How Kendrick Meek became the new Artur Davis

(Author's Note: Excerpt of my column in And cross-posted at

It wasn't so long ago when many people were considering U.S. Rep. Artur Davis (D-FL) to be, well, (insert here trite political phrase of the moment): the next Obama. A Harvard-trained attorney, with strong national Democratic support, a close personal relationship with President Obama, extensive name recognition throughout the state, and centrist enough to actually have a shot at being Alabama's first black governor -- Davis had a bright future. And he still does, just not in the Democratic Party.

After losing in the gubernatorial democratic primary, in what could be considered a landslide, Davis went on an ill-conceived rant in a published op-ed against former adversary and primary winner, Ron Sparks. Not only did Davis commit the cardinal sin of lashing out at Sparks and withholding an endorsement of his candidacy for governor (essentially violating Election Etiquette 101) -- even worse, he lavished praise on Sparks' opponent: "Robert Bentley is one of the most decent, honorable people I know in politics. I have nothing but admiration for him. I believe he will be a very strong candidate."

In the end, Davis' behavior is nearly as bad as the campaign he ran. But I'll get to that a little later.

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