Dave Weldon For Senate: Will The Schiavo Case Return to Prominence?

Dr. Dave Weldon is the latest Republican to be “recruited” by a concerned party and its allied special interests to seek the Senate seat being defended by Bill Nelson. The Politico reported on Thursday that Weldon is interested in seeking the seat. Weldon’s Congressional service ended in 2009 and he has remained popular in Nelson’s home area of the Space Coast throughout his entire career. Weldon is a formidable campaigner who is better positioned to galvanize the GOP base than legislative lightweight Connie Mack IV or George LeMeiux, whose blind ambition was shown by his disloyalty to his political mentor, Governor Charlie Crist. He’s also a reactionary conservative whose election would give the Republicans a forceful spokesperson, but is also prone to numerous gaffes.
Weldon won three Congressional races against strong and well-funded Democratic candidates in his first four elections. His formula was running as far to the right as possible and echoing the conservative talking points on every issue.  While far from inspiring or exciting on the stump, Weldon has discipline as a campaigner and an ability to stay on message that Connie Mack IV lacks. However, as I observed when consulting on a 2002 race against the Congressman, he does not take kindly to criticism of himself or the GOP agenda. Weldon’s “expertise” on Health Care was often used by the Republicans on a national level whenever needed in front of a camera, something almost certain to attract heavy ads attacking Senator Nelson’s support of the Affordable Health Care Act.
All of this having been said, the issue Dave Weldon was most closely associated during his Congressional tenure was Terry Schiavo. The issue was a political loser for the Republicans here in Florida,  and was recognized as such by the astute moderate GOP core that at the time ran the Florida Senate. But unlike the moderate Senators and Attorney General Charlie Crist, Weldon put the issue at the forefront and began the process which saw the Republican repudiated nationally in 2006.  On the Schiavo matter it was Weldon who introduced the Congressional legislation to intervene in the matter. Weldon also used his background as a doctor to twist the medical facts of the case. [The Republicans nationally were tone deaf to political reality- the infamous Terry Schiavo memo that circulated among GOP leaders theorized that the Schiavo issue could be used to unseat Senator Nelson in 2006.]
The Schiavo case was in many ways the beginning of the end for the Bush Administration and the GOP Congressional majority (circa 1994-2006). While other issues such as Hurricane Katrina and the Iraq War became bigger national issues in 2006, the seeds for electoral change were planted by Weldon and his conservative allies. Here in Florida, where so-called conservatives trampled on state sovereignty, the pragmatism of the State Senate led by the late Jim King ensured that the GOP’s dominance of electoral politics continued unimpeded.
But the national Republican party began a demise that eventually led to the election of Barack Obama. Dave Weldon’s potential return to the national political scene against Bill Nelson, whose opposition to federal intervention in the Schiavo case helped ensure his re-election, could liven up the 2012 elections. Or it simply could  prove disastrous for the Republicans.
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39 thoughts on “Dave Weldon For Senate: Will The Schiavo Case Return to Prominence?

  1. It really depends how hard right the Republicans are willing to go. They may sense an opening after Obama ‘s gay marriage embrace. Weldon certainly no stranger to the right wing social agenda that Mack nor Lemieux care about.

  2. The Republicans need to just focus on the economy. They need to tie Obama with Bush..which is very easy to do and most Rs do not see George Bush as positive. This guy does not have a chance

    The Democrats have their Republicans now in play not just with those in their own party but those that are supporting the likes of Hasner and Bogdanoff behind the curtain.

    If the Democrats loose the presidency the only person to blame is the following;

    The Ds that are pushing a white Jewish candidate in a black miniority district.

    The lack of leadership when it comes to the Jewish vote

    The lack of leadership when it comes to the black vote

    The bad party hacks in the local DEC and state party.

    The need to start cleaning up the state parties before there is really nothing left.

  3. Weldon is getting in late and running in a year where the Ds are organized , motivated and hungry. After 2010 we understand the need to excite and turn out our base.

    Mack, LeMeuix, Weldon all appealing Republican possibilities in another place and time but this year dead as a door nail. Weldon ought to skip the race.

  4. Do not forget Nelson is such a Blue Dog that he will still get a fair amount of Rep. crossover votes. The Dems. will continue to hold their noses and vote for him anyway despite his often tepid support for the President.

  5. Santorum brought the Schiavo case back into the news. Weldon will no doubt have to talk about it if he does indeed run. I am not worried about him as a candidate. It is too late for anyone to get in and make an impact in this race.

  6. I agree with Lori. I would be more concern the Rs picking our candidates with the helps of Wexler, Deutch and Andre. I am so disappointed in Deutch. WTH happened to him???? Anyone know?

  7. Pingback: Prospective US Senate candidate Dave Wheldon and the Terry Schiavo case | Saint Petersblog

  8. Nelson is very strong in south Florida where his long relationship with Dr. Andre Fladell has served the community well. He has a fantastic staff director Michelle McGovern and is very popular in the condos. He will have no problem winning.

  9. Do not sleep on Weldon. If Obama’s Health plan remains unpopular he is the type of candidate that can give us trouble. We could see a barrage of third party ads on health issues and “socialized” medicine if Florida remains tight. Weldon being the nominee will help Romney on health issues here. Could be a dangerous nominee.

  10. I think Wexler and Deutch are potential statewide leaders. They will make a huge difference in this state election cycle in turning out the vote.

  11. They aren’t leaders of anything outside south Palm Beach County. They are of marginal perhaps even negligible influence in the rest of county let alone statewide!

  12. While I agree on this, I still think Mack will be easier to beat even if Weldon is in really late.

    Mack is a complete windbag and an empty suit.

  13. You are wrong Jefferson…Deutch and Wexler will be known statewide.
    Statewide for corruption county, buying votes, pushing white guy in black district and for war profits…..Obama will win. They my friends will loose!

  14. People in Central Florida have no clue who Ted Deutch is. They might remember Wexler, but have no clue about Deutch.

  15. Deutch is a rising star. Those who haven’t heard of him soon will. He could be a statewide player.

  16. Honestly, the only person that Central Floridians know from south Florida is Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. Now, to get south Floridians credit, they do know who Buddy Dyer, Jim Davis and other Central Floridians are. But it isn’t the same along I-4. Central Florida voters aren’t as well informed.

  17. Everyone knows DWS. I dont’ think a lot of people know Buddy Dyer or Deutch. Deutch can be a statewide player on his own. Word has it through the state party is that he is losing credibility by being so close with Aaronson and Wexler & getting involved in the black district. He endorsed some lacky that ran three or four times already. The area is a black area and you get involved in that mess? Do any of those S. Floridian kids know about the 1965 Voting Act? The district is over 50% African American & Hispanic. Seriously why divide the party by pushing so guy that you are friends with over the demographic of hispanics and African American. That kind of bad moves with have high consequences. Smith & his people are already trying to figure out how to stop it. We need voters to come out for Obama specifically those two demographics. These guys are clueless. Same guys pushing Crist in 2010 that divided the party. Talk to Alex she will fill you all in.

  18. I agree. Deutch will loose his appeal soon. Look out for Tara Laxer. I hear Laxer has big plans if not this year the next time. The activists love her and she is smart, young and HOT. The excitement about her potential is spreading and people are excited!!!! I cannot wait to see what she does!

  19. Deutch, Wexler and Aaronson are racially polarizing palm beach county with their endorsements. They are Nelson’s allies locally and their actions help the REPUBLICANS in our area. Avoid these guys!!!!!

  20. I heard Deutch speak at the Obama opening he is really good. I also heard Laxer. I don’t understand one thing. With all I have heard from the activists about Deutch’s staff attacking Laxer, I can say Laxer has a lot of class. She spoke about him in high regards at the last women’s club. She wont speak ill of him. She is an example of what we need. She said we can disagree on issues but not attack each other personally. When asked why she left working for Deutch she said she didn’t agree with the war in Afganistan. She said she is happy with the work Deutch is doing for the troops but she knew she could not openly oppose the war while being a staffer. She then spoke about our troops. She is classy. I am unhappy though with Deutch getting involved in these PBC races. He should be an example not a follower of the powers that be. I think PBC will change but not for a bit.

    I think

  21. So Laxer is pro-war? Nice. Oh, and she’s not so hot as she likes to keep saying about herself. I would give her a 6. The fact that no one else can get a sentence in when she is around may drop her to a 5.

  22. I am a big Laxer fan but am sick and tired of hearing about her running. I agree that she is msart, pretty, etc and we need young, smart attractive females to run in our party. The attractive females that run are mostly thoughtless, vapid, empty Republicans. I have heard Laxer speak and think she is good on the stump.

    But she is not running for anything and has been a disappointment. After the way Deutch and Wexler treated her she sits around wallowing in self pity and praising Deutch in public instead of taking on the fight. She seemingly is wallowing in self pity calling people around the county complaining about the leadership but NEVER does anything publicly about it. She is always saying things “off the record” and is never actually around when we do things to organize the party or activists against the established corrupt power structure.

    We activists are going to move on from her in the near future. Maybe she thinks she can still get in with them and is playing us? I don’t know. On paper she would be great but unless she is willing to take the fight public and not just on the phone and social media she won’t be either a good candidate or activist.

  23. I also think Laxer does nothing about the issues she pontificates about. I have not seen her recently at any women’s rallies or activist events. Yet she is always on facebook and twitter talking about these events and then not even showing up! How lame. How can she run for office then? She says all the right things but does not have the drive to be a candidate.

  24. You do not have to be seen to do strategy. Laxer has been doing consulting for others who can have the spotlight and for some healthcare issues. I think she should run but she is not rich so I doubt she will. I would not be surprised if they threatened her too

    She is not going to speak ill about Deutch because that would make her look bad. Maybe his staff (Wexler’s) should take note. The reality is that you need a shit load of money and she does not have it.

    Also for those who are not computer geeks your comments are from the same three people in West Palm even though your name is different. Step away from the computer……you look kind of stupid pretending to be three different people talking about Laxer.

    Tara is too smart to run because she knows that the long term probably is not one seat….its the corruption that Deutch continues with Eric Johnson & Co.

  25. We need to have a real recruitment down here like Ron Klein used to do. Ron and Anne Gannon used to really try to get good people to run. Now it seems that since Deutch took over Wexler’s spot, he is only pushing those that Eric can make money off of. This is awful. Deutch is pushing Rader, Abruzzo and Slosberg. Come on who are you kidding? If this is the leadership we have then no wonder why no one bright and smart wants to run in this county.

  26. Let’s get our brains out of our ass. The Ds will only win the presidency and Nelson’s race. Well Nelson’s race. Obama will not win Florida because of what we see with OFA, these Ds that push Rs, the establishment and Mark Alan Siegal from the DEC. Watch

  27. Nelson will be fine. He will be ok. He is little bit country and a little bit rock and roll. He will have no problem getting re-elected. His staff is great. I think we need to clean the local DECS which is in the works by a few of the local Congressional offices. I also think that these activists needs to just go volunteer for Obama since you can not count on your establishment to do much. It is the voter that will make the difference and not any of those in the DEC. The DEC itself only makes up less than 5% of the voting population. The DEC is a joke and has been for years. If you are a candidate don’t waste your time and if you are not rich..don’t waste your money.

  28. Why is it that when MS jumps in the conversation is always about Deutch and Wexler…..enough. Can you block that email address?

  29. Nelson really has nothing to worry about. I think his chances for re-election are ten times higher than Obama’s. I love his wife and his staff they are wonderful. For Fearful and Concerned Democrat…..Nelson has nothing to do with the establishment. He has seperated himself from them years ago. Tell me you do not see the difference the way his staffer Michlle handles herself and other office staffers handle themselves. I think she is great, classy and she should run. She does not get involved like Wexler, Deutch and Hastings staff.

    Go Nelson!!!

  30. I have heard a lot of good things about Laxer. I hope she runs. The activists and Deutch like her.

  31. Actually Nelson’s voting record has swung left recently. He only had a 15 ACU rating last year and an 8 the year before that. His lifetime rating prior to Obama becoming President was somewhere around 40, so he is voting more liberal than ever.

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