Soaring with Harris, or "falling with style"?

A report from the Senate's saddest campaign.

Published August 18, 2006 2:26PM (EDT)

The event was called "Soaring for the Senate," and the idea was to show off some of the high-profile endorsements Katherine Harris has received. The problem? As the Orlando Sentinel reports, not one of the nine endorsing officials listed on Harris' event flier showed up for Thursday's event, and one of them said that he actually supports somebody else in the race.

Harris sounds hurt about that last one. "They called back twice and said he'd be here," she tells the Sentinel. "He said he was going to be here on the stage with me today."

The candidate ended up speaking Thursday to a crowd of about 40 -- and that included her staff, security and press -- in a giant airplane hangar that seemed to mock her lack of drawing power. Harris says that turnout was hurt by a last-minute location change that was made necessary when a tree fell on the hangar where the event was supposed to have been held. The Sentinel checked with airport officials, however, and learned a) that no hangar had been damaged by a tree, and b) that the rally was held right where it was always going to be held.

To be fair, Harris does have her supporters. She just doesn't have very many of them, and they're not too enthusiastic about it. The Sentinel quotes U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney, who endorsed Harris a year ago and now seems to feel a sense of duty to stand by her. Asked about his plight, Feeney tells the Sentinel: "I won't disclose publicly what I said to Katherine privately. But that notwithstanding, she decided to run ... It's very sad."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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