In what appears to be a reward for loyalty, Bill Clinton will campaign for Rep. Kendrick Meek this August, reports The Buzz. Clinton has already headlined five fundraisers for Meek, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate.
Rep. Meek is exceptionally loyal to the Clintons, and President Clinton has returned the favor this election cycle to such candidates, especially those who supported his wife in the 2008 presidential race. Meek has done both. Clinton and Meek first met during Clinton’s 1992 campaign for president when Meek, then a state trooper, picked up Clinton at the airport early in the campaign.
Meek then endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton for president in 2008, only endorsing Sen. Obama after the last primaries in early June. He also defended Bill Clinton after Clinton’s comparison of Sen. Obama’s success in the South Carolina primary to that of Jesse Jackson’s own primary success in the state in 1984 — a comment widely considered dismissive of Obama’s chances.
Meek has struggled to gain traction in the race, consistently in a distant third to former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio (R) and no-party candidate and current Gov. Charlie Crist, who may well siphon off many Democratic votes. He also faces a tough primary challenge from political neophyte and billionaire Jeff Greene, who was in a virtual tie with him according to one poll conducted in early June.
No doubt the presence of Clinton, who won the Florida Democratic primary in 1992 and the state in 1996, will help Meek, little-known outside of his district in South Florida, in the Aug. 24 Democratic primary. The question is how much.