Apr 072005
 

From Florida Politics (all of the following is part of his post):

Today’s news – “Martinez aide wrote memo on Schiavo” – is really yesterday’s news with Mel.

‘Ole Mel keeps getting into trouble, yet skates by by blaming others. Mel, is he a poor, innocent dupe, an empty suit, or both? Consider:

  • Campaign Contributions: Back in 2002, Builder groups were accused of wrongfully funneling money to candidates, including Martinez. Mel was out of the loop.
  • Ezzie Thomas: Martinez had Ezzie Thomas work for his local campaign, like Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. Dyer was indicted; Mel was promoted to Washington. Martinez has been strangely silent as to his dealings with Thomas. Let me guess: Mel had no idea what Ezie was doing.
  • Senate Race Embarassment: In the GOP Senate race primary, “Martinez took his campaign into the gutter with hateful and dishonest attacks”, resulting in this now familiar editorial. There, the St Pete Times observed that “If Martinez failed to review the ads before they were sent out under his name, he was irresponsible. If he knew what was in the ads and is now trying to distance himself, he is being dishonest.”

Politization of Schiavo Memo: Today’s story has a familiar ring to it:

The strategy memo outlining how Republicans could gain political capital by intervening in the Terri Schiavo case was written by Florida Sen. Mel Martinez’s legal counsel, who abruptly left his job Wednesday.

Martinez, a freshman senator from Orlando who was the leading sponsor of the Schiavo bill that Congress passed in an extraordinary session on Palm Sunday, said he earlier had been assured by aides that his office had nothing to do with producing the memo that created a furor on Capitol Hill.

The clincher:
“This is not a document that would have been approved in this office for circulation under any circumstances,” Martinez said Wednesday night. “The person responsible for drafting and circulating this document has tendered their resignation, and I have accepted it. This type of behavior and sentiment will not be tolerated in my office.

We’ve heard this before, Mel.

Curious that Mel never seems to know what’s going on. Perhaps our Mel is simply an innocent dupe in all these things, or maybe he is just an empty suit, entirely without substance; I suspect he is a bit of both.

In any event, it seems Slate’s Tim Noah got it right back in late 2003, in”Bush’s Mr. Cellophane”. Noah observed that when Martinez left HUD to run for the Senate seat vacated by Bob Graham, Dubya held a press conference wherein:

Bush did not mention any programs that Martinez created or administered during the three years he was parked at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. That was entirely appropriate, since Martinez didn’t do anything worth remembering.

This reminded Noah of the lines “Mr. Cellophane” from the musicial Chicago:

‘Cause you can look right through me,
Walk right by me
And never know I’m there …

That’s our Mel, not quite there; never quite knowing what is happening around him.

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