Dan Gelber's Senate campaign: Is perception reality?
Is Dan Gelber already out of contention for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate? Of course not, though Buzz gets that question regularly. The Miami Beach Democrat, at right, already faces a serious perception problem. Kendrick Meek has roared off to a strong start toward snatching the inevitability mantle with big endorsements and big fundraising; Gelber has been busy sending out tweets while being an uncharacteristically minor player in this year's legislative session. Gelber's early fundraising was fine - $363,000 (not $400,000 as the campaign initially said), but Meek raised $1.49 million.
And in an open U.S. Senate race it matters that in Washington people are asking, "Dan who?" On MSNBC yesterday Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee chairman Bob Menendez sounded like Florida doesn't even have a Democratic primary: "We have Kendrick Meek who's running in Florida," said Menendez, assessing the field of Democratic Senate candidates nationally. "So there's a wide variety of exemplary individuals who share the values of their states, and their electorates are enthused about them and we're very enthused about them as well."
A good case can be made for Gelber, the former prosecutor and federal antiterrorism authority, being the stronger general election candidate. He's not making it, however. Tick, tick, tick. The session is finally coming to a close. Keep an eye out for whether Gelber starts stepping it up a few notches.