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Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Bob? Why not Franklin?-We've got a Graham boomlet going; the Tampa Tribune has this semipuff piece on Graham's chances, including some positive quotes from Larry Sabato. A few wayward thoughts from the piece come to mind.
``I'm seriously thinking about options, including the option of running for president,'' he said. The disclosure prompted a few chuckles among those who recall how the senator was mocked over his methodical fondness for recording in notebooks the details of his days, from meetings to meals. That habit may have cost him the opportunity to be Al Gore's running mate in 2000 - and possibly cost Gore the election.
Good question. Yes, Gore might have won Florida, but with Lieberman on the ticket, the Gore campaign had a better appeal to swing voters with a moral streak. Gore might well have lost a few more northern and western states (Iowa, Wisconsin, Oregon, New Mexico) he won with the changed dynamic.
If he does enter the race, Graham will not immediately have to give up his Senate seat. He can form an exploratory committee, raise money and make forays into primary states while hedging his bets. Eventually, however, he will have to decide which job he wants. Under Florida law, a candidate can appear on the ballot only once.
Florida has a September general primary; for 2002, the statewide filing deadlines were in late July, well after the nomination should be decided, unless we wind up with such an open race that we have the political junkie's erotic fantacy-an open convention. If Graham has the nomination locked up by May, he can skip the Senate race. If he's been shown the door by then (much more likely), he can run for his Senate seat. No, I'm not up to a run for his seat, I haven't been in Florida long enough to run a credible campaign. Talk to me in 2005 about Nelson's seat. :-)

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