By Javier ManjarresFlorida’s homegrown political chameleon, Charlie Crist has his sights on a return to the Governor’s Mansion in Florida, as the once ‘conservative’ Republican turned Independent and now Democrat is laying the groundwork for his campaign in 2014.
A poll of over 1000 Democrats has Crist up by over 25 points over the 2010 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink, who lost a razor-thin race back in 2010 against Governor Rick Scott. The poll also found that 79% of Democrats had a somewhat or very favorable view of Crist and 75% of Democrats believed that Crist has the best shot at beating Scott- very promising numbers at this stage in the game.
Back in 2009, then Republican Governor Crist decided not to run for re-election for Governor and instead ran for U.S. Senate. Sources close to Crist said that he did primarily for two reasons- to appease his wife who wanted to live a more ‘glamorous life’ within the Beltway and also because Crist was bitten by the ‘higher-office’ bug after he was considered to be John McCain’s VP selection in 2008.
After McCain passed on Crist for VP, Crist became agitated and was eyeing other possible federal offices to run for, but regardless of McCain’s slight, Crist was already looking for an out- being Governor of Florida was not the job he wanted.When Senator Mel Martinez decided to leave the Senate, Crist presumptuously appointed his former Chief of Staff George LeMieux to act as a place-holder for him in the Senate, seeing the appointment as an opportunity for him to work with his trusted confidant once he won his own election to the U.S. Senate.
As we all know, things didn’t work out as planned for Chameleon Charlie, as he was forced out of the Republican primary and remained in the Senate race as an Independent. He then saw the Meek campaign join forces with Rubio supporters to put the final nails in his campaign. Kendrick Meek once told the Shark Tank that “Crist was a clown and opportunist” that was taking votes away from him, not Rubio, during their three-way senatorial race.
But will Democrat primary voters trust an individual who is perhaps the most notorious political flip-flopper in the country? Given how desperate Democrats are to defeat Rick Scott, chances are good that they will compromise what’s left of their “principles” should they ultimately come to the conclusion that Crist represents their best shot to win.
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