Sunday, September 08, 2002
heraldtribune.com: Southwest Florida's Information Leader
Ladies and Gentlemen, it's this year's recipient of the Annual Republican "Ho We Used and Tossed Aside" Award.
posted by lazarus |
Congress, District 13 In the Republican primary, we make no
Four times the Herald-Tribune has recommended Katherine Harris in an election for public office. The recommendations were made with reservations, sometimes with trepidation, but always in the hope that experience would help Harris harness her extraordinary energy, bring clarity to her views and teach her to avoid those embarrassing blunders.
That hope has vanished.
Mistakes and misjudgments, which continued right through Harris' confounding resignation as secretary of state, can no longer be dismissed as the products of inexperience. Mishaps aren't the exception but the expectation.
Likewise, the startling lack of clarity when Harris discusses public policies and her political vision -- without the aid of scripts or handlers -- can no longer be excused as a byproduct of a novice's uncontained enthusiasm. Desultory responses to questions are the standard, regardless of the stage of her career or the importance of the office sought.
The mistakes might be mitigated if Harris had emerged from eight years in office with a well-defined political vision she could articulate. Instead, "I didn't have a platform when I started running" for Congress, she told us.
A platform has been developed but it falls short, in our view, of addressing the need for a simple, comprehensive prescription- drug benefit for senior citizens and overstates the need to eliminate the estate tax paid by a small number of wealthy Americans. The decision to kick off her campaign with U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay, whose views on the environment and social issues are antithetical to those of most Republicans in District 13, is another reason to question the path Harris would follow, if elected.
The persistence of these concerns is a disappointment, and contributes to the dilemma in the Republican primary for U.S. House of Representatives, District 13.