Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sorry Charlie

Some folks think it’s a big deal that former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is going to speak at the Democratic Convention now that he’s endorsed Barack Obama.

Maybe it is. After all, he was a Republican governor of a big swing state, heir to the legacy of Jeb Bush, and a serious contender for the VP slot in 2008 before they decided to go rogue. But for me there’s just too much of an odor of opportunism about him — shocking, I know, for a politician — that makes me see him as more interested in his own fortune than those of the people he’s supposed to serve. He bailed out on a second term as governor to run for the Senate in 2010, and when it looked like he was going to lose the primary to Marco Rubio, he teased going independent until he had no other choice, basically handing the seat to the Republicans.

I can appreciate the fact that the Florida Republican Party is turning into a melange of Tea Party wingnuts and old-fashioned corruption (Google Jim Greer, the former state party chairman, and see what comes up), making it hard for a candidate of moderate political views to get traction. But to the average voter in Florida, regardless of party, he’s been too much of a switch hitter over the last four years to instill any confidence that he’s not just in it for himself.