Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, suffering from luke-warm support among base Democrats, lucked out with Harold Ford's brief foray into the race. Ford's hilarious missteps focused attention on the race, and given a good look at the alternative, Gillibrand suddenly looked really good.
Enter our newest political buffoon -- Jeff Greene:
Billionaire real estate developer Jeff Greene confirmed this morning that he will run for the Senate in Florida as a Democrat, the latest twist in an already unpredictable and fascinating contest.
"Are you fed up with the way things are going in Washington and tired of politicians who don't get anything done," Greene asks in a web video announcing his bid. "I'm just as frustrated as you are. That's why I am running for Senate this year."
It's not yet clear how serious Greene's candidacy will be. On one hand, his vast personal wealth makes him potentially viable. On the other, some of the information we know about him -- boxer Mike Tyson was the best man at his wedding, Heidi Fleiss lived at his house for a year -- could be fodder for opposition researchers.
From the yacht's highest deck, on a cloudless summer day, the other, far smaller pleasure craft anchored nearby look like toy boats bobbing in a bathtub. When Greene is not sailing he bounces between five homes, including a 63,000-square-foot one in Beverly Hills, Calif. Greene dubbed the mansion Palazzo di Amore prior to using it last year to host his $1 million wedding, which the 53-year-old is quick to point out was his first.
The dude lost a lawsuit after trying to rent out a roach-infested house to Ron Howard, ran for Congress in California as a Republican, owns three jets and a yacht, yadda yadda yadda.
So what the hell is this guy thinking? He's probably bored, he's got the money to burn, and in politics, that's like moths to a flame.
It's a classic story, and it plays out every two years somewhere: some arrogant corporate pirate decides his wealth has earned him a place in Washington, and immediately attracts parasite consultants who smell blood. They whisper sweet nothings in his ear about how the public really wants "an outsider, [a] candidate who isn’t a career politician," and all he needs to do is make some massive out-of-pocket advertisement buys, from which, incidentally, they take a percentage cut. Greene probably won't win the nomination, and definitely not the general election, but his advisers, Joe Trippi and Doug Schoen, are going to win no matter what.
Funny that a guy wanting to stress how he's no longer a Republican would raid the Fox News contributor list to help kick off his campaign. What, Pat Caddell wasn't available?
Still, I'm psyched about this. I've never recovered from Harold Ford's premature exit from the New York Senate Democratic primary. There was too much potential hilarity left by the wayside. So I've got big hopes for Greene, that he'll help fill that hilarity void.
And in the process, maybe it'll help give real Democrat Kendrick Meek the kind of visibility boost that has so far eluded him in his battle against Republican Marco Rubio and newly minted independent Charlie Crist.