Sen. Bill Nelson was supposed to hold a press conference to combat a Florida election bill yesterday, but it was scheduled before the news broke that Osama bin Laden had been killed. Instead of postponing the presser, Nelson apparently decided to kill two birds with one stone. And you can probably guess how that went down:
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson used the years-long covert operation that culminated last night in the death of the country’s No. 1 enemy to slam a GOP-backed elections overhaul the Senate is slated to vote on today. “We have cut off the head of the snake,” said Nelson, joined in the Capitol by a host of fellow Democrats, voters rights groups and civil rights advocates at a previously-scheduled press conference about the elections package. After congratulating President Barack Obama and the White House administration for killing Osama bin Laden, Nelson paralleled the fight for democracy overseas to Democrats’ fight against the elections package.
Nelson can’t afford these types of political flubs, especially as he gears up for what looks like it will be a tough reelection race in 2012. His political opponents are already taking him to task for the tactless press conference, and rightly so.
“Today I stood on the Senate floor and congratulated President Obama for a job well done by bringing justice to the victims of the 9/11 terror attacks,” said Mike Haridopolos, president of the Florida senate. “Then a few hours later, Senator Bill Nelson stoops to a new low and plays political games by comparing pending legislation to a terrorist organization that has killed thousands of people.” He added that “Bill Nelson should be ashamed of himself.”