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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

LeMieux tries to shed the 'placeholder' image



5828436 WASHINGTON — Sen. Bill Nelson was giving a passionate speech about the danger of pythons in the Everglades, TV cameras rolling. Standing off to the side, silently, was a man who exuded all the anonymity of a mid-level legislative aide.

It was Florida's other senator, George LeMieux.

The fleeting scene on the Senate floor Wednesday reaffirmed the caricature of LeMieux as the accidental senator, a mere custodian until his former boss, Gov. Charlie Crist, can assume the position.

In reality, the 40-year-old Republican is trying hard to seem anything but a placeholder. A month after being appointed to replace retired Sen. Mel Martinez, LeMieux has worked to inject himself into oil drilling, health care and Cuba policy issues. He has been an aggressive purveyor of new media formats such as Twitter and YouTube, trying to cultivate an image as a tireless, knowing legislator. (story here)

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 2:23pm]


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