Tuesday, April 04, 2006


A spokesperson from the campaign of Congresswoman Katherine Harris (R - Longboat Key) has announced that the U.S. Senate candidate will introduce several new members of her campaign team to replace key staffers who resigned during the past week or so.

Brian Brooks, who identified himself as Harris' press assistant, said that the positions to be announced today will be:

--- Campaign Manager
--- Communications Director
--- National Fundraiser
--- Field Operations Director
--- Media Consultant

Of course, with Harris' reluctance to deal with the Florida media in recent weeks, we'll have to see if the announcement will be forthcoming. But the St. Petersburg Times' political blog The Buzz is noting rumours that Paul Wilson will be named as her new media consultant and that the brother of Dale Burroughs, who is listed as her spiritual adviser, will be the new campaign manager. As Times political columnist Adam C. Smith notes in the post, though, "But then again nothing would suprise us in this unpredictable campaign".

Sarasota Herald Tribune political columnist Jeremy Wallace notes that, as one would expect in such a volatile situation, Harris is changing the locks on her campaign office doors. And during a Saturday meeting with GOP loyalists at the First Baptist Church of Cocoa Beach, the Melbourne-based newspaper Florida Today reports that the congresswoman slammed her former staffers and people within her own party:

"I was told if I didn't get out of the race, I would have an April surprise," Harris told the group of 50 Brevard County Republicans. "I didn't know I was going to get the knives in my back from my own party, and I'll be honest, it's infiltrated my campaign staff . . . For too long, we have been undermined by people in our own party and staffers in our own campaign."

Former Harris consultant Ed Rollins, who managed Ronald Reagan's presidential campaign in 1984 and served as his political director, was obviously not happy with the congresswoman's quotes. The Herald Tribune story quotes his response:

"They were all good professionals...There was no backstabbing. It's insulting that she would even say that. If she wants to know what went wrong with the campaign, maybe she needs to take a good look in the mirror."

Wallace writes that Rollins and former media consultant Adam Goodman tried last month to talk Harris into dropping out of the race. That was just before her infamous interview on Fox News in which she said she would use $10 million left by her late father, Bartow banker George Harris, to finance her campaign.

Today's Tampa Tribune story by political reporters William March and Keith Epstein says that former congressional and campaign staffers have mentioned during interviews that the death of Mr. Harris has taken a emotional toll on the congresswoman.

"She's in total meltdown. The campaign is in chaos," said a longtime Republican operative who worked closely with Harris until recently. "She hasn't mourned for her father."

And Jim Dornan, her former campaign manager who left in November, questioned Ms. Harris' dedication to "the Republican cause", obviously believing her candidacy is now more of a vanity case:

"If she were really dedicated to the Republican cause, she would drop out of the race right now."

At this point, the lyrics best fitting this situation come from Indiana's Tom Petty, who writes:

She's a good girl, loves her mama,
Loves Jesus, and America too.
She's a good girl, crazy bout Elvis,
Loves horses, and her boyfriend too.

And I'm freeeeeeeeeeeeee, free falling.
Yeah, I'm freeeeeeeeeeee, free falling.


Blogger Bryan said...

I certainly don't pretend to even like Harris, but it hasn't exactly been a secret that the White House didn't want her to run. They blocked her attempt last time and ran Martinez and the feeling at the time was that she had gotten an agreement of support for this race.

She may be paranoid, but that doesn't mean they aren't out to get her.

11:36 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home