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GOP leader welcomes Sen. 'Gene' LeMieux

George LeWho?

It's bad enough that incoming Sen. George LeMieux will be viewed as Gov. Charlie Crist's lackey over the next 16 months. But in a sign that he'll be challenged to forge an identity even within his own party, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell called him "Gene'' at least twice at a fundraiser last night at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.

According to donors who were there, Sen. Mel Martinez tried to correct McConnell, but Kentucky's longest-serving senator didn't acknowledge his mistake. The incoming freshman didn't speak up either.

Welcome to America's most elite political club -- whatever your name is.