Tuesday, April 04, 2006

It's quite possible that what's being said in this Tampa Tribune article about Katherine Harris's mental state is 100% accurate. On the other hand, even morally repulsive paranoids can have real enemies:

Changing locks on her campaign headquarters and accusing her staff of disloyalty and her own party of spying on her are signs of erratic behavior that some Katherine Harris staff members say has worsened since her father's death.

...In interviews over the past few weeks, speaking in confidence, former employees from Harris' congressional and campaign staffs said the trauma of the unexpected death of her father has taken a toll.

"She's in total meltdown. The campaign is in chaos," said a longtime Republican operative who worked closely with Harris until recently. "She hasn't mourned for her father." Like many other former staff members interviewed, that GOP operative didn't want to be quoted by name....

Hmmm: Karl Rove doesn't want a particular candidate to stay in the race -- and suddenly the candidate is being accused of being mentally unstable as a result of a life-changing event. And most of the accusations are in furtive whispers. Where have I heard this before?

"Using the code word 'temper,' a group of Senate Republicans, and at least some outriders of the George W. Bush campaign, are spreading the word that John McCain is unstable." (Elizabeth Drew, "Those Whispers About McCain," Washington Post, 11/19/99)

"In recent weeks, the Bush campaign has been accused of - and has denied - spreading rumors that Mr. McCain may be unstable as a result of being tortured while a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. Several Senate Republicans, among them party leaders who favor Mr. Bush for president, have been identified in published reports as being responsible for privately pushing the allegations. Also, James B. Stockdale, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam who ran as Ross Perot's running mate in 1992, said he got a call from a friend close to the Bush campaign soliciting comments on Mr. McCain's 'weakness.'" (Dallas Morning News, December 2, 1999)

Regarding Harris, this is interesting:

According to Florida Today, she told a gathering of Republicans, "I didn't know I was going to get the knives in my back from my own party, and I'll be honest, it's infiltrated my campaign staff." ...

The newspaper also quoted Harris as saying, "I was told if I didn't get out of the race, I would have an April surprise," meaning a negative event for her campaign.

That would sound utterly paranoid -- in a party that didn't include Rove.

The conventional wisdom is that she's difficult and that's why most of the key players in her campaign have quit. Well, maybe. Or maybe they got a message from the party that they should jump ship if they know what's good for them.

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