I asked him what he thought of the state of his party, seeing that high ranking Florida Democrats are touting him as gubernatorial material. Does that mean they have little confidence in the declared (that would be former Senate Minority Leader Nan Rich) or soon to be declared opponents of Rick Scott?
The mention of Scott seemed to fire up the senator, "Floridians are desperate to get out of the clutches of this Tea Party government that has been slashing education, slashing transportation, refuses to take the federal government money to set up the health insurance exchange, refuses to take the billions of dollars, $60 billion from the federal government to expand health care through Medicaid to 1.2 million people in this state who are eligible ... this is the kind of nonsense in the state of Florida government today, so people are upset and they're looking for a choice."
WFST reporter-anchor Sarina Fazan then got a bit meta with Nelson, asking if he ran and won as governor, would he appoint Charlie Crist to replace him in the Senate, "which is what he wanted in the first place," she said.
The venerable lawmaker looked absolutely perplexed by Fazan's line of thinking, and didn't even attempt to go there. Instead — and as he has said in countless other interviews recently — he stressed the experience and stature he's gained in the Democratic Caucus ranks, though he admitted that he's frustrated with the level of intransigence being promulgated by some Republicans.
"I want you to know I've got my hands full in D.C. being senator from a big state like Florida," he pronounced. "I know I have some seniority, I'm a chairman of a major committee (Committee on Aging), and since Senator Rockefeller announced that he's retiring, I will be the chairman of the Commerce Science and Transportation Committee in another year and a half. I love the U.S. senate, what I don't love is this ideological rigidity and this excessive partisanship that has got us in gridlock, where it's hard to do anything! And so I'm trying to change that as a common sense consensus builder to make government work."
He finished up by saying, "Now, I'm going to try that in the Senate, which is why I have no plans to run for governor."
Well, that should end that. At least until his next press conference.