February 14th, 2010
08:47 AM ET
10 years ago

Florida Democrat Meek revs up his advertising


The Senate campaign of Florida Rep. Kendrick Meek is the lead sponsor of a NASCAR vehicle.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

(CNN) - NASCAR stock cars have long been traveling billboards for motor oil, whiskey, even mayonnaise and trashbags, but one of the cars whizzing Saturday along the Daytona International Speedway was a marketing vehicle for a politician.

NASCAR's official kickoff to its season at the racetrack included a marketing vehicle for U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Florida.

"There are a number of businesses that benefit from the presence of this race," Meek, who calls himself a longtime NASCAR fan, told CNN in a trackside interview. "I want to be a part of it, and I want to be able to reach out to the NASCAR world and let them know that I'm a part of it."

Meek was the lead sponsor of driver Mike Wallace's race car in the sport's second-tier Nationwide series race, which began the weekend ahead of Sunday's Daytona 500.

Meek is running for the seat of retiring Sen. George Lamieux, R-Florida, who served as a "caretaker" for the seat vacated by former Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Florida, last year.

Political candidates frequently court the NASCAR vote at the race track during an election year, and some have sponsored cars before. But with NASCAR's Southern roots and fans who are typically considered to be politically conservative, it's an unusual move for a Democrat.

"I think you're seeing Kendrick Meek, who is thinking ouside of the box," said Wallace, talking up his sponsor. "What better place when you're running for a Senate seat in the State of Florida than to come to Daytona for the first race of the season."

Meek needs the attention. Election prognosticators think a Republican will likely win the election, and they are focused on what promises to be an exciting GOP primary battle between Florida Governor Charlie Crist and former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio.

Filed under: Florida
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Glenn Koons

    K. Meek. Now why would Floridians want to vote for him , as a member of the tax and spend House Dems who are bankrupting the economy and not protecting our national security> So, he may or may not like Daytona racing. Who cares? This guy is just another leftist flack who usually on CSPAN whines about not enough money for the very unfunded mandates dolts like him vote for and then just raise taxes whether it helps the cause they are advocating or not. Sorry Kendrick. Obama usually throws people under the bus. I pray Fla. voters throw you under the Daytona speeders in Nov.

    February 14, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  2. TCM

    he needs to fire his campaign manager....a black candidate advertising on a good o'l boy stock car? haha...that's hilarious! That's like a white candidate advertising on BET! He's toast anyway, here in Florida....funny article though, CNN, I guess you're supporting him...hey, maybe profile him on the racist show, "Black in America..." When's "White in America," coming out? Don't you believe in equal opportunity?

    February 14, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  3. phoenix86

    GI Joe,

    This is a different blog but you post the same post. At least your ignorance of economic issues is consistent!

    February 14, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  4. Monster Zero

    You would think being a politician his car would be advertising Viagra since he will ultimately be giving us the taxpayer the big hard one in the end!

    February 14, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  5. TCM

    GI JOE – you couldn't be more wrong with your assessment of the economy. Deregulation had nothing to do with the meltdown. The seed of the economic destruction lies with Obama, Dodd and Raines at FReddie Mac. The liberal dems in congress, starting in 2006, began threatening lenders that they had better make low interest, high risk loans to minorities, to include illegals, that couldn't possibly pay the mortgage note once the ARM hit....it was Obama, Dodd, Reid and Pelosi behind all of this, all the get votes. Lenders, in it to make money got rid of the debt like a hot potato. The housing market inflated, the unqualified took the overvalued house, and took out home equity loans...suddenly the ARMS hit, payments went up, as values tanked...and thousands were underwater....this resulted in job losses...banks closing...foreclosures.....and it's all the liberals in Congress and forward..that have done this to our nation and the world. Not only is it their fault, but anyone who voted them owns the responsibility of helping them trash the nation...SO, GI JOE, as a retired soldier, I'll say, you really should get squared away on your comments...i.e., know what the hell you're talking about....too much of this kind of empty, anti-American spew like yours is flooding the airwaves...

    February 14, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  6. Ken in NC

    @ tp…. In your posting, you said, "They all must GO, by vote or FORCE if necessary!!!!!".

    Now I want only to know if you are advocating or calling for the violent overthrow of the sitting government of The United States of America?

    February 14, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  7. Robin in Tampa, FL

    I like Crist but I'm not about to change my party affiliation to vote for him in the Primaries. If Rubio wins the Republican Primary then I'm voting for Meek. I'd rather have a conservative Democrat than a hard-right Republican representing me.

    February 14, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  8. chris l

    Being a member of the American Al Queda Party means a definite loss for Meeks.

    February 14, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  9. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

    "The current administration is trying to get our country back from the idiots that sold it down the river from 2000-2008. The GOP is making that difficult, but we are on our way back to greatness."

    Well, the current administration is doing it's best to make sure we're on our way to having our economy greatly ruined. Is that what you mean?

    February 14, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  10. Liberalism is a Mental Disorder

    Meeks is the idiot that called the Regulator of Freddie and Fannie a racists because the regulator wanted congress to reign in the subprime lending of Freddie and Fannie and said that they were completely safe and that no additional regualations were needed....if this guy gets relected it will be just another example of how idiotic libs are.

    February 14, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  11. Mark

    Great idea. Let's get this guy elected.

    February 14, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  12. Dennis

    Meek's chances of winning this seat are about the same as Danica's chances of winning this race.

    February 14, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  13. Aunt Bea and Opie

    The entire Congress will soon be wearing jumpsuits with company logos.America is just a few years short of the fall of the new roman empire.Greed rules the day.

    February 14, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  14. Liberalism is a Mental Disorder

    Entitlement mentality is what rules the day and is what will lead to this countries downfall....

    February 14, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  15. Liberal4Obama

    With Crist and Rubio at each others throats playing politics as usual Meek is a shoe in for the Senate, he is a different kind of politician one who actually puts ppl first. Unlike Crist and Rubio he actually went to Haiti and help rescue a person from the rubble.

    February 14, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  16. MR Independent

    First Democrats belittle the NASCAR fans as being redneck and morons so as to court their enlightened over educated elitist base. Then comes an election and lets be one of the regular folk and cozy up to the great unwashed.
    Which is it?
    Nevermind its politics as usual trying to have it both ways, someone should put barbed wire on that fence they all sit on.
    Lets vote the incumbents out in 10 and 12.

    February 14, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  17. Mesa Mick

    Hey Linell, Winter Park FL...

    Not only is Meeks a "he", he's a Dem AND he's black.

    Betcha those NASCAR types waving their "Stars & Bars" flags are about to have their heads explode! LOL! LOL!

    February 14, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  18. Stacy "the librarian"

    As a Floridian, I'm glad to see an alternate to Rubio (assuming he wins the primary – I rather like Crist, but don't see him surviving the primary) – I guarantee I will NOT vote for Rubio and I rather like this unorthodox advertising.

    February 14, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
1 2