Florida's Poster Child For Mental Illness
Got time for some Katherine Harris laughs today?
Between stops, Ms. Harris portrays herself as something of a populist under siege from "Washington Republicans" and a liberal news media. "I don't have the Beltway mentality," she said. "And I never go along to get along. So I think it's a little threatening to those in power."
If that didn’t send the coffee through your nose,
"O.K., so President Bush does not support her," said Representative John L. Mica, a Florida Republican who is close to Ms. Harris. "President Bush is at 30 percent." Mr. Mica added that Ms. Harris was previously criticized for being "a tool of the Bushes," which should not be a problem anymore.
"The campaign can't be about her," Governor Bush told reporters last month. "I gave her that exact advice. Since then, it's gotten worse."
Get your napkin ready . . .
Like most politicians who are behind in polls, Ms. Harris says she does not pay attention to them. But she cited her own "internal polls," which she said showed that she could get 53 percent of the vote "if my base turns out."
Yes, but in order for your "base" to turn out, peyote-girl, you'd have to empty the asylums around the globe and immediately hand those folks a "Welcome to Florida" voter registration package along with their meds.
Get another napkin . . .
In interviews, Ms. Harris projects a somewhat frenetic personality, speaking in rapid-fire cadences, fussing incessantly with her hair and barraging aides with questions and road directions ("We have a detour to Starbucks on the way. ... Quickest way to Venice is down Fruitville"). Sometimes she will burst forth midsentence upon noticing something out the window ("Hey, there's one of my bumper stickers!").
She is especially animated when the topic turns to animals, including the guide dog she plans to train starting in November. She will care for the dog for 18 months, spending nearly all her waking hours with it. "You can't let them sleep in bed with you," Ms. Harris said. "Which is going to be harder on me than the dog."
What? Paging Rick Santorum ….
When a supporter in a Venice veterans hall said he once witnessed Ms. Harris leave her vehicle to escort a turtle across a highway, she became gravely serious.
"All of my life I have stopped for turtles," she said firmly, even defensively, as if someone had challenged her commitment to turtle safety.First, it was college reporters, and now dogs and turtles are not safe from Harris's charms.
Please keep these stories coming.