Viewers of comedian Bill Maher's weekly HBO show Real Time are certainly familiar with his bit that concludes each show called "New Rules." After reading what Bill Nelson said yesterday to a reporter in Washington, I'd suggest my own "New Rule" for Senator Nelson: Quit acting so aggrieved when reporters ask if you might run for governor in 2014, as if it's the most absurd question in the world. We'll keep asking, Senator, as long as you keep on suggesting that you haven't closed the door to such a run.
According to Politico, Nelson told one of the D.C. political website's reporters yesterday that once again, he has no intention of running. Okay, good enough, right? Uh, no. Later in the day, apparently Nelson told another Politico reporter that he might change course if Charlie Crist "gets into trouble." When asked what he meant by that, the 71-year-old Democrat cryptically remarked, "“That’s in the eye of the the beholder."
Look, the scenario that several Democratic party strategists have contemplated all year is that if somehow Charlie Crist wasn't gaining traction with the base, Nelson could come in and save the day, entering the race later than any other Democrat (but no later than the end of winter). If he wants to do that, well, he should. But Senator, stop all the harrumphing and self-righteousness when reporters inevitably ask you the question, even if your press availability is about say, flood insurance. You keep opening the door, so it'd be malpractice for a journalist not to ask you the question, particularly if that's the day you actually decide you are going to enter the contest.
Speaking of contests, the qualifying for the special Congressional election in Pinellas County is over, and state legislator and former South Pasadena Mayor Kathleen Peters got in right before the deadline. It was quite an event yesterday at her press conference announcing her candidacy, accented by the number of local Pinellas County Republicans standing behind her — none more prominent than state Senator Jack Latvala, who made sure everybody knows what he thinks of her biggest opponent in the race, David Jolly. Meanwhile, Jolly told CL that he thinks Latvala's comments were purely political.
And Fort Myers area Republican Congressman Trey Radel made the news in an embarrassing way yesterday. The 37-year-old former TV Newsman was popped for cocaine possession. In his statement, Radel attributed the arrest to a drinking problem...