Florida's democratic senior Senator Bill Nelson is about as even keeled and congenial guy as you're likely to find in DC. He's not much for political grand standing or fiery rhetoric, but according to Politico his feisty side peaked in uncharted territory behind closed doors in a meeting with several other Democratic senator. What had Nelson so hot under the collar? President Barack Obama, apparently.
Senate Democrats - including typically mild-mannered Bill Nelson of Florida - lit into President Barack Obama during an unusually tense air-clearing caucus session on Thursday, senators and staffers told POLITICO.
Nelson told colleagues Obama's unpopularity has become a serious liability for Democrats in his state and blamed the president for creating a toxic political environment for Democrats nationwide, according to two Democrats familiar with his remarks.
"It was a raucous caucus," said one Democratic senator, who spoke on condition of anonymity because closed-door sessions are not supposed to be discussed with outsiders.
Ha, "raucous caucus." Maybe that senator was so pleased with his little joke he couldn't help but leak Nelson's private remarks to the press. Though, Politico also notes that Nelson was just one of several Senator expressing anger at the White House.
Nelson and his representatives refused to confirm or deny the remarks.
Nelson is up for reelection in 2012, and recent polls suggest he's pretty safe. A poll taking over the same shows him beating Jeb Bush, and handily defeating temporary senator George LeMeiux who is widely expected to enter the race for a more permanent seat in the body.
Of course, 2012 is two years from now. Things could change drastically, but President Obama will be up for reelection as well, and we'd be surprised if the White House didn't start doing everything in its power soon to erase whatever perceived "toxic political environment for Democrats" it's responsible for.
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