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Politico: Clinton tried to get Meek to drop out

Politico: Bill Clinton sought to persuade Rep. Kendrick Meek to drop out of the race for Senate during a trip to Florida last week – and nearly succeeded.

Meek agreed – twice – to drop out and endorse Governor Charlie Crist’s independent bid in a last-ditch effort to stop the Marco Rubio, the Republican nominee who stands on the cusp of national stardom.

Meek, a staunch Clinton ally from Miami, has failed to broaden his appeal around the state and is mired in third place in most public polls, with a survey today showing him with just 15% of the vote. His withdrawal, polls suggest, would throw core Democratic voters to the moderate governor, rocking a complicated three-way contest and likely throwing the election to Crist.

The former President’s top aide, Doug Band, initially served as the intermediary between Meek and Crist, and Clinton became involved only when Meek signaled that he would seriously consider the option, Clinton spokesman Matt McKenna confirmed to POLITICO.

“The argument was: ‘You can be a hero here. You can stop him, you can change this race in one swoop,’” said another Democrat familiar with the conversations, who said Clinton had bluntly told Meek that he couldn’t win the race.

More here.

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