Future Senator Katherine Harris, With Possum

harrispossum.jpgAbove, Representative Katherine Harris (R-FL), presumptive Republican nominee for the US Senate, holds aloft a possum she purchased at the Wausau Possum Festival. The following day, the now-disgruntled possum announced its resignation as Campaign Pet and revealed the hellish working conditions of her campaign office to the Palm Beach Post.

The arrival of this picture over the weekend more or less renders the results of last week's poll completely moot. Keep it up, Katy -- we're rooting for you again!

After the jump: Poll results (as if you'll be surprised), and selections from the Palm Beach Post's Harris former-stafferpalooza.

(Photo: AP)

Working for Katherine Harris was like working for Meryl Streep's super-demanding, hypercritical boss-from-hell character in the movie The Devil Wears Prada, said another former campaign aide.

Sorry, we already did that poll. We decided it's like working for the crazed roughneck stripper vigilantes of Russ Meyer's Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill!.

But the Post has the expert opinions:

In interviews with The Palm Beach Post during the past three weeks, six of those former aides, three of whom did not want to be identified, have described Harris as a temperamental boss who routinely yelled at staffers, belittled their intelligence, criticized their efforts, micromanaged every aspect of her campaign, and was ungrateful to those working for her.

"We used to call her 'The Hurricane' because she would spin completely out of control over the smallest things," said Jim Dornan, Harris' first campaign manager, who quit last fall.

Don't worry, they talk to the other two as well. We also learn all about Katy's Starbucks obsession -- locations must be mapped out prior to any campaign trips or appearances, and GOD HELP YOU if you don't bring her a cup of coffee when visiting her home or office. But there's some light-hearted fun on the campaign trail too! Take Harris' obsession with rewriting everything that comes from her press office and speechwriters:

Harris also routinely belittled the efforts of her press aides and speech writers, saying their writing was "the worst she had ever seen," and spending hours rewriting their work, one aide said.

Once, her staff took a speech Harris had rewritten, saved it for about two months, and then gave it back to her as a proposed speech. Harris called it "terrible."

When the staff informed her she had written it, she said, "I guess I had a bad day."

The section that is completely unsurprising but still bizarre to see written out plainly in a newspaper, with sources and everything, is all about Harris' obsession with her appearance. She is, apparently, even worse than us. We're still amazed by the revelations here, so here's the whole damn passage:

Aides also painted a picture of Harris as someone who was obsessive about her appearance.

Harris, 49, frequently wore tight-fitting outfits, low-cut tops or short skirts that several aides said they considered inappropriate for a middle-aged Senate candidate.

At least one aide went shopping with Harris to help her find more suitable clothing, but there was little change in her apparel.

Even when the press noted her sexy outfits, such as when she wore a form-fitting hot pink shirt while riding a horse at the Arcadia rodeo, Harris found it amusing, the aides said.

"She would rather have that publicity than be ignored," Miller said.
Harris, whose heavy makeup was often the butt of jokes during the 2000 election recount, "would talk about makeup... in a weird, creepy, obsessive way," said a former aide.

And she would frequently tell her female staff, "I'd much rather be pretty than wealthy," the aide said.

Harris, who never had children -- she has an adult stepdaughter -- also would tell her female aides she regretted not having children.

"Freeze your eggs," because you'll eventually want to have children, she told one of her aides.

And if that isn't a creepy, uncofortable way to start the week, we don't know what is. But look at that cute possum up there!

Ex-Harris Aides Provide Peek Into Campaign [Palm Beach Post]


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