Friday, August 20, 2010

Charlie’s Luck

Gov. Charlie Crist is making his move to the left in his campaign for the Senate.

Crist recently refunded the $9,600 contribution he had received from Jim Greer, the indicted former chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. On Wednesday morning, he campaigned in the Democratic-stronghold Broward County, to solid reviews. The day before, he was caught on camera mocking the GOP colleagues he left behind: “I used to be a Republican… Thank God.”

His line is that he didn’t leave the GOP; they left him. On that score, he’s right; in the current climate in the Florida GOP, I doubt that Jeb Bush could get elected.

Mr. Crist’s luck in running in a fragmented election may save him. The GOP’s support for Marco Rubio is strong, but it’s turning off a lot of moderates. On the Democratic side, Kendrick Meek may win the primary in a bruising battle against Jeff Greene, but he has yet to catch fire across the state, and the bad blood in that campaign and in the governor’s race on the GOP side — Bill McCollum vs. Rick Scott trying to out-tea-bag the other — has filled the airwaves, mailboxes, and voice mail with tons of junk to the point that a lot of people are turned off by everybody. Charlie Crist could win just because he’s already had his fifteen minutes of negative campaigning.