Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Greene had just finished a meeting on the Space Coast, when he was stopped by a reporter.
The governor was calling for a special session to ban offshore oil drilling, and Greene was asked if he supported a constitutional prohibition of the practice.
Greene said he opposed drilling, but he wouldn’t address the constitutional question.
Then he said he hadn’t given it much thought. Then he said, “I can’t see why I’d be against it.”
Greene turned and spoke briefly with an adviser. Then he offered up a clarification.
He was “definitely in favor” of the constitutional ban, he said. It was the best way to protect Florida’s beaches.
The clumsy exchange crystallizes the challenge facing Greene.
He is a billionaire businessman with little political experience and even less political polish. A Democrat — who once ran as a Republican — he’s a smart guy awkwardly wearing the suit of “candidate” and doing his best to ignore irresistible questions about his wealth and personal life.
There’s the Heidi Fleiss story — he let the Hollywood madam stay at one of his homes in California for a time. There’s the Mike Tyson story — Greene made the convicted rapist the best man at his wedding three years ago. There are his jets — three of them. And there’s the credit-default swap story — Greene became a billionaire betting that home values would crash.