Big Dog

From Holden:

Floridians just can’t get enough of The Clenis.

It’s hard to believe that just six years ago, Al Gore balked at campaigning with President Bill Clinton, fearing the impeachment scandal would taint his national bid for the White House.

Now the former president is the hottest ticket on the Democratic fundraising circuit. To wit: He helped U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson rake in half a million dollars Sunday in Coral Gables.

That’s quite a windfall for a race viewed as a cakewalk. Polls show Nelson nearly 30 points ahead of his anticipated opponent, Republican U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris.


Clinton looked relaxed with the microphone in his hand, though he joked that his wife, U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, was the more proficient public speaker these days.

“I am truly a little out of practice at this,” he said. “Somebody else in my family has to get votes these days, and I’m of limited utility.”

He still managed to work up a spirited throw-the-bums-out speech. He accused the GOP of catering to corporate interests and decried what he called “divisive politics, this triumph of ideology over evidence.”


“I think people have had enough,” Broward County Commissioner Diana Wasserman-Rubin said. “We’ve just got to keep the momentum going.”

Who better to do so than the ambitious ex-president notorious for keeping his staff up into the wee hours?

Charles Intriago, who publishes a Miami-based financial newsletter, said he already donated to Nelson but couldn’t resist a chance to see Clinton.

“It’s the power of Bill,” he said. “He’s just am amazing guy, and I am delighted that he’s fundraising for Democrats around the country.”