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Harris -- finally -- hits her stride
Sarasota Herald Tribune ^ | 11/3/06 | SARA LUBBES

Posted on 11/04/2006 8:09:47 AM PST by dukeman

Even critics are impressed with her debate performances, but experts say it's just too late

ORLANDO -- Virtually out of money, abandoned by state Republican leaders and ridiculed by her detractors, Rep. Katherine Harris is refusing to fade into the background in the final days of her U.S. Senate bid.

Instead, she is becoming more visible, scheduling one of her busiest series of public appearances in weeks and advertising on television for the first time in months.

Even Harris' critics say she has surprised them in her two debates against Sen. Bill Nelson, avoiding the gaffes that have dogged her in the past and showing a greater command of the issues.

"It was somewhat of a success for her," said her former spokesman Chris Ingram, who was one of several campaign staffers to quit the campaign during its struggles. "She did really well for Katherine."

If Harris had presented the public image voters saw in the final debate Wednesday, it is likely some staffers would not have bailed on her, Ingram said.

But most political analysts said Harris' efforts are too little, too late. She trails Nelson by as much as 30 points in the latest polls.

"There's no reason to think she can turn it around," said Nathan Gonzales, political editor of the nonpartisan Rothenberg Report.

"A large majority of voters in Florida have made up their mind about Katherine Harris. There's nothing she can do."

Jim Dornan, Harris' former campaign manager, who was part of a wave of staffers who quit a year ago, agreed that Harris has wasted too much time and needed to focus on rallying independent voters months ago.

"She's begun to get her campaign together, but it's entirely too late," he said.

But political experts said Harris probably won some votes Wednesday in the last of two debates with Nelson.

Seated across from Nelson at a table, Harris challenged Nelson's voting record on tax increases and defended her proposal to dismantle the federal income tax in favor of a national sales tax.

When NBC host and moderator Tim Russert cited studies that say the plan only benefit the rich, Harris rebutted him, citing facts and figures that previously she has struggled to articulate.

"If only she could rewind the clock about eight months," said Aubrey Jewett, assistant professor of political science at the University of Central Florida, who attended the debate Wednesday.

Ingram, her former campaign spokesman, said Harris appeared more viable in the debates than the caricature trumpeted by her critics.

"To a less-informed voter, she probably came across certainly much better," Ingram said. "She didn't trip over herself and create new problems."

Harris' new strategy for the last five days of campaigning is to take her message to public forums for the first time in weeks.

After stumping at church gatherings and other events closed to the media, Harris plans to wave signs and shake hands on a college campus and a downtown business area in Lakeland today.

On Saturday, she plans to attend a Clearwater gun show and a "Harris for Senate" rally at Sumter County's GOP headquarters.

At the same time, Harris seems to be preparing her supporters for defeat.

She confirmed on Wednesday that she is writing a "tell-all" book about the conspiracy to undermine her Senate bid.

While she would not go into detail, Harris has said for months she has copies of former staffers' e-mails that prove they were working against her and for the competition.

"You'll just have to wait and see," she said, when asked about the book after Wednesday's debate.

But Ingram, who worked for Harris from April to July, said he saw no evidence of a conspiracy, even though he said Harris instructed him to help search for incriminating e-mails.

He noted the numerous staffers who bailed on Harris' campaign earlier this year are all die-hard Republicans who wouldn't work for a Democrat behind her back.

"It's just typical Katherine, playing the victim," Ingram said.

"Katherine, say whatever you want, I could care less. No one's interested. No one cares."

Just bringing up the book could be a mistake, because it reminds voters of the "soap opera" that has been surrounding Harris for months, Jewett said.

"It's a distraction," he said.


TOPICS: Politics/Elections; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: harris; katherineharris
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1 posted on 11/04/2006 8:09:48 AM PST by dukeman
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To: dukeman

Well, one thing for sure, the gal's got balls.


2 posted on 11/04/2006 8:11:20 AM PST by pissant
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To: dukeman

I hope this fine woman wins...I truely respect her.


3 posted on 11/04/2006 8:11:24 AM PST by advertising guy
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To: pissant

ditto that


4 posted on 11/04/2006 8:11:46 AM PST by advertising guy
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To: pissant

and breasts! Her mistake is not letting them out more during the campaign. Would have been good for at least 5% points! :P


5 posted on 11/04/2006 8:14:22 AM PST by MAD-AS-HELL (why n)
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To: MAD-AS-HELL

They do seem like nice ones.


6 posted on 11/04/2006 8:15:31 AM PST by pissant
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To: pissant

Well, too bad she wasn't more effective as a campaigner. The fact she is a lightning rod due to the 2000 election didn't help.


7 posted on 11/04/2006 8:17:09 AM PST by MAD-AS-HELL (why n)
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To: pissant
If only the state GOP had the set that she's packing

.

8 posted on 11/04/2006 8:19:03 AM PST by Elle Bee
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To: advertising guy; pissant; dukeman
Well, one thing for sure, the gal's got balls.
I hope this fine woman wins...I truely respect her

I like her too. It always bothered me that she didn't get more support from her own party.

9 posted on 11/04/2006 8:19:34 AM PST by SmithL (Where are we going? . . . . And why are we in this handbasket????)
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To: pissant

They look friendly, too.


10 posted on 11/04/2006 8:22:41 AM PST by Krankor (kROGER)
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To: dukeman

I voted for her. She would do a yeoman's job if elected.


11 posted on 11/04/2006 8:23:29 AM PST by debg
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To: pissant

balls that clank!

I watched the debate and thought she did great. I'm voting a straight R ticket anyway and am glad she's staunchly conservative.


12 posted on 11/04/2006 8:24:27 AM PST by spacejunkie
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To: debg
Same here, voted for her yesterday. Donated, too.
13 posted on 11/04/2006 8:24:55 AM PST by Caipirabob (Communists... Socialists... Democrats...Traitors... Who can tell the difference?)
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To: dukeman

I would love for Harris to win so she can shove her victory down the throats of the liberal FL MSM who has bashed her non-stop, the GOP elites who stabbed her in the back, and the FReeper hypocrites who scream about "GET OUT, GET OUT AND VOTE REPUBLICAN! WE MUST SUPPORT REPUBLICANS AT ALL COSTS!" but doesn't want it to apply REAL Republicans such as Harris. The abuse this woman has taken on this Forum is mind-boggling, and almost caused me to quit FR in disgust.


14 posted on 11/04/2006 8:25:21 AM PST by Extremely Extreme Extremist
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To: dukeman

When you are down, that's when a lot of people can do their best. Nothing to lose. I hope she surprises eveyone and pulls it off.


15 posted on 11/04/2006 8:25:34 AM PST by CindyDawg
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To: spacejunkie

I'd be so delighted if she won, just because of the nasty press she's had to endure for so many years.


16 posted on 11/04/2006 8:25:47 AM PST by pepperdog (I hate the lying MSM)
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To: dukeman
Trails nelson by 30 points??? Is that even possible?
17 posted on 11/04/2006 8:27:05 AM PST by Hildy
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To: MAD-AS-HELL
You really think her breasts would get her poll numbers up?

Well now we are really in the gutter.

18 posted on 11/04/2006 8:27:27 AM PST by Always Right
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To: Always Right

She could try to rack up some points.


19 posted on 11/04/2006 8:30:09 AM PST by Paladin2 (Islam is the religion of violins, NOT peas.)
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To: Hildy
Trails nelson by 30 points??? Is that even possible?

No. Not in a state with a GOP super majority in the state govt and a Bush as Gov.

20 posted on 11/04/2006 8:30:16 AM PST by corkoman
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To: dukeman

a woman with brains, courage, principles and beauty.

the perfect combination.


21 posted on 11/04/2006 8:30:50 AM PST by ripley
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist
I would love for Harris to win so she can shove her victory down the throats of the liberal FL MSM who has bashed her non-stop, the GOP elites who stabbed her in the back, and the FReeper hypocrites who scream about "GET OUT, GET OUT AND VOTE REPUBLICAN! WE MUST SUPPORT REPUBLICANS AT ALL COSTS!" but doesn't want it to apply REAL Republicans such as Harris. The abuse this woman has taken on this Forum is mind-boggling, and almost caused me to quit FR in disgust.

Totally worth repeating.

22 posted on 11/04/2006 8:31:23 AM PST by Ladysmith ((NRA, SAS) Gun owners have illustrated rights are individual and can be protected by individuals.)
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To: Always Right

I was being sarcastic. Breasts/cleavage only help to sell hot wings and cars.


23 posted on 11/04/2006 8:32:06 AM PST by MAD-AS-HELL (why n)
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To: Always Right

From 'Airplane':

No wonder you're upset. She's lovely. And a darling figure... supple, pouting breasts... firm thighs. It's a shame you two don't get along.


24 posted on 11/04/2006 8:35:39 AM PST by Crawdad (Is this thing on?)
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To: Ladysmith

"I would love for Harris to win so she can shove her victory down the throats of the liberal FL MSM who has bashed her non-stop, the GOP elites who stabbed her in the back, and the FReeper hypocrites who scream about "GET OUT, GET OUT AND VOTE REPUBLICAN! WE MUST SUPPORT REPUBLICANS AT ALL COSTS!" but doesn't want it to apply REAL Republicans such as Harris. The abuse this woman has taken on this Forum is mind-boggling, and almost caused me to quit FR in disgust.
Totally worth repeating."

And Repeating again!


25 posted on 11/04/2006 8:36:54 AM PST by HuntsvilleTxVeteran ("Remember the Alamo, Goliad and WACO, It is Time for a new San Jacinto")
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To: pepperdog
I'd be so delighted if she won, just because of the nasty press she's had to endure for so many years.

Me too!

26 posted on 11/04/2006 8:36:59 AM PST by dukeman
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To: MAD-AS-HELL

Booze. Don't forget booze.


27 posted on 11/04/2006 8:37:04 AM PST by Scotsman will be Free (11C - Indirect fire, infantry - High angle hell - We will bring you, FIRE)
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To: dukeman

Time for the horse pic.


28 posted on 11/04/2006 8:38:04 AM PST by Petronski (CNN is an insidiously treasonous, enemy propaganda organ.)
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To: dukeman

Where's the pics?


29 posted on 11/04/2006 8:38:43 AM PST by US_MilitaryRules (Time to eradicated islambs and mooselimbs! GO PTSC)
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To: Ladysmith

I'm with you, Ladysmith. This woman has used her own money, and did not cave to the NRCC. Love to see her win!

30 posted on 11/04/2006 8:41:21 AM PST by radar101 (LIBERALS = Hypocrisy and Fantasy)
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To: Joe Brower; NautiNurse; JulieRNR21

"A large majority of voters in Florida have made up their mind about Katherine Harris."


Yes, and voted FOR her.


31 posted on 11/04/2006 8:42:19 AM PST by windchime (I consider the left one of the fronts on the WOT.)
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To: pissant
"Well, one thing for sure, the gal's got balls."

So does hillary - but we sure don't want to see 'em...!

32 posted on 11/04/2006 8:42:48 AM PST by Dacus943
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To: Ladysmith

33 posted on 11/04/2006 8:43:20 AM PST by radar101 (LIBERALS = Hypocrisy and Fantasy)
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To: Dacus943

Seriously, you all are starting to assemble a Frankenwoman with boobs and balls!!

LOLOL


34 posted on 11/04/2006 8:45:16 AM PST by spacejunkie
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To: MAD-AS-HELL

I'm definately voting for the ta-ta's.....Just kidding. I'm voting for her BECAUSE of what the "Democrats Lite" did to her.


35 posted on 11/04/2006 8:46:43 AM PST by jrg
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To: radar101

Hmmm, maybe the venomous old bats in the Republican social clubs are just jealous!


36 posted on 11/04/2006 8:47:08 AM PST by Libertina
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To: dukeman

I voted Harris and all Rs.


37 posted on 11/04/2006 8:47:18 AM PST by Unicorn (Too many wimps around.)
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To: windchime

Katherine Harris, looking her best before an encounter with the press.

38 posted on 11/04/2006 8:47:41 AM PST by radar101 (LIBERALS = Hypocrisy and Fantasy)
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist

I'm voting for her Tuesday! I don't trust the early voting in Florida. Lot of things already gone missing already. The poll workers in my district are little beyond retirement. At least on Tuesday there will be more volunteers and watchdogs.


39 posted on 11/04/2006 8:48:20 AM PST by poobear (Political Left, continually accusing their foes of what THEY themselves do every day.)
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To: radar101

The thing is she DIDN'T "do a favor" for Republicans. She FOLLOWED THE LAW! I'm so sick of that fact being twisted.


40 posted on 11/04/2006 8:48:30 AM PST by Libertina
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To: dukeman

Loyality is a one-way street with the Bushes it seems.

She deserved a lot better support. IMO


41 posted on 11/04/2006 8:50:03 AM PST by Finalapproach29er (Dems will impeach Bush if given a chance.)
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To: dukeman

"Never give in, never, never, never, never; in nothing, great or small--never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense." - Sir Winston Leonard Spenser Churchill, Prime Minister, United Kingdom, 1941-1946


42 posted on 11/04/2006 8:50:24 AM PST by pabianice
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist
The abuse this woman has taken on this Forum is mind-boggling, and almost caused me to quit FR in disgust.

That would have shown them!

43 posted on 11/04/2006 8:50:59 AM PST by Romney08 (Saxton For Oregon Governor)
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To: pissant

"Well, one thing for sure, the gal's got balls."

That's not all she has!


44 posted on 11/04/2006 8:51:32 AM PST by BW2221
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To: radar101
Incredible, isn't it? Harris did exactly what she was supposed to do in her position back in 2000, showing her trustworthiness and character. They were the kind qualities we want from the GOP...

And they wonder why people don't want to put their necks out and run for office.

One thing for sure, if she wins this, it sure won't something the GOP can claim any credit for. It'll be Providence all over again.

45 posted on 11/04/2006 8:53:16 AM PST by Ladysmith ((NRA, SAS) Gun owners have illustrated rights are individual and can be protected by individuals.)
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To: dukeman

After her practically singlehandedly having the guts in '00 to follow the rule of law and keep Al Gore from stealing the election, this is the thanks she gets from Republicans. Shameful, all of them!!


46 posted on 11/04/2006 8:53:39 AM PST by beckysueb (Pray for President Bush and our country.)
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To: dukeman

She got my vote.


47 posted on 11/04/2006 8:54:19 AM PST by Schnucki ("When a mullah calls, an undertaker is sure to follow." -- old Persian saying)
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To: radar101

Nice pic...I had not seen it until now.

Thanks


48 posted on 11/04/2006 8:54:30 AM PST by gruntSGT (Can anyone help me tell me the difference between Lindsey Graham and John Kerry?)
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To: Libertina

Oh yeah--She could have let the Democrats hide a few bllots, or, let them "Disqualify " ballots (Like they did for the Military in some parts of Florida).
She made them count honestly.
In the face of an overwhelmingly Liberal region, that took some courage.


49 posted on 11/04/2006 8:56:36 AM PST by radar101 (LIBERALS = Hypocrisy and Fantasy)
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To: SmithL
.


SmithL,


It always bothered me that she didn't get more support from her own party.


My bet is that the GOP's made a secret deal with Democrat Bill Nelson ...

Bill Nelson votes "yes" to confirm Bush's future SCOTUS nominees ... and GOP-FL abandons Katherine Harris ...


I'm still voting for Katherine anyway ...

Never Surrender !


Patton-at-Bastogne

"May God and His Angels Guard Your Sacred Throne, and May You Long Become It."

Shakespeare, Henry V, Act I, Scene II


.
50 posted on 11/04/2006 8:56:44 AM PST by Patton@Bastogne
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