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It's not her book, but it's her story

Can you tell what this woman — Katherine Harris — is thinking? Neither could her Senate campaign manager.

Associated Press (2001)

Can you tell what this woman — Katherine Harris — is thinking? Neither could her Senate campaign manager.

Back at the height of her surreal U.S. Senate campaign, we were thrilled at Katherine Harris' talk about writing a juicy tell-all book. Just think of all the wonderfully unpleasant things she might have to say about the Bushes, the Democrats, the reporters and the campaign professionals she was sure to cast as her persecutors.

Alas, the former Republican congresswoman's book never appeared (kinda like the $10-million of her own money she promised to spend on her campaign against Bill Nelson). But fans of political gossip may get a consolation prize: a juicy tell-all book by her former campaign manager, Jamie Miller.

Miller lasted six months on the Harris campaign — longer than any of her other three campaign managers, and he is shopping around a book about his former boss whom he said once assured him — when he tried to persuade her to drop out and pursue a punditry career — that God intended her to be in the Senate.

"What I try to do with the book is describe the conflict between the persona of Katherine Harris and the person," Miller told Buzz. There is Harris, the thoroughly charming Steel Magnolia; and there is the other Harris that Miller said is more like the Incredible Hulk on a particularly bad day.

There are likely to be stories about Harris eviscerating her chief elections deputy Clay Roberts on election night after Jeb Bush woke up Harris in the wee hours to find out what the heck was going on with the Florida vote tally. Or what happened to the pitiful staffers who botched her constant Starbucks orders (always Triple Venti, no fat, no foam, extra hot, with pink sugar).

Miller said lots of former Harris staffers are likely to cooperate with the half-finished book. Former senior adviser Ed Rollins, who once likened his experience to "being in insanity camp," may pen the book jacket.

What will Harris think about it? "I don't know what she'll think," Miller said. "I had trouble thinking what she thought when I was working for her."

Harris did not reply to a request for comment.

One mayor at bat for Toytown for Rays

Count Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard among those skeptical about the Rays' waterfront ball park proposal. In fact, Hibbard doesn't even like the current location off downtown St. Petersburg.

"Carillon, the Toytown area, is a much better place for north Pinellas and Pasco and Hillsborough and still is extremely convenient and keeps the team in St. Petersburg," Hibbard said in a Political Connections interview airing today on Bay News 9, "I want to keep the Devil Rays. They are and can be an economic engine for us. … but I don't want to necessarily see our bed tax obligated for decades to come."

Hibbard, a Republican, also weighed in on Scientologists in his city, the prospect of his running for C.W. Bill Young's congressional seat, his opposition to the "tax swap" initiative and the need for regional mass transit. Check it out at 11 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.

A final skirmish on the state delegate front

Just when you thought all the drama was over. On the eve of Florida Democrats' big party-unity fundraiser, the delegate debacle reared its ugly head one last time.

Sen. Barack Obama wanted to reward his Florida loyalists and send a few to the convention, which meant others would lose their spots. This spurred a string of tart and publicly released e-mails between DNC wag Jon Ausman and Obama's top Florida moneyman, Kirk Wagar. Wagar was caught smacking Sen. Bill Nelson, Florida Democratic chief Leonard Joseph and other establishment types, and slapping Ausman around with an f-bomb.

The delegate switcheroo was approved Saturday morning without too much whining, according to those at the meeting. Seven lost their spots, including Marilyn Cappiello of Tampa. But other locals including Rep. Betty Reed and Frank Sanchez, both of Tampa, are now Denver-bound.

McCain in Miami ad: Cuba must move first

John McCain kicked off the general election advertising war in Florida with a Spanish-language radio ad in Miami: "While others support dialogue with Raul Castro, John McCain believes we should support the valiant men and women who struggle for a free Cuba. Instead of initiating a relationship with Raul Castro, John McCain wants to assure that all political prisoners first be released. As someone who endured cruel conditions in Vietnamese prisons, John McCain knows that liberty in Cuba won't come by making concessions to the dictatorship."

Crist's plate full with Florida, McCain says

Did McCain hint in the following little-noticed remark he thinks our governor should stick around Florida awhile longer? "Well I think some of that would be Charlie's choice in respect that he's been governor for not a long period of time and I think he has a lot of work to do here," McCain said when asked in South Florida about a potential role for Crist in a McCain administration. "Whatever role, I think he's going to be a leader in our Republican Party for a long time."

Jennifer Liberto contributed to this week's Buzz.

It's not her book, but it's her story 06/14/08 [Last modified: Thursday, June 19, 2008 6:04pm]
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