Desperate candidates

The entertainment value of Katherine Harris.

Published September 1, 2006 1:53PM (EDT)

Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Thomas is urging Floridians to vote for Katherine Harris in next week's Republican primary for one reason and one reason only: the entertainment value. Denying Harris a shot at Democratic Bill Nelson in November would be like "yanking 'Desperate Housewives' halfway through the season," Thomas writes.

"Our very own Bree Van de Kamp puts on that peach sweater, screws a smile on her face and bravely carries on even as her ungrateful Republican family stabs her in the back and the world disintegrates around her. Do you want to miss the meltdown in the season finale? Do you want to miss a debate between Katherine and Bill, with Tim Russert as moderator?"

We sure don't, and we probably won't have to: While her challengers are closing in -- and there are a ton of undecided voters, which is to say voters who probably aren't going to touch a screen for a woman they've had plenty of time to get to know -- Harris still enjoys a double-digit lead over any of her Republican rivals.

But really, we're covered either way. For even if Harris doesn't make it to that debate with Nelson and Russert, we'll always have "Hardball." Harris did nearly eight minutes on the show Thursday with guest host Norah O'Donnell, and we're so grateful that YouTube, via Raw Story, has captured each and every one of them for posterity.

Harris on polls showing that Nelson will "crush" her in November: "You can make polls say whatever you want."

Harris on a former campaign advisor's claim that she said God told her to run: "That's silly, that's just silly. I wouldn't be so presumptuous about what God would say. I think that's up to his own decisions."

Harris on why Republicans seem to have a "great dislike" for her campaign: "I don't think there's a great dislike. In fact, across the board, Republicans have supported me in every place we have gone."

Harris on her role in the Randy "Duke" Cunningham investigation: "I think that's kind of old news, you know. We've moved on. We have a great campaign, and this is not what the people of Florida are interested in."

Harris on the fact that she has lost four campaign managers, four press secretaries and a speechwriter who told friends that the experience of handing in her resignation was "priceless": "We have their e-mail traffic. We know what is behind all of that. We know who has been paid and who isn't, and that will come out after the election."

By Tim Grieve

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

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