Senator Bill Nelson, who accompanied Sen. Chris Dodd and Sen. Lincoln Chaffee on an ill—timed junket to meet Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, is in political trouble. As Richard Baehr predicted
here in "Shilling for the new Castro" two weeks ago, his trip is already an issue with Florida's Latin America—savvy voters.
In a panicky letter
to a small local Vero Beach newspaper (a sure sign he's hearing from voters), Nelson defends his political tour in Caracas, repeatedly trying to assure Vero Beach readers that he was 'tough' on Chavez while there, and bringing up as much as he can the many times he got Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to agree with him at various hearings. Those were probably perfunctory nods from her, but terribly important to him as a skirt to hide behind, given the feedback he's apparently gotten
from Florida voters.
Chavez hasn't helped matters for Nelson either since the senatorial tour — confiscating private lands, ending media freedom, cheating American oil companies, stiffing bondholders, inviting in Cuban security agents, allowing Marxist terrorists from Colombia to walk freely in Venezuela — all signs of a terrible dictatorship descending.
As Baehr predicted, this is one Senate seat that is in trouble. Nelson badly misread the political situation on Venezuela and his voters are after him.