Meek beats back rumors of him dropping out of campaign

The other interesting news was a piece of pure speculation gobbled together by Stephen Moore, formerly of the Club for Growth and now a columnist with the Wall Street Journal, in which we mused that:

Republican leaders in the Sunshine State are fretting that a deal may be in the works to get Democratic nominee Kendrick Meek out of the Florida Senate race in order to boost Charlie Crist's flagging chances of beating Republican Marco Rubio.

However, Moore offers not a scintilla of evidence to back up his claim, other than the obvious realities that Meek is struggling and many Democrats have joined the Crist flotilla, even though it's looking leakier by the day.

The Meek camp released this statement last night:

When told The Wall Street Journal had published a rumor he would drop out of the Florida senate race, Kendrick Meek laughed out loud.

"I'm taking a stand against the radical right.  Marco Rubio has always been the Tea Party candidate and yesterday Charlie Crist says he wants to crash the Tea Party, too.  I'm the only candidate who's fighting for the middle class and I'm not going anywhere except the United States Senate," Meek said.

"If you want to stop the privatization of Social Security and Medicare, stop more tax cuts for the wealthy, stop more special interest tax breaks, stop more environmental destruction and stop more jobs being shipped overseas, I'm asking you to take a stand with me.

"Because if they want to go back to the Bush years, they're going to have to go through this six foot three inch former state trooper."

Fighting words indeed.  No, the odds are looking worse everyday against Kendrick Meek.  But he does have his integrity and spirit, and he exemplified that yesterday in telling the Sierra Club, thanks, but no thanks.

Kendrick Meek had an interesting Thursday.

Fresh off a feisty performance in Wednesday night's debate, which might have brought more Democratic voters back home to him in contrast to Charlie Crist's uneven performance, the Miami Democrat was insulted when the Sierra Club announced that they were endorsing both him and Charlie Crist, though there is more than enough evidence to indicate that the Club's co-endorsement was more political than usual.

You can read our report on that co-endorsement (and Meek's rebuke of it) here.

In a way, it wasn't surprising.  Over the last year and a half, even though Charlie Crist has in many ways reversed himself on his very progressive pro-environment agenda over the first couple of years in his administration, I've found environmentalists in this state, and specifically some Sierra Club members, who fall all over themselves in sticking up for the Governor, blaming many of his actions (or lack of actions) on working with a recalcitrant GOP Legislature.

Though there is probably some truth to that, it seems that when as an environmental organization (or any organization) comes to their endorsement, picking between a candidate who has a steadfast background in supporting your causes vs. one who seemingly picks and chooses, the choice might be obvious.

But let's face it - Crist is considered by most people to be still (barely)viable against Marco Rubio, whereas Meek is not.

And endorsements are, by their nature, blatantly political, as Club officials admitted yesterday in saying their true point was to indicate how dangerous they felt Marco Rubio would be for the environment if he wins in November.

But that doesn't diminish the fact that Meek's rejection of the endorsement was one of his finest moments as a candidate.

(Incidentally, the League of Conservation Voters has yet to weight in on the race, but weeks ago, one of its officials said that they were seriously split between Crist and Meek.  That's despite the fact that Meek has a 100% voting record with the group).

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