Democrats across Florida and in Washington, D.C., had to cringe over Alan Graysons behavior this past week.
Despite being one of the richest members of Congress, Grayson has always carved out a niche for himself as a populist who doesnt back down against the Republicans or big business. Only one problem: Grayson had set up a Cayman Island account, something he has punched away at Republicans and corporations on.
Grayson was called out for his hypocrisy this week by the Tampa Bay Times and the Democrat went ballistic, unleashing a barrage of insults and obscenities at reporter Adam Smith. Needless to say, the story went national, no surprise considering Grayson is thinking of running for the Senate in 2016.
The Democratic brass is trying to keep Grayson out of the race so their golden boy Patrick Murphy doesnt have to face a major primary. Late last week, Janet Cruz, who is moving up the Democratic ranks in the Legislature, called for Grayson to apologize for his remarks.
Cruz and other Democrats have plenty of reason to keep Grayson out of the race. Grayson has a national fundraising network as liberals across the country love him. He could certainly run a competitive primary against Murphy and could conceivably win it.
But Grayson would be a major underdog in the general election. Grayson had no problem winning elections in 2012 and 2014 in a very secure Democratic district. But, in a swing district in 2010, Grayson lost to Republican Dan Webster by almost 20 percent and the Democrats divisive rhetoric -- calling evangelical Christian Webster Taliban Dan -- backfired badly. To his credit, Grayson won a competitive race in 2008.
Hillary Clinton and her allies dont want to share the ticket with Grayson, especially as Florida is shaping up to be the presidential elections largest political battleground once again. Add into the equation reports Grayson's girlfriend is looking at running for his congressional seat, a nasty divorce in which he accused his estranged wife of bigamy--which some sources maintain she has acknowledged--and a video of a confrontation of the congressman and his wife. Granted, Grayson was cleared of charges of abusing his estranged wife and the video shows him acting in self-defense. Thats still not something Democrats want to deal with, especially if they return to their war on women attack against the Republicans.
Facing a major threat from Webster, Grayson went over the top in his attacks. Something along those lines happened in recent days as Grayson was once again in political peril. Democrats have every reason to fear that Grayson will get desperate again either against Murphy or if he becomes the Senate nominee and bring out more attacks that do him more harm than good. That might play well in Graysons safely Democratic district but, in a general election at the state level, it will only blow up in his face -- and in the worst case scenario, take down Hillary Clintons presidential chances at the same time.
Tallahassee political writer Jeff Henderson wrote this analysis exclusively for Sunshine State News.