This picture, which appeared in The Ledger (Lakeland, FL) last Friday, Oct. 6, ran with the following caption:

"U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris, a candidate for U.S. Senate, helps Rachel Seifert, 6, fill out a straw poll ballot Thursday at Politics in the Park in Lakeland."

It's a cute photo, and Rep. Harris should no doubt be commended for getting little tykes like Rachel interested in the political process (although Rachel will soon learn it's a no-no for candidates to enter the poll booth with you and "help" you vote).

Just another fun day at the park with the kiddies, right?

Yet when one visits the Katherine Harris for Senate website, one finds a press release that suggests the Harris campaign places much more stock in the "results" of the "straw poll" that Rachel and her kindred grade-schoolers, having only recently mastered the alphabet, participated in:

Harris Beats Nelson -- Leads 54% to 45%

Thursday, October 05, 2006

TAMPA, FL- Congresswoman Katherine Harris, the Republican candidate for the United States Senate, soundly defeated Bill Nelson this evening by a 54% to 45% margin in the straw poll conducted at the Lakeland Bi-Annual Politics in the Park. The Harris campaign continues to build momentum, engendering tremendous grassroots support throughout the state with a pro-growth, pro-family message that resonates across the political spectrum.

Congresswoman Harris commented, "I appreciate the strong support of a majority of voters who are disillusioned with Bill Nelson's lack of leadership and his record of voting against Florida's best interests. I will fight for Florida in the United States Senate."

The Lakeland Bi-Annual Politics in the Park straw poll illustrates the widespread support that exists for Harris' consistent message of cutting taxes, eliminating wasteful spending, protecting the institution of marriage and opposing amnesty for illegal citizens.


Who knows, the Harris campaign could be right: maybe Rachel, before being seized on by Harris during an innocent game of marbles or duck-duck-goose, was busy discussing with her class-mates the finer points of federal tax policy and the immigration debate.

And maybe, after a spirited discussion of these issues with Harris at Chuck-E-Cheese, she even decided she agreed with Harris on, say, the estate tax and Congressional earmarks, and rallied her fellow post-preschoolers to drop their Fashion Fever Barbies and take a stand with the Harris campaign.

In which case, Rachel may very well vote for Katherine Harris in the November elections -- in 2018, when she's eligible to vote.

Until then, Harris has some catching up to do.