Slugging it out for the Senate

Rep. Connie Mack IV, running for Florida’s GOP nomination for Senate, has been an opposition research operative’s dream come true.
Rep. Connie Mack IV, running for Florida’s GOP nomination for Senate, has been an opposition research operative’s dream come true.
Published Feb. 23, 2012

This is hardly a point of personal honor, but by the time I turned 45 somehow I had managed get through life without being involved in numerous bar brawls.

And, it appears safe to say I like to drink as much as Connie Mack IV, whose record is 0-4 in road rage/gin mill bouts.

Indeed, it seems weird to see the name Connie Mack in the same sentences that also include "bar," "brawl," "property lien" and "overdraft fees." After all, Connie "The Glass Jaw" Mack is the namesake son of Florida's former Republican U.S. senator.

The elder Mack is a soft-spoken man of courtliness, impeccable manners and understated dignity.

As for the son? This is like discovering Ronald Reagan was the paterfamilias of Dennis Rodman.

Now the very junior Mack is running for the Senate. And in no time he became an opposition research operative's dream come true. Connie Mack IV is a Bacchus feast of personal finances that make Haiti look like the German economy with a history of unpaid bills, nightclub slugfests and, of course, a nasty divorce.

It seems after young master Connie was elected to Congress, he began caucusing with Rep. Mary Bono, who was in the House because her late husband, Sonny Bono, was killed in a skiing accident.

So it was Mack the Lowlife dumped the wife and kiddos back in Florida and began his own version of I Got You Babe with Bono. Now IV is running for the Senate, and he's getting plenty steamed that people keep bringing up his past. He was fuming earlier this week after one his opponents, former Sen. George LeMieux, referred to Mack the Snipe as the "Charlie Sheen of Florida politics." That's a horrible thing to say, because I wish I had thought of the line first.

The Mack campaign accused LeMieux of being "amoral." That is largely on the grounds that LeMieux had once been a close confidant of Gov. Charlie Crist, who appointed him to the Senate and once embraced President Barack Obama. Cue "The Waltz of Treachery."

Now LeMieux may be many things — declasse, cheesy, conniving and smarmy. But pointing out Mack has anger management issues rivaling Mel Gibson hardly rises to the level of amorality.

Perhaps Mack thought voters are so gullible that he could run against incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson and they would believe it was really Daddy who was on the ballot. Hey, it's worked before.

You don't need to be a political scientist to figure out if Mack the Fourth was named Percy Dovetonsils he couldn't have gotten elected to the Yeehaw Junction City Council, much less the U.S. Congress.

What's really amoral here? Predicating a U.S. Senate campaign by trading on the family name and reputation of Daddio when you're lugging around enough personal baggage to fill up a FedEx jet?

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Why would Mack even want to ascend to the Senate, since it seems he doesn't really want to spend that much time in Washington? Since the first of the year, Mack has missed 29 of 33 votes. This chap spends less time on the job he has than Maynard G. Krebs.

The Republican Senate primary election field is not quite a gathering of eagles. In Connie Mack IV we have a profligate son, who makes you wonder if pop-pop is thinking of maybe changing his name. And when it comes to friendship, especially toward someone who handed him whatever political career he has, George LeMieux has exhibited all the loyalty of a mob hit man.

Which brings us to Mike McCalister, the Gen. Halftrack of the hustings, who has had more bloated resume problems than Baron Munchausen.

Is it too late for Charlie Sheen to jump into the race?