Kendrick Meek Death Watch: Meek's Lack of Netroots Savvy
Kenneth Quinnell asked several progressive bloggers (myself included) for imput on the Kendrick Meek. I can't go into my converstation with Kenneth. Peter Schorsch of Saint Petersblog 2.0 posted an intelligent online response to Quinnell.
Schorsch is correct that Meek needs to spend more time in the I-4 corridor and sealing up the black vote in Central Florida. The fact that Meek ran most of the race largely unopposed (until Jeff Greene came onto the scene) and he hasn't received all the endorsements of Democratic officials is shocking. Greene has been able to get even with Meek in the polls because Meek doesn't inspire the base.
Anther faction of the Democratic Party that Kendrick Meek has yet to lock up is the Netroots. And this was suppose to be his strength, especially with with the signing of Kenneth Quinnell. Yet, despite Quinnell’s efforts and hard work, the liberal blogintelligensia is not firmly behind Meek. Sure, some of the most liberal bloggers are with Meek, but certainly not the majority. The Reid Report, Opinion Matters, Pushing Rope, Recreating Tampa, (my) Saint Petersblog…all of these sites have remained dangerously neutral.
Peter, Joy-Ann Reid and I get read by many media and political insiders. I am sure Peter and Joy-Ann have received e-mails about not being team players and supporting Meek. The Dennis Stackhouse scandal and hawkish Israel policy makes Meek a more socially liberal version of Marco Rubio. That isn't the kind of candidate I want to be a cheerleader for.
Peter has another suggestion that I can do one better on.
Buy the blogosphere. Ten or twenty grand in advertising spread among twenty blogs would gain you a cadre of shock troops that you desperately need in the coming months. I’ll make a deal with you. If you advertise on the other 14 major liberal blogs, you don’t have to on Saint Petersblog (unless you really want to), just so long as you do it.
Meek could have a fundraising drive on Crooks and Liars. Alan Grayson had one and it was extremely successful. I don't think Meek gets the internet. Quinnell hasn't been able to connect the Meek campaign to the A list progressive blogs. Meek needs Firedoglake and Daily Kos Not Pushing Rope.
So, Congressman Meek, if you don’t do something dramatic now, when you are at 14% in the polls, about to be overtaken by Jeff Greene, you will end up losing. If not in August, then in November.
I don't think Meek is a talented enough politician to beat Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio. The news media has ignored Meek because, let's face it, the guy is boring on TV. Lacking charisma and having a fundraising disadvantage would be a hard obstacle to overcome in a good year for Democrats. Meek is running in an anti-Democrat establishment year against two two non-Democratic politicians with a national media profile. I am not even sure Meek can beat Jeff Greene. I know the Democratic establishment has no idea what they will do if Greene wins.
The establishment forced Dan Gelber and Pam Iorio from running in the Senate race. Clearing the field because the Clintons are fond of Connie Meek was a fucking stupid mistake. Meek won his mother's seat in the Florida legislature and Congress. This is a politician who never ran a tough race in his life. The establishment was foolish in thinking Meek could beat Crist and Rubio.
President Obama did a well-staged photo-op with Crist in Pensacola. The White House won't publicly support Crist. Obama will also not alienate Crist. Obama will not think twice about asking Crist to caucus with the Democrats. The White realizes Meek will lose and they will need Crist's vote.