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Shortcut to U.S. Senate runs through Broward

 Eight years ago, the young chairman of the Broward Republican Party appealed to his cohorts to stay out of a divisive petition drive to overturn the county's gay rights law. "GOP UNITY'' read the banner he unfurled as he walked through a hushed crowd, arguing that the petition would distract from the party's true goal -- electing Republicans.

The young party leader was George LeMieux, tapped by Gov. Charlie Crist on Friday to fill Mel Martinez's unfinished Senate term until the governor can win the post himself in the 2010 election.

The shortcut for a Republican who never won elected office to America's most exclusive political club began in the state's Democratic stronghold. The anti-gay petition drive failed, while LeMieux mobilized a turnout befitting a presidential candidate for Gov. Jeb Bush's reelection. Like Crist, he learned a politically calculated lesson that winning -- not ideology -- is what matters.

Full column here.


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Mr. LeMieux may well be a very competent and loyal aide to Crist, but this appointment by the Governor marks the beginning of the end for Crist's race for the Senate.

Crist needed to appoint someone who has the "gravitas" or high degree of respect and influence from years of experience working with both political parties.

Crist's appointment of LeMieux, smells like a backroom deal, good ole' boy cronyism with a strong after taste of corruption and political payback for "services rendered."

The Governor had an chance to shine but instead, he squandered this very important opportunity.

This choice will only anger the conservative base even more than it is now and give much needed ammunition to the Democrats at a time when the Republican brand needs a much-needed boost.

It is a grave mistake for the Governor to appoint his former campaign chief and former chief of staff to such a prestigious post as the United States Senate. No offense to Mr. LeMieux, personaly, it's just the reality of the matter.

Remember what Joseph "Joe" Kennedy always said:

"It's Not What You Are That Counts, It's What People Think You Are That Counts."

The above quote may be unfair but we all know its true.

Let's Go Marco!

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