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Bill Clinton tried to get Kendrick Meek to drop out of Florida Senate race


(Credit: AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

By Anne E. Kornblut

Former President Bill Clinton nearly persuaded Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek to drop out of the Florida Senate race, telling him that he could make a greater impact if he quit the three-way race and endorsed Gov. Charlie Crist, who is running as an independent, a Clinton official confirmed late Thursday.

Clinton, a longtime friend of Meek's, first worked through his senior adviser Doug Band to make the deal, spokesman Matt McKenna confirmed. The exchange was first reported by Ben Smith in Politico. Meek seemed amenable, and on two occasions nearly went through with it. But
he ultimately changed his mind, and is now in third place behind both Crist and the frontrunner, Republican Marco Rubio.

"As Democrats attempt to make some kind of lemonade out of this lemon of an election for them by claiming that they're gaining enthusiasm, this news takes any sails out of their wind. This will have a depressing effect on Democratic votes in Florida, especially among African Americans in the state," said RNC spokesman Doug Heye.

By Anne E. Kornblut  | October 28, 2010; 7:01 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Election, 44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

Isn't it strange that Meek and Clinton both say Clinton didn't ask Meek to drop out. Isn't it strange that almost everyone who has ever run against Charlie Crist has had a rumor circulate that they were going to drop out of the race.

Posted by: washpost45 | November 1, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Typical Clinton: Caught in the act, he now says he talked to Meek, but won't say what about as if we didn't already know since Meek has spoken out.

I have more respect for Meek than I ever did for Clinton!

Posted by: TexRancher | October 30, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Meeks' short resume is one thing for a Senator..............it's another thing for a President.

In the end, Crist turned tail on Rubio, who likely would have beaten either Meeks or Crist were either of them in the race alone.

Posted by: buggerianpaisley1 | October 29, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Chicago politics straight out of the W.H., enough said.

Posted by: jobro2 | October 29, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Even with Meek-dropping-out story, there just isn't enough time left for Charlie Crist to pull this out

http://bit.ly/cbLaba

Posted by: saintpetersblog | October 28, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

This kind of strategic play may make sense to us political junkies, but it wouldn't fly with most voters.

The African-Americans who backed Meek aren't going to switch their votes to support Crist solely to stop Rubio, not after Meek has been attacking Crist as a right-wing opportunist for months. If they believe Meek is the best candidate, they'll stick with Meek anyway.

Some African-American voters voted for Crist for governor--but that was because they believed he was the best candidate, not out of any sense of strategic voting.

The vast majority of voters who aren't political junkies, don't do strategic voting.

Posted by: sinz52 | October 28, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

I would rather vote for Meeks, but I am going ahead and vote for Crist. Meeks was really too junior to run for Senate, particularly since he was a virtual unknown in most of the state. He has run a good campaign and should stay involved in politics.

Even if Rubio wins, it is important that he receive as small a percentage as possible. He needs to clearly know that pursuing the far right agenda is a losing long term proposition in FL. If he polls less than 40% he clearly has no mandate even if he wins.

Posted by: chucko2 | October 28, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Kendrick Meek comes across as a nice guy. He worked diligently to get his party's nomination for the Senate. But he never got very far in terms of name recognition, especially against a fairly conspicuous incumbent governor (helped by the Gulf oil spill) and the apparently irresistible Marco Rubio, who could conceivably be running for president two years from now.

I gave the Meek campaign a small contribution, then reluctantly voted for Crist, realizing that Rubio will finish far ahead of both, barring a huge, nasty surprise (unless early voting's already given him enough votes to win).

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | October 28, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Clinton, like his wife has no redeeming qualities. No ethics, no integrity and the morals of an alley cat. No offense meant for alley cats.

Posted by: LarryG62 | October 28, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

This is the first story I am reading about this revelation, and boy, it is a revelation.

Democrats, eat your young to save the party! Forget about the American people and their interests and needs, you as a party need to stay in power!

Uh, Republicans screwed this country with the war in Iraq, now, the Democrats screw us inside the border with the legislative attacks of health care, stimulus, and financial reforms. So, voters who have not made the mistake of voting early, which this garbage clearly has reinforced as the issue at hand, my advice is simple and direct:

don't vote for any incumbent more than 12 years in office or just votes party line as predictable as going to the toilet to have a bowel movement, AND, for Florida voters, vote for Meeks!

Because if I was him, not only rejecting this disgusting request shows he is an independent thinker, but, he has integrity.

I voted for Clinton in 1992, the one time I voted for a majority party candidate in my 30 plus years as a registered voter, and to this day realize what a mistake it was! Republocrats, or henceforth for me Repugnocraps, do not really care about the American people. Realize this, or, keep the status quo and watch it become yet further the status woe!!!

I hope this story buries the Democraps!!!

Posted by: Joelhassfam4 | October 28, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

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