On Sunday, Bob Smith (former Senator from New Hampshire) announced via YouTube that he will seek Florida's open Senate seat in 2010, squaring off against Governor Charlie Crist and former state House Speaker Marco Rubio for the Republican nomination.
Smith served two terms in the Senate, before getting ousted by John Sununu in the 2002 New Hampshire primary. (Smith struggled mightily during the Republican presidential primary two years earlier and ended up running as an Independent.)
TNR editor Franklin Foer chronicled Smith's wildly entertaining flameout in 2002. If the piece is any indication, Florida politics (unlikely as it seems) is about to get a lot weirder:
Even before September 11 and the emergence of the terrorism issue, the primary promised to be ugly. Smith, with his combination of conservative zealotry and sheer buffoonery, has long been vulnerable. In 1995, for example, he used scissors and an anatomically correct doll to demonstrate partial-birth abortion on the Senate floor. Before a one-year anniversary celebration of the Contract with America, he fulminated against the GOP leadership for bringing Ringling Bros. elephants to the Capitol grounds, risking a stampede. (To prove his point, he brandished a photo of a bloody, rampaging elephant from Hawaii that had been shot 100 times.)
True to form, Smith's attacks have not been subtle, and some have been outlandish. One Smith supporter sent me an overwrought fact sheet entitled, "JOHN E. SUNUNU: A PATTERN OF SUPPORT FOR RADICAL ANTI ISRAEL CAUSES FOUNDED BY RADICAL ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISTS."
Image courtesy of YouTube