Politics & Government

Meek hopes Bill Clinton will boost his Senate campaign

"On the scale of 1 to 10," U.S. Senate candidate Kendrick Meek says of Bill Clinton's visit to Florida on Monday, "this is an 11."

Locked in a tough Democratic primary and polls showing no obvious winner, Meek is hoping the 42nd president will provide the boost he needs in the final week.

If anyone can deliver, it's Clinton, whose love among Democrats seems to be only outmatched by love from Democrats in South Florida, where the two will campaign together -- eight days before the primary.

"It will help bring about clarity," said Meek, who has been far outspent by billionaire rival Jeff Greene.

Clinton and Meek will appear together at three rallies, starting in Palm Beach County, then Broward and ending in Miami-Dade. Demand was so high for the 4:30 p.m. Palm Beach County rally that a larger venue had to be reserved, Meek's campaign said.

Broward's rally will be at 6:45 p.m. at the Signature Grand, 6900 State Road 84; Miami-Dade's will be at 8 p.m. at the Gusman Theater, 174 E. Flagler St. in downtown Miami.

The TV coverage alone could be worth the equivalent of millions in campaign ads.

"This is pivotal for Kendrick," said U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar. "The locations are hotbeds for Democratic activists and it will generate a buzz that Kendrick should be able to ride into the 24th primary successfully."

Greene played down Clinton's role and has cast Meek as an ineffective congressman.

"People in Florida are too smart to rely on another political figure endorsing someone."

But in a Democratic primary where turnout could be low, the candidate who most energizes the base could win. Black voters account for a quarter of Democratic voters in Florida.

To read the complete article, visit www.miamiherald.com.

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