Wednesday, April 12, 2006


The National Review is one of the truly heavy duty conservative publications in the political realm. Founded by William F. Buckley, Jr., it is one of those magazines that people on the right of the idelogicial spectrum pay close attention to.

Two weeks ago, Kellyanne Conway lamented the lack of respect Congresswoman and likely GOP U.S. Senate nominee Katherine Harris (R - Longboat Key) has received from the party leadership in the National Review's blog "Reconcilable Differences", basically telling her detractors to give her a decent chance to win.
This week, the publication's editorial says:

"For the good of her party, and for the good of her own reputation, she should withdraw from the race as soon as possible and allow another Republican to have a chance at victory."

While the opinion states there is much on paper to like about Harris --- election as Secretary of State and two terms to Congress, a lifetime 91 percent rating from the American Conservative Union, name recognition from her role in the 2000 election --- it also notes her low favourable rating and higher unfavourable numbers, her fundraising flop, the acceptance of illegal contributions, and the seemingly mass exodus of campaign staff.

With the filing deadline exactly one month away, it mentions Florida House Speaker Allan Bense (R - Panama City) and West Palm Beach attorney/orphanage operator Tom Rooney as possible replacement candidates, but that neither is likely to consider an underdog run unless Ms. Harris withdraws.

Obviously, Ms. Harris was disappointed with the opinion of the National Review, and sent a letter to Mr. Buckley. She also posted the letter on her campaign's Web site in which she says "I will be the next senator from Florida", with the word "will" in italics. The Congresswoman also told a "little white lie" later in the letter when she mentions "...we’re turning it around by being accessible to the media, and to the voters". She may be beginning to stump across the state once again, but she has been avoiding Florida media like the plague, choosing only to speak with friendly national reporters. Although she reportedly promised a few moments with Lakeland Ledger political reporter Bill Rufty while in town last weekend, that did not materialize.

She closes the letter by telling Buckley, " would do you some good to get out of Washington, D.C. to hear what real voters say about Katherine Harris". Given her high unfavourable numbers, that might not be a great idea. But you wouldn't see William F. Buckley, Jr. anywhere among the "common folk", anyway.

Just remember, friends, in the words of Dr. Larry Sabato:

"You can spend $100 million marketing dog food, but if the dogs won't eat, it isn't going to sell."


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