By Christina Wilkie - 12/08/09 09:52 PM EST
Sen. Bill Nelson's (D-Fla.) online popularity has Florida political circles buzzing this week, ever since Google released its annual list of the most searched members of the Senate.
In a surprise move, Nelson, a quiet centrist, beat out household names like Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and presidential candidate John McCain (R-Ariz.), to earn to title of the second most searched senator on Google. Only the legendary, late Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) was searched more.
So why do Googlers love Nelson so much?
The St. Petersburg Times offers up some theories, "His passion for ridding Florida of Burmese pythons is sexy stuff, for instance," writes Adam Smith.
Or how "he has also focused on troublesome Chinese drywall." Or perhaps mistaken identity: "Maybe people were mistaking him for the higher profile moderate Democrat Ben Nelson of Nebraska."
Smith finally settles on a theory first put forth by Republican consultant Jordan Raynor: A viral YouTube video of Nelson misspeaking on the Senate floor.
"Certainly all the intercourse that I had as a military officer was the best," says the senator, "but that was not the case for a lot of our returning soldiers."
Cross-posted on Washington Scene