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Is Kendrick Meek Campaign Scandalously Dull?

Charlie Crist sparked controversy by hugging President Obama; Marco Rubio had a whirlwind romance with Florida Republicans only to be blindsided by a credit card spending scandal. But neither of those campaigns for U.S. Senate has been dealt as devastating a blow as Kendrick Meek's. The leading Democrat candidate's crime: He's been a bore.

Meek has been scandal-free and issue-focused, but he can't get a headline. Or rather, he can only get headlines like the one in today's New York Times -- which is about how Meek can't get headlines.

Since the congressman from Miami-Dade started this race from behind, it's not clear whether he's truly scandal-free or if he's simply not relevant enough to warrant a smear by opponents.

But it's clear that he needs some kind of game-changer. How do you get attention in this modern political climate without an evenly matched opponent or a major scandal?

The NASCAR sponsorship was an interesting twist. It's just that this campaign needs more verve, a lasting impression. For starters, Meek has to be aggressive with his Republican counterparts. Take 'em both on. And while he's at it, call out Sen. George LeMieux for the rank cynicism and hypocrisy he's brought to Capitol Hill.

That way, at least Meek's voice appears in articles about those three Republican scandal magnets.

It won't win him in votes with the tea party set, but those are gone anyway. At least this way, Meek can galvanize Florida's Democratic base. That will narrow his gap in the polls, maybe enough so that the national party leaders let Meek play a higher-profile role in the summer's major legislative efforts.

Do something. Because touring barber shops and coffeehouses ain't gonna get Meek back in the race.

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Thomas Francis

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