Accompanying Miami aid workers in Port-au-Prince, Meek ended up capturing the rescue of a 2-year-old girl from the rubble of her home on cell phone video. The video has had broad airplay on national news shows.
The trip, Meek’s staff said, was a purely humanitarian effort, motivated by fact-finding and hundreds of contacts to Meek’s office from Haitian-American constituents wanting to get information or to send aid to their families.
“The fact that he’s been to Haiti 15 times since he was elected, that he has such a large Haitian constituency, that gives him a level of expertise that other policy makers don’t have,” said Meek spokesman Adam Sharon.
“If this were his first foray to Haiti, there’s no way he would even have made it to Port-au-Prince.”
But it could have a beneficial political effect for Meek, who’s the leading Democratic contender for the U.S. Senate. Read the rest of the article here.
More on Meek’s efforts in Haiti:
“I think he wants to solidify [Haitian-American] support and be able to mobilize them in November,” said Susan MacManus, a professor at the University of South Florida. “His aggressiveness on this issue — of Haitian relief — is a critical part of his get-out-the-black-community-vote [effort]. … Black turnout is critical to a Democratic victory in the Senate.”
Rep. Kendrick Meek takes long route to Haiti:
Saturday night Meek purchased an American Airlines ticket in Miami, which put him in Santo Domingo at 12:30 a.m. Sunday. From there he hired a local driver, drove overnight to the Haitian-Dominican Republic border, and then continued to Port-au-Prince’s Toussaint L’Ouverture International Airport, where he arrived about 7 a.m., according to his office.
Senate candidate Meek finds opportunity in Haiti’s tragedy:
The onslaught of attention on the Miami Democrat — who represents more Haitian-Americans than any other member of Congress — comes after months of scrapping for publicity, with his U.S. Senate bid eclipsed by the heated Republican primary between Gov. Charlie Crist and former state House Speaker Marco Rubio.
Meek may well be associated with the Haitian rescue efforts for the rest of the campaign, and so it is in his interest to make sure that the federal government does all it can to help — not just as a human or as congressman, but as a politician.