Bill Clinton Urged Meek to Drop Out of Florida Race

But deal to support Crist fell through

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 28, 2010 6:32 PM CDT

(Newser) Politico has the scoop on some behind-the-scenes political intrigue in Florida starring none other than Bill Clinton. It seems Clinton made a personal appeal to Democrat Kendrick Meek to drop out of the Senate race and throw his support to Gov. Charlie Crist, who's running as an independent. The idea was to foil the GOP's Marco Rubio and help prevent Republicans from taking over the Senate.

It nearly worked. Meek reportedly agreed to drop out, and the Clinton, Meek, and Crist camps even scheduled a rally to announce the move this week. But Meek had a change of heart at the last minute, apparently convinced he still stands a chance despite the blunt reality check delivered by Clinton and the plea to "be a hero." The White House reportedly gave the scheme its blessing.

Bill Clinton talks at a rally in Minnesota on Oct. 24.   (AP Photo/Andy King)
Florida Democratic senate candidate Kendrick Meek, left, listens to former President Bill Clinton on Oct. 19.   (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)
Republican Senate hopeful Marco Rubio.   (AP Photo/The Ocala Star-Banner, Doug Engle)
Florida Senate candidate Gov. Charlie Crist.   (AP Photo/Joseph Garnett, Jr., Pool)
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