Saturday, January 2, 2010

Gov. Charlie Crist Leaves Tallahassee and Moves to Some Place Called 'Da Nile'

Exhibit A from the St. Pete Times:

"All in all, I think it's been a good year — a good year in challenging times," Crist said. "These are tough times. It sure hasn't been dull, to say the least, by any stretch."
If Good Time Charlie thinks it's been a good year he sure hasn't been hanging out in Florida.

Lets review:

He miscalculated the danger of his "man hug" with President Barack Obama in support of the Democrats' stimulus package. He signed a no-new taxes pledge only to raise taxes weeks later to balance the state budget. And the biggest contributor in his campaign for U.S. Senate, Fort Lauderdale lawyer Scott Rothstein, was charged in a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme.
Speaking of that stimulus package that Crist supported and then denied that he supported and then denied that he denied supporting, what has Florida gotten out Crist's great big ol' man hug?

When Crist took office in 2007, the unemployment rate was 3.3 percent — less than a third of what it is now as more than 1 million Floridians can't find work. One in every 705 Florida homes was in foreclosure when he took office. Now the foreclosure rate is 1 of 165, according to RealtyTrac data service. (emphais added)

Even Crist's staunchest critics say many of Florida's woes are largely beyond his control. But they question whether Crist did what he could when he could. When the economy deteriorated, Crist paid visits to regional unemployment centers and held roundtable discussions with veterans and real estate agents, but he didn't propose and implement specific policies to halt the tide of foreclosures and layoffs. (emphasis added)
Crist has put his vastly unpopular "green policies" on the back burner but he himself admits that it is only a temporary move. He is currently touting "light rail" as his signature program. Apparently he is unaware that government backed railroad transportation has had a long history of abject failure.

Most damaging for Crist is the perception that Crist really doesn't stand for anything and that he is one of those politicians who sticks his finger in the air in order to determine the direction of the political winds. Consider this:

Newly married to New York socialite and businesswoman Carole Rome, Crist spent the days just before 2009 hunting for Christmas gifts in the rural North Florida antique mecca of Havana. There Crist ran into a local who paid him such a compliment that he pulled a reporter aside and made her repeat it. (emphasis added)

"I believe he's a closet Democrat," Shirley Aaron said.

"I'll take that as a compliment," Crist said. "We have, in Florida, Republicans and Democrats and independents, but we're all Floridians first."
If Crist knew or cared about the profound ideological differences between the two political parties he wouldn't feel complimented by being called a closet Democrat. But for Crist, ideology is only skin deep and can be easily shed when it no longer suits Crist's needs.

Now that Crist has tanked in the polls, he is trying make up his lost ground but pretending that everything is just fine in Florida won't get him very far. Come the August primary Florida voters will be voting on whether they believe things are just fine and who they will trust to represent them. I don't expect that a year from now Crist will be sounding as enthusiastic as he is trying to sound now.

Cross posted at Not One Red Cent

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thats not the only "closet"he is hiding in.