« From Temple Israel bema, teen decries "bullying" of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, decries tactics of Mitt Romney congregant | Main | Marco Rubio makes first Cuba visit -- to Guantanamo Bay »

Bill Nelson: cautious campaigner or practictioner of vanilla guide to government?

The world’s greatest deliberative body faces monumental decisions on issues ranging from crushing debt to nukes in Iran. But U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is more likely to be seen fighting monster snakes.

During 12 years in the Senate, the Florida Democrat has maintained a tight focus on the state, rarely missing an opportunity to exploit headlines or take up populist causes, whether sounding alarms over Burmese pythons in the Everglades or Chinese drywall or demanding pensions for ex-Negro League ballplayers in Tampa.

“He is a connoisseur of low-hanging fruit,” said Florida Republican strategist J.M. “Mac” Stipanovich. “The best way to win elections is to not do anything hard. Take the easy issue of the moment, kind of the effervescence, climb all over it and then wait for the next one. You can always find Bill Nelson on the side of the momentary majority, well down in front near the cameras.”

After former NFL players were arrested in Miami on charges of cashing fraudulently obtained tax-refund checks, Nelson traveled there this month to meet a victim. When debate heated up over extending low interest rates on student loans, Nelson visited college campuses in Gainesville and Tampa.

Toxic playgrounds? Nelson files bill to ban arsenic-treated wood. Cops shot in St. Petersburg? Nelson seeks funding for high-tech equipment that can “see through” walls. Newspaper story about high rents for military personnel at MacDill Air Force Base? Nelson demands congressional investigation. Gas prices up? Nelson calls for a crackdown on oil speculators. More here.

-- Alex Leary, Tampa Bay Times

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/05/26/v-fullstory/2821490/sen-bill-nelsons-cautious-approach.html#storylink=cpy


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

harry houdini

He is an "aristocrat" in his own mind and in the mind of a "selective" group of socialites. His in laws are "throne sitters" who still live on the plantation in Jacksonville. What a JOKE! He has been a do nothing US Senator for TOO long. Pull the champagne glass from his wife, please!

Rational Voter

Being a moderate is not vanilla. It just does not provide the media with sensationalistic stories that you crave to sell newspapers or clickthrus. It also does not feed the angry extremists on either side of the isle looking to lambast the candidates on their positions when they take measured and reasonable approaches to our Country's problems. Keep up the good work Senator.


This senator does nothing to help anybody but himself. He is like most of our elected officials and should lose his seat in the next election. Loves to pass laws that are feel good laws , when in fact they damage the freedoms that we all cherish. He is a discgrace.

kristin runkle

he's a political ambulance chaser. he seeks to make people like him by satisfying all immediate whims of potential voters. the problem is while some good is done he has no discretion when choosing between legitimate and helpful issues and a ratings boost piece done by the news channels it's all the same to him. any publicity is good publicity right. so now when any small group complains about anything he'l head a law to "fix" it. soon we won't be able to drive our cars, walk our dogs or go to the beach because some group thinks it's irritating or dangerous and bill nelson wants another 15 mins of fame.

The comments to this entry are closed.