by Javier ManjarresFrom virtually the beginning of the BP oil rig disaster that occurred back in April, soon-to-be Democrat Governor Charlie Crist has wisely gone about heightening his visibility through his accrual of substantial amounts of earned media. And that is to be expected, simply by virtue of the fact that he is the Governor of a Gulf Coast state that is impacted by the disaster. However, it should also be anticipated by Crist’s opponents in the race for U.S. Senate that he would maximize this opportunity to heighten his profile and promote his campaign for Senate. And in response to Crist’s tactical maneuver, you would expect that his Senate opponents would be prepared to offer sharp criticisms of his performance- whether it’s for his lack of leadership, misjudgments, or mistakes, whenever they might occur.
But what wasn’t expected was the virtual pass that Crist is being given by his opponents in the Senate race, both Republican and Democrat alike. Perhaps you might even expect that the Democrats would give a fellow Democrat like Crist a pass, but for Marco Rubio to not aggressively go after this opportunistic Democrat-in-waiting is beyond even me- El Shark-o.
The past several months may have been a bit rough on the campaign trail for Rubio. Rubio has seemed a bit off his game as of late, and the illness in his family has probably, and understandably, had a lot to do with this. But after a slew of unforced errors by his campaign (SB 6, AZ immigration law, healthcare, Tallahassee Mortgage-gate,etc) Rubio has slipped a bit in the recent polls. When you combine Rubio’s slip-ups with Crist’s Oscar-like performance- as he masterfully portrays a decisive Governor who appears to be in command of a state-wide crisis- you get a substantial swing in the polls. But Rubio’s careless slips have made a lot of would-be supporters, as well as existing ones hedge a bit on his candidacy.
Crist is on record of saying that he is ‘content’ with the response of the Obama Administration in responding to the spill. Content?? Content with the fact that it has taken over two months for Obama to effectively respond to this disaster?Let us not forget that Governor Crist has completely flip-flopped his position on offshore oil drilling. He now opposes drilling and is threatening to hold a special Legislative session in hopes to garner enough votes to prohibit offshore drilling.
Again, why isn’t Rubio ripping him on this? Crist’s gyrations on the issues present Rubio with a target-rich environment, and yet is not constantly hammering Crist on all his flop-flops and broken promises.
Another issue that is not being looked into is the recent 527 (Friends for Freedom and Prosperity) that Representative Mike Fasano, a long-time supporter and outspoken Crist hack, has started.
I, as well as many others, would like to know what Governor Crist knows about this 527, as well as just how involved he is with it. Heres’s an idea- why doesn’t someone file a complaint with the FEC-namely Rubio, and press for an investigation that would depose Crist to find out what he knows, or what is his involvement with it? Hello? Bueller??? Buuuuueller?
Time will tell if and when Marco Rubio will put on his trousers and gain back the momentum he has lost over the last couple of months. It’s fair to say that the momentum he has lost can accurately described as a major ‘buzz kill’- the question is will he regain it?**UPDATE**
Our good friend Ed Morrissey over at HotAir has ‘hooked’ our piece and offered his thoughts. El-Sharko would like to further clarify- I am offering constructive criticism not about the Rubio campaign’s paid media strategy, but about his earned media strategy, or lack thereof. Rubio should take a page out of Senator LeMieux’s playbook and do what he is doing except out in the field- off the coast and on the beaches. Rubio should be on skimmers, on oil platforms, and on the beaches effectively leading the opposition to this whole charade by demanding transparency and accountability so that he can counter Charlie’s meaningless updates with accurate information.