the three South Florida House candidates, but unlike DWS, he has shown willingness to hurt Democrats chances if he believes it will benefit his own career advancement). Second, I think he would have a difficult time winning statewide, although he could prove me wrong. Klein has shown he can raise the money to run statewide and he has a moderate enough record to win. I think Castor has the appeal to win, if she shows she can raise the money she would be a great candidate.

[ Parent ]
I think we would lose Klein's House seat
Republicans have a lot of heavyweight candidates(the state Senate and House majority leaders) that would probably be favored to take the seat in an open seat situation.  He should stay.  

[ Parent ]
Ugh, Kendrick Meek.
   He's not very progressive despite representing a really liberal district.  His advocacy of Hillary Clinton during the primary was nausea-inducing.  I've respect for most of Clinton's advocates, but Kendrick Meek made a fool of himself.  He has poor political skills.  I'd rather a candied yam run for Senate than him.  The upside is that we'll be rid of him after he loses the Democratic primary.  

24, Male, GA-05

Hmm
I'd be nice to have a African-American and a younger guy in the Senate but beyond that, I don't get his appeal. I guess he's likely to be a decent fundraiser, but beyond that he doesn't bring a whole lot to the table. He's got a lot of questionable votes and associations in his background that wouldn't play well in a Democratic primary. Hopefully if Sink doesn't get in Gelber or another Democrat takes a run at it.  

So...
Which of his family members will inherit his house seat when he leaves it?

Meek should run
I don't really give a damn about the Senate primary. Nobody who wins it is likely to be to my taste and it's liable to be an uphill race anyway, so my attention will be focused elsewhere.

But Meek running for Senate means one more dynast out of a job and it means you could get a decent progressive in his House seat.


The fact that he
Was succeeding his mother certainly helped him win. But he did have 8 years in the FL state legislature before getting this seat, so its not like he was grossly unqualified. Dan Lipinski in IL, now there's an example of dynastic politics.

[ Parent ]
Yeah
nothing inherently wrong about families entering politics.  The Carnahans in Missouri are pretty powerful but all get elected in their own right.  Lipinski on the other hand just showed up the day his dad resigned and got the seat handed to him.

[ Parent ]
Granted
Nevertheless, having a mother in politics helped him get into the State Legislature and I'm not fond of dynastic candidates however qualified they are.

However the fact that he's pretty centrist and could be much further left is my main reason for wanting him out.


[ Parent ]
Yeah who cares about winning?


[ Parent ]
But has he ever run a real race?
He was handed his house seat on a silver platter and has run unopposed every single election since.  Sorry, but the guy is in way over his head here.

[ Parent ]
Shit
I predict he'll polarize the primary and the party.

the meeks suck, don't they?
i hope sink bulldozes him in the primary

She likely would
If Sink does get in I think she'd beat Meek by a good margin.  Unless of course a few more candidates enter the primary and much things up.  Sink and her husband Bill McBride are personally wealthy and Sink has many friends in the business community from her says as President of Bank of America.

[ Parent ]
Meek and the race card
Is there any actual evidence that Kendrick Meek has ever used the race card?  I know he gave Jeb Bush a hard time (and rightfully so) for trying to end affirmative action in hiring practices, but that certainly isn't playing the race card.  I could see Alcee Hastings playing the race card, but let's give Kendrick a chance before accusations are hurled at him just because most folks here would prefer Alex Sink.

I know Kendrick Meek also endorsed Rod Smith over Jim Davis in a primary a couple of years ago, but could it not be argued that Smith was the more electable candidate?  I'm not from Florida of course so I just being talking out my posterior on this one.

His background in law enforcement should attract some moderates and other folks.  Sure. Meek has taken some votes that weren't always in the best interest of his district and it does seem he did that to advance his career, but I think anyone who runs for office is a little full of self interest and ambition.  It's a part of human nature.

As far as Meek having the seat handed to him, this is true.  However, I think we see him speak on the House floor quite often and the rhetoric he espouses should appeal to a lot of people.  So to say he's inexperienced in regards to actual tough races that is true, but I think the guy is ready.

Please donate to amcharities.org to help build more after school centers in the Miami area.  

23, Democrat, IA-2



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