Monday, April 03, 2006

Queen of de-nial

Our very own Baghdad Bob appears to be in deep denial.
I'm referring, of course, to Katherine Harris, the one-time Florida Republican secretary of state who made her bones in the 2000 election overtime by ruling for candidate George W. Bush at every key juncture. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Harris has been running for the U.S. Senate in Florida this year, seeking to oust Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson - a race the GOP would dearly love to win, because Nelson's removal would virtually ensure that Bush's party retains its Senate majority in November.
But the problem right now is that the Harris campaign is imploding in a spectacular fashion that is virtually unprecedented in a major Senate race. For that reason alone, it is worth noting.
And the only person who doesn't seem to realize this is Harris herself, who seems determined to behave like Baghdad Bob. He was the flak for Saddam Hussein, known to his comrades as Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, who used to make jaw-dropping statements that had no relationship with reality. (April 7, 2003, at a time when U.S. troops were flooding the streets of Baghdad: "The Americans are not there. They're not in Baghdad. There are no troops there. Never. They're not at all.")
Harris, who was lionized at a 2001 Inaugural Ball as another Joan of Arc, keeps issuing statements about how her Senate campaign is alive and well ("we are stronger as a campaign today than we were yesterday," she declared on Sunday) -- an interesting perspective given the fact that, in a short period of time, she has been on the receiving end of resignations from:
Her chief political strategist.
Her director of field operations.
Her campaign manager.
Her campaign press secretary.
Her campaign treasurer.
Her pollster.
Her media consultant.
Her national financial director.
And the traveling aide who dispensed bumper stickers.
She was never the GOP's first choice for the race - because of her polarizing reputation (she will galvanize Democrats to show up en masses in November) and because, frankly, a lot of Republican insiders simply don't like her very much - and that was even before she got hit with questions about why she took $32,000 in illegal campaign contributions from disgraced defense contractor Mitchell Wade, who recently pleaded guilty to bribing a California congressman.
At this point, Harris apparently has only one option left, the option often taken by politicians who are locked in a downward spiral. And, of course, she is taking it already:
She's blaming the media, which she says has "relentlessly and personally" attacked her.
She's promising to name a new team of aides tomorrow. No word yet on whether Baghdad Bob submitted a resume.