Applause meter: Meek gets louder applause than Greene at Florida Dem dinnerby George Bennett | July 17th, 2010
HOLLYWOOD — The crowd at tonight’s Florida Democratic Party Jefferson-Jackson dinner gave noticeably louder applause to Senate candidate Kendrick Meek than to primary rival Jeff Greene when both spoke to the crowd of about 1,300.
With the party establishment lined up behind Miami U.S. Rep. Meek in the Senate race, Palm Beach billionaire Greene entered the race shortly before the filing deadline in April and has since pulled even or ahead in primary polls on the strength of a self-financed TV campaign.
“I know some of you were surprised by my entry into the race,” said Greene, who got polite applause when he was introduced early in the program.
Greene usually lumps Meek with Republican Marco Rubio and independent Gov. Charlie Crist as failed “career politicians.” Tonight, however, Greene focused most of his career politician-bashing on Rubio and Crist. He did, however, describe the Aug. 24 Democratic primary as a choice between himself and “more of the same career politicians who have failed us.”
Greene also pledged to support whoever wins the Democratic primary in the November general election.
Meek spoke later in the evening and got louder applause when he was introduced by U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston.
“No one else has the kind of support that I have in this campaign of real Democrats,” said Meek, who has criticized the fact that Greene ran for Congress as a Republican in 1982 and, after being registered for years with no party affiliation, only became a Democrat in 2008.