The Other McCain

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Charlie Crist: Is He Or Is He Ain’t?

Posted on | April 19, 2010 | 47 Comments

Crist’s political orientation is currently more ambiguous than Elena Kagan’s sexuality, and the soon-to-be-former Republican governor of Florida is being rather coy about his much-rumored independent run for Senate:

“I’m being very thoughtful and deliberate,” Crist explains. “I’ve got a big decision to make. I haven’t concluded anything yet, but I’m getting a lot of counsel, lots of advice, and I’m listening to it. My fellow Floridians want a public servant who puts people first over politics.”
“This is a world full of wonderful opportunity,” Crist concludes. “I love fighting for the people of Florida and will continue to fight for them. It’s always exhilarating.”
And will he call back John Cornyn? “I’ve been busy,” Crist laughs. “I’ll get back to them very soon.”

Congrats to Robert Costa on the big scoop. Of course, the fact that Crist is an untrustworthy Arlen-esque crapweasel isn’t exactly news, but . . .

My capital-L Libertarian buddy Thomas Knapp was in the comments of the earlier post with a lot of doom-and-gloom about Marco Rubio’s chances in a three-way race, but that’s just Tom being Tom. He’s one of these hard-core Libertarians who hates Republicans like God hates sin, and he can’t help it.

Speaking of “can’t help it,” Allahpundit’s panicking again:

This is potentially a true disaster scenario, where Crist peels off just enough centrists and Republicans from Rubio to hand the seat to Kendrick Meek. I’ve blathered on endlessly about how tea partiers could destroy the GOP’s chances in November by voting independent, but lo and behold, it’s a centrist who’s now poised to do the most damage in that regard.

Absurd fears. Stop letting polls tell you what to think about a campaign that hasn’t yet been run. If you believed the polls six months ago, Crist was going to cruise to victory over Marco. Becoming “independent” isn’t going to make that dead skunk Charlie Crist magically popular, and Kendrick Meek is . . . well, he’s Kendrick Meek.

Anyone tempted to think that Marco would lose a three-way just needs to picture the televised debate between these three. Who is the most telegenic, the most attractive candidate?

Hey, I’ve been on an elevator with the guy, OK?

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Comments

  • Joe

    I hope you are right and that Tom, Allah and me are just being a bunch of eye-ors. But I would like to see some poll numbers (from someone credible like Rasmussen) showing Crist is tanking as an indie.

  • Joe

    I hope you are right and that Tom, Allah and me are just being a bunch of eye-ors. But I would like to see some poll numbers (from someone credible like Rasmussen) showing Crist is tanking as an indie.

  • Dandapani

    Yes, he is a RINHOLE!

  • Dandapani

    Yes, he is a RINHOLE!

  • http://ak4mc.us/cms/ McGehee

    I don’t see how someone who’s being repudiated by his party can possibly do any better in the general as an independent. Joe Lieberman was an exception, but Charlie Crist is no Lieberman.

  • http://ak4mc.us/cms/ McGehee

    I don’t see how someone who’s being repudiated by his party can possibly do any better in the general as an independent. Joe Lieberman was an exception, but Charlie Crist is no Lieberman.

  • http://freedomswingspolitics.com FreedomsWings

    As a Floridian, I have a definate opinion here. Forget polls. Crist doesn’t track well as an Independent either. And let’s deal in reality for Libertarians since I consider myself a conservative one. Charlie Crist jumping to Independent is only Dem-Lite because he doesn’t have the guts to switch now and face Meek in a primary. Crist will not win.

  • http://freedomswingspolitics.com FreedomsWings

    As a Floridian, I have a definate opinion here. Forget polls. Crist doesn’t track well as an Independent either. And let’s deal in reality for Libertarians since I consider myself a conservative one. Charlie Crist jumping to Independent is only Dem-Lite because he doesn’t have the guts to switch now and face Meek in a primary. Crist will not win.

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  • http://www.viewedfromtheright.blogspot.com Lipton T. Bagg

    This is all planned and contrived. The longer Crist waits, the less time his opponents – specifically Rubio – have to respond.

    In Rubio’s case, that’s particularly important because you know the RNC and/or RNCC will come a knockin’ on Rubio’s door. I would like to think that if they did, Rubio would shut the door in their face; but I’m not close enough to the action to ascertain that. Certainly the boost in budget would help Marco, but would those funds come with a foul taste he’s not willing to stomach?

    It’s a shame to be on the opposite coast from a race you find interesting…

    -LTB

  • http://www.viewedfromtheright.blogspot.com Lipton T. Bagg

    This is all planned and contrived. The longer Crist waits, the less time his opponents – specifically Rubio – have to respond.

    In Rubio’s case, that’s particularly important because you know the RNC and/or RNCC will come a knockin’ on Rubio’s door. I would like to think that if they did, Rubio would shut the door in their face; but I’m not close enough to the action to ascertain that. Certainly the boost in budget would help Marco, but would those funds come with a foul taste he’s not willing to stomach?

    It’s a shame to be on the opposite coast from a race you find interesting…

    -LTB

  • http://theothermccain.com Robert Stacy McCain

    I would like to see some poll numbers (from someone credible like Rasmussen) showing Crist is tanking as an indie.

    Like I said, go back to May 2009, when all the GOP “smart guys” were talking up Crist’s poll numbers. If Crist quits the GOP, he’ll look like an untrustworthy sore loser, which is what he is.

    I don’t see how someone who’s being repudiated by his party can possibly do any better in the general as an independent. Joe Lieberman was an exception, but Charlie Crist is no Lieberman.

    Exactly. Lieberman had always been a defense hawk, many people in Connecticut lost relatives in 9/11, there was a war on, and Ned Lamont was an all-out peacenik — that was a special case. Whereas there are no extentuating circumstances to justify Crist’s going third-party — he is losing because of his own blunders and getting beat by a superior candidate, period.

  • http://theothermccain.com Robert Stacy McCain

    I would like to see some poll numbers (from someone credible like Rasmussen) showing Crist is tanking as an indie.

    Like I said, go back to May 2009, when all the GOP “smart guys” were talking up Crist’s poll numbers. If Crist quits the GOP, he’ll look like an untrustworthy sore loser, which is what he is.

    I don’t see how someone who’s being repudiated by his party can possibly do any better in the general as an independent. Joe Lieberman was an exception, but Charlie Crist is no Lieberman.

    Exactly. Lieberman had always been a defense hawk, many people in Connecticut lost relatives in 9/11, there was a war on, and Ned Lamont was an all-out peacenik — that was a special case. Whereas there are no extentuating circumstances to justify Crist’s going third-party — he is losing because of his own blunders and getting beat by a superior candidate, period.

  • http://www.viewedfromtheright.blogspot.com Lipton T. Bagg

    “…Whereas there are no extentuating circumstances to justify Crist’s going third-party — he is losing because of his own blunders and getting beat by a superior candidate, period…”

    Agreed. I really hope the people affected (infected if Crist wins?) see the forst through the trees.

    RSM: What is your feel about Crist doing over to the Dems. If that were to happen, do you think Meek is just going to go away “meekly”?

  • http://www.viewedfromtheright.blogspot.com Lipton T. Bagg

    “…Whereas there are no extentuating circumstances to justify Crist’s going third-party — he is losing because of his own blunders and getting beat by a superior candidate, period…”

    Agreed. I really hope the people affected (infected if Crist wins?) see the forst through the trees.

    RSM: What is your feel about Crist doing over to the Dems. If that were to happen, do you think Meek is just going to go away “meekly”?

  • http://www.viewedfromtheright.blogspot.com Lipton T. Bagg

    Apologies for misspellings above. I suffer from the dreaded disease CTS at times.

    CTS=Can’t type S*it…

  • http://www.viewedfromtheright.blogspot.com Lipton T. Bagg

    Apologies for misspellings above. I suffer from the dreaded disease CTS at times.

    CTS=Can’t type S*it…

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  • http://www.ignorantme.com William Thurston

    I made a post with a bit more history over at my website and linked back here! I’m with you Robert, even if he goes third party he won’t have a chance by the time it’s over. No one likes a spineless pol. Here’s my article on the issue…
    http://www.ignorantme.com/politics/how-destroy-political-career-3-steps/

  • http://www.ignorantme.com William Thurston

    I made a post with a bit more history over at my website and linked back here! I’m with you Robert, even if he goes third party he won’t have a chance by the time it’s over. No one likes a spineless pol. Here’s my article on the issue…
    http://www.ignorantme.com/politics/how-destroy-political-career-3-steps/

  • http://carolyntackettscloset.blogspot.com Carol

    Crist is an opportunist. If he flips and tries an Independent bid he will lose and he will end his political career. On the other hand, if he comes out and says after careful thought he can best serve the people of Florida, blah, blah, blah, and drops the race, he has a chance of a do over in 2012. His only shot is by playing nice and hoping that we forgive and forget

  • http://carolyntackettscloset.blogspot.com Carol

    Crist is an opportunist. If he flips and tries an Independent bid he will lose and he will end his political career. On the other hand, if he comes out and says after careful thought he can best serve the people of Florida, blah, blah, blah, and drops the race, he has a chance of a do over in 2012. His only shot is by playing nice and hoping that we forgive and forget

  • Joe
  • Joe
  • http://knappster.blogspot.com Thomas L. Knapp

    “I would like to see some poll numbers (from someone credible like Rasmussen) showing Crist is tanking as an indie.”

    As of April 15th, Quinnipiac has Crist winning with 32% as an independent in a three-way race with Meek (24%) and Rubio (30%).

    That poll has Rubio in second place, but it also has a 14% hole in it.

    The thing about that 14% hole is that no significant amount of it will go for Rubio. You’re either already for him, or you aren’t going to be for him. He can’t gain votes — but he can lose them as people realize he doesn’t have a chance in hell of winning. He’s Florida’s Dede Scozzafava, and Charlie Crist simply has better chops and better position than Doug Thompson did.

    My prediction would be something along the lines of Crist ~40%, Meek ~38%, Rubio 20% MAX, with 2% +/- for any third party candidates.

  • http://knappster.blogspot.com Thomas L. Knapp

    “I would like to see some poll numbers (from someone credible like Rasmussen) showing Crist is tanking as an indie.”

    As of April 15th, Quinnipiac has Crist winning with 32% as an independent in a three-way race with Meek (24%) and Rubio (30%).

    That poll has Rubio in second place, but it also has a 14% hole in it.

    The thing about that 14% hole is that no significant amount of it will go for Rubio. You’re either already for him, or you aren’t going to be for him. He can’t gain votes — but he can lose them as people realize he doesn’t have a chance in hell of winning. He’s Florida’s Dede Scozzafava, and Charlie Crist simply has better chops and better position than Doug Thompson did.

    My prediction would be something along the lines of Crist ~40%, Meek ~38%, Rubio 20% MAX, with 2% +/- for any third party candidates.

  • Estragon

    Politicians are basically egotists anyway, and those with Crist’s record of electoral success in particular tend to regard themselves as bulletproof until the election night returns have come in. How confident did the jerk have to be to parade around Florida, of all places, with an orange spray-on tan?

    Crist is rationalizing his fall in the GOP primary as a product of right-wing machinations in reaction to his embrace of Obama and stimulus spending. He looks at the polls showing him at least competitive in a three-way race, and imagines he can pull it off.

    Never mind it would finish his political career in the GOP, whereas he might well hang around with a gracious withdrawal or even primary night concession, get an appointed position from a Republican until he could rehab his image enough to run for office again. He doesn’t seem the sort of guy to wait patiently if there is a chance to grab the gold ring right now, however risky.

    The cold reality is few third party candidate make any noise at all, and those that do didn’t begin their independent effort as a sore loser (some states even outlaw the practice). The public recognizes a sore loser/cynical opportunist, and doesn’t vote for them.

    The best he could hope for in reality is to draw enough of his old base to throw the seat to Meek, but even that’s a long shot given Meek’s insane record and inherent weaknesses as a candidate. Lieberman, remember, had served several terms as Senator already, and Connecticut knew how he did the job and approved.

    So relax! Bottom line of a Crist indy run is that it will spell the last we ever hear the name Charlie Crist, and that’s a good thing.

  • Estragon

    Politicians are basically egotists anyway, and those with Crist’s record of electoral success in particular tend to regard themselves as bulletproof until the election night returns have come in. How confident did the jerk have to be to parade around Florida, of all places, with an orange spray-on tan?

    Crist is rationalizing his fall in the GOP primary as a product of right-wing machinations in reaction to his embrace of Obama and stimulus spending. He looks at the polls showing him at least competitive in a three-way race, and imagines he can pull it off.

    Never mind it would finish his political career in the GOP, whereas he might well hang around with a gracious withdrawal or even primary night concession, get an appointed position from a Republican until he could rehab his image enough to run for office again. He doesn’t seem the sort of guy to wait patiently if there is a chance to grab the gold ring right now, however risky.

    The cold reality is few third party candidate make any noise at all, and those that do didn’t begin their independent effort as a sore loser (some states even outlaw the practice). The public recognizes a sore loser/cynical opportunist, and doesn’t vote for them.

    The best he could hope for in reality is to draw enough of his old base to throw the seat to Meek, but even that’s a long shot given Meek’s insane record and inherent weaknesses as a candidate. Lieberman, remember, had served several terms as Senator already, and Connecticut knew how he did the job and approved.

    So relax! Bottom line of a Crist indy run is that it will spell the last we ever hear the name Charlie Crist, and that’s a good thing.

  • Aussie

    What would happen if Crist was outed as a cross-dresser? Would that make a difference?

    Marco Rubio is no Dede Scuzzbucket. Rubio is the better alternative. Crist is a douchebag… and I have a long memory going back to his inaction over the Teri Schindler-Schiavo murder by judicial fiat case.

    I would love to see Crist eat dust because he is so disgusting…. (and not because he is a cross-dresser, but because he hides behind a beard….)

  • Aussie

    What would happen if Crist was outed as a cross-dresser? Would that make a difference?

    Marco Rubio is no Dede Scuzzbucket. Rubio is the better alternative. Crist is a douchebag… and I have a long memory going back to his inaction over the Teri Schindler-Schiavo murder by judicial fiat case.

    I would love to see Crist eat dust because he is so disgusting…. (and not because he is a cross-dresser, but because he hides behind a beard….)

  • Grimcargo

    Who will it be in 2012 Donald Duck? Foghorn Leghorn OR THE OBAMA. you choose please vote.

    http://teapartypatriotrise.blogspot.com/2010/04/please-place-your-vote.html

  • Grimcargo

    Who will it be in 2012 Donald Duck? Foghorn Leghorn OR THE OBAMA. you choose please vote.

    http://teapartypatriotrise.blogspot.com/2010/04/please-place-your-vote.html

  • http://carolyntackettscloset.blogspot.com Carol

    I guess sometimes you really can’t tell the players without a scorecard. Mr. Knapp, Crist is Scozzafava in this game. And while Marco has done well, very well, he hasn’t peaked yet. If Crist is silly enough to go Indy he will blow more than just this race. Come down here to Florida and talk to people. Crist will not win as an Independent and he will not recover if he becomes a turncoat.

  • http://carolyntackettscloset.blogspot.com Carol

    I guess sometimes you really can’t tell the players without a scorecard. Mr. Knapp, Crist is Scozzafava in this game. And while Marco has done well, very well, he hasn’t peaked yet. If Crist is silly enough to go Indy he will blow more than just this race. Come down here to Florida and talk to people. Crist will not win as an Independent and he will not recover if he becomes a turncoat.

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  • http://knappster.blogspot.com Thomas L. Knapp

    Carol,

    Okay, I’ve made my prediction, and you’ve made yours.

    I guess we’ll see which of us is the better prognosticator (if Crist runs independent — I’m not sure he will).

    My own record of predicting political outcomes is pretty mixed, but in 2006 and 2008 it was fairly good.

  • http://knappster.blogspot.com Thomas L. Knapp

    Carol,

    Okay, I’ve made my prediction, and you’ve made yours.

    I guess we’ll see which of us is the better prognosticator (if Crist runs independent — I’m not sure he will).

    My own record of predicting political outcomes is pretty mixed, but in 2006 and 2008 it was fairly good.

  • molonlabe28

    “Crist’s political orientation is currently more ambiguous than Elena Kagan’s sexuality …”

    Looking at Charlie, think that he may be sexually ambiguous as well.

    If he goes indie, I think that he will lose half of what support he currently has to Rubio.

    Query whether John Cornyn and the other geniuses in the NRSC will support him as an indie.

  • molonlabe28

    “Crist’s political orientation is currently more ambiguous than Elena Kagan’s sexuality …”

    Looking at Charlie, think that he may be sexually ambiguous as well.

    If he goes indie, I think that he will lose half of what support he currently has to Rubio.

    Query whether John Cornyn and the other geniuses in the NRSC will support him as an indie.

  • Joe
  • Joe
  • http://www.redstateeclectic.com AngelaTC

    In an elevator? Dude! Mr TC has been in a bar (not THAT kind of bar!) lots of times with Mr Crist – friend of a friend type of thing – and he says there’s no way that Charlie’s ego will allow him to go quietly into that political night.

  • http://www.redstateeclectic.com AngelaTC

    In an elevator? Dude! Mr TC has been in a bar (not THAT kind of bar!) lots of times with Mr Crist – friend of a friend type of thing – and he says there’s no way that Charlie’s ego will allow him to go quietly into that political night.

  • Adobe Walls

    The upside to Crist running as an indie would be the example that could be made of the traitorous dog. Mr Knapp not sure what political formulas or calculations you use but I suspect there aren’t enough wild cards in the deck. 06 and 08 were very predictable 2010 will not be, there’s something in the air this time. I could be wrong but IMHO the question isn’t whether this will be another 1994 or not but whether it will be 1994 or 1894?

  • Adobe Walls

    The upside to Crist running as an indie would be the example that could be made of the traitorous dog. Mr Knapp not sure what political formulas or calculations you use but I suspect there aren’t enough wild cards in the deck. 06 and 08 were very predictable 2010 will not be, there’s something in the air this time. I could be wrong but IMHO the question isn’t whether this will be another 1994 or not but whether it will be 1994 or 1894?

  • http://knappster.blogspot.com Thomas L. Knapp

    Adobe Walls,

    You write:

    “Mr Knapp not sure what political formulas or calculations you use but I suspect there aren’t enough wild cards in the deck.”

    I’ll be glad to explain myself. In this case, here are the political calculations I’m using:

    – Rubio ran hard to Crist’s right in order to get ahead of him for the GOP nomination. The right constitutes a majority in hotly contested GOP primaries.

    – The right, however, does not constitute a majority in hotly contested general elections. Rubio’s already trying to move back toward the center now that it looks like he has the GOP nomination wrapped up.

    – Crist already beat Rubio to the center (which is one reason why the right is so upset with Crist). If Crist runs as an independent, all that Rubio has behind him is the right. He doesn’t have anywhere else to get votes FROM in the general election.

    – Crist, on the other hand, can peel votes off from his right as it becomes clear that the choice is between Crist and Meek.

    Contra Stacy, I’m not saying this because I hate Republicans. I’m an “extremist” myself. I don’t LIKE the fact that the candidate who can dominate at the center will win, I just acknowledge that it’s a fact.

    I have no doubt that the Republicans will pick up seats this November because, as you say, there’s “something in the air.”

    In most cases, that something will work to the GOP’s advantage because they’ve managed to dupe conservatives into thinking that they represent that something (with, unfortunately, Stacy’s active assistance in some cases).

    In Florida, though, that same something will work against, not for, Rubio if Crist runs, because he’ll be up against a sitting governor running as an independent.

  • http://knappster.blogspot.com Thomas L. Knapp

    Adobe Walls,

    You write:

    “Mr Knapp not sure what political formulas or calculations you use but I suspect there aren’t enough wild cards in the deck.”

    I’ll be glad to explain myself. In this case, here are the political calculations I’m using:

    – Rubio ran hard to Crist’s right in order to get ahead of him for the GOP nomination. The right constitutes a majority in hotly contested GOP primaries.

    – The right, however, does not constitute a majority in hotly contested general elections. Rubio’s already trying to move back toward the center now that it looks like he has the GOP nomination wrapped up.

    – Crist already beat Rubio to the center (which is one reason why the right is so upset with Crist). If Crist runs as an independent, all that Rubio has behind him is the right. He doesn’t have anywhere else to get votes FROM in the general election.

    – Crist, on the other hand, can peel votes off from his right as it becomes clear that the choice is between Crist and Meek.

    Contra Stacy, I’m not saying this because I hate Republicans. I’m an “extremist” myself. I don’t LIKE the fact that the candidate who can dominate at the center will win, I just acknowledge that it’s a fact.

    I have no doubt that the Republicans will pick up seats this November because, as you say, there’s “something in the air.”

    In most cases, that something will work to the GOP’s advantage because they’ve managed to dupe conservatives into thinking that they represent that something (with, unfortunately, Stacy’s active assistance in some cases).

    In Florida, though, that same something will work against, not for, Rubio if Crist runs, because he’ll be up against a sitting governor running as an independent.