Politician as Parent, Democrat as Dad

8 11 2006

I first met this dad-senator’s deputy chief of staff in 1988. Fascinating guy and dad (I know his kids too, the younger since before he was born.) We’re all real-life parents in private no matter who we are in public and we remain parents forever no matter what else happens to us or to them, talk about pride and prejudice . . .

Sen. Nelson’s son arrested after victory celebration
MIAMI – A few hours after celebrating his father’s Senate election victory in Orlando, Fla., Charles William Nelson was arrested early Wednesday following a scuffle with police.

Nelson, 30, Sen. Bill Nelson’s son, faces charges of battery on a law officer, disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest without violence.

The arrest came only hours after the younger Nelson had introduced his father to some 400 Democratic supporters at a downtown Orlando hotel. Nelson handily defeated Rep. Katherine Harris.

Police said they encountered the younger Nelson with an unidentified man and a woman around 2:40 a.m. after responding to reports of a street fight involving some 20 people.

The officer asked if the woman, Kimberly Baxter, was all right. “She is fine,” Nelson replied. “I’ll take her to the hotel.”

Police said Nelson had difficulty standing upright, his speech was slurred and he reeked of alcohol.

The police officer radioed for an ambulance, but Nelson insisted Baxter was fine and began to “drag” her away, the report said. When the officer told Nelson to halt, he dropped the woman, nearly hitting her head on the base plate of a traffic signal.

The officer said he told Nelson to leave and placed a hand on his shoulder, but Nelson resisted and shoved the officer, the report said. He was released after posting $1,200 bail.

Nelson, born in Rockledge, Fla., works as a Medicaid/Medicare consultant for 21st Century Oncology.

In a statement, Sen. Nelson said: “Any parent would be sad for their son over an incident such as this, as are Grace and I. We love our son and support him, and while we don’t know all the facts, this is a legal matter and he is taking personal responsibility.”

© 2006, The Miami Herald.



One response

9 11 2006

Which reminds me that Republican Governor Jeb Bush had to deal publicly with the private drug troubles of his adult daughter, and with his wife Columba embarassing him by not declaring thousands of dollars worth of extravagant shopping flying back into the country.
Noelle Bush is mentioned in passing (along with Patrick Kennedy) in this appeal to pragmatic compassion as drug policy:

“The public is ahead of the politicians. The majority of Americans supports treatment instead of incarceration. . .It is the timid politicians who are resistant to change. We need to continue to demonstrate to our leaders that we want an end to the war on our families. If the people lead, the leaders will follow.”

I can’t think of many politicians who aren’t also human — not looking for nominations! 🙂 — so I wonder if we’ve let the 24-hour news cycle and the cult of celebrity get out of control to the point of an Inhuman and Unthinking system now, all visceral and lower order rather than civilized, playing us all like emotional violins while provoking lizard brain survival responses in the rich but tormented fiddlers.
No matter whether the unrelenting glare of media attention is powered by the ballot box or the box office, the all-too-human response when it threatens one’s family is instinctive fight-or-flight. Celebrity parents curse, punch, throw phones, break cameras and flee in speeding cars from paparazzi.

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