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Al Gore's comments over the weekend, calling the Florida Democratic candidate for Senate Alex Panelas "the single most treacherous and dishonest person I dealt with" during the 2000 election, has resulted in a strong riposte from current Florida Senators Bill Nelson and Bob Graham. Both Democrats scold Gore for injecting "slash-and-burn" politics, possibly damaging the candidate Gore endorsed:
Sen. Bill Nelson questioned Gore's decision to inject himself into the race, saying it hurts the party's ability to keep retiring Sen. Bob Graham's seat and threatens a key state for presidential candidate John Kerry. Graham called Penelas, the mayor of Miami-Dade County, "a good Democrat."
Both Graham and Nelson have said they will not endorse a candidate in the Democratic primary but that they felt compelled to come to Penelas' defense in light of Gore's remarks. "This slash-and-burn politics has gotten us to the point that it is causing gridlock in America," Nelson said.
Several Democrats spoke on Penelas' behalf after Gore issued a statement to The Miami Herald published on Sunday praising one of Penelas' two main rivals, Rep. Peter Deutsch.
Deutsch may learn how effective a Gore endorsement can be in the upcoming primary. With the former VP's attack on Panelas, many Florida Democrats who otherwise would have stayed clear of the primary now feel obligated to defend Panelas' honor. After all, Panelas still represents Democratic leadership in a slightly Republican area, thus showing some crossover ability that Democrats need in November, at all levels of the ballot. Panelas' defenders also neuter the hoary canard of the stolen election in 2000 that drives the madness of Prince Albert, implicitly acknowledging that not only did Panelas have little hope of affecting the result of the recount, and not only did the recount eventually still show that Bush won, but that had Al Gore done what every single winner in Presidential history did and simply carry his home state, he would be President now, and the argument would be moot.
How long before the Democrats understand what a destructive force Gore has become and cut him loose?Sphere It View blog reactions
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Captain Ed has an entertaining post about Al Gore's continuing quest for complete and total self-immolation: Al Gore's comments over the weekend, calling the Florida Democratic candidate for Senate Alex Panelas "the single most treacherous and dishones... [Read More]
Tracked on June 8, 2004 12:23 PM
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