How bad is it when a candidate would rather have Gore than Obama?
Ask Kendrick Meek, the Democratic Senate candidate in Florida. Even the UK’s Telegraph noticed some interesting things, such as Meek never mentioned Obama once at the rally with Gore.
But, then, neither did Gore.
In Tampa, neither Mr Gore nor Mr Meek made direct reference to Mr Obama’s historic health care legislation, his proudest achievement, or the financial bailout. Both measures are unpopular with all but hardcore Democratic supporters.
Two years ago, every Democrat in the country was invoking Mr Obama’s name as they hoped to ride on his coat-tails to electoral victory. This year, he is a near-pariah, with many of the party’s candidates doing everything they can to distance themselves from him.
Gore also came in for a bit of heckling. When he mentioned “giving in to corporate special interests”, someone in the crowd yelled, “like you!”
But interestingly most of the people there seemed more nostalgic for Clinton/Gore than Obama/Biden. Meek called the Clinton/Gore team, "stellar public elected figures who once served and are still giving". People interviewed while leaving the event seemed resigned to the fact that the Obama administration was probably not long for this world:
"I was thinking that if we could get Clinton back in and Gore back in we might do something in this country," said Robert Henry, 62 a retired soldier. His wife Susan, 59, said that Obama was unlucky because he "got handed an absolute train wreck" while Gore "reminds us of good times, of prosperity and peace".
When the partisans have concluded that the “good times” are no more, support is most likely not going to develop on election day as Obama and the party hope it will.
Meek and Gore were there to rally support for Meek and tell them how well he’s starting to do. Said Gore, "Kendrick’s going up like a skyrocket", while Marco Rubio is just “bumbling along”.
Rubio leads Meek 46 to 18 in the most recent polls. Charlie Crist is at 33.
And a reminder as the media tries to paint all the Tea Party candidates is extremist and out of the main stream – unlikely to win in the general election. Rubio is the Tea Party pick in FL.