U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, Florida's highest ranking Democratic official, continues his aggressive public relations campaign against national party bureaucrats threatening to punish Florida for leapfrogging its presidential primary over other states. In a column in today's USA Today, he writes, "And it's ironic, because this year, after heartbreaking losses in 2000 and 2004, Democrats supposedly are united in their determination to win the presidency. That's hard to do when you tell 4 million Florida Democrats they don't count."
Some Democratic leaders are privately grumbling that the senator may be trying to help his colleague in the Senate, Hillary Clinton, who currently has the most to lose if Florida's primary doesn't count at the national convention. Nelson hasn't endorsed, but U.S. Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Alcee Hastings, who have also been outspoken, are Clinton supporters.
Nelson's column is billed as the newspaper's "opposing view" to its editorial supporting the national party's crackdown on rogue states like Florida. "Finally, some adult supervision is coming to the process of picking presidential nominees...Florida's argument essentially boils down to one frequently invoked by schoolyard bullies and self-important celebrities: We deserve to go to the head of the line, we're too important to obey the rules and we dare you to stop us."