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The questions Charlie Crist must answer -- and fast

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist's expected announcement -- and we say "expected" because the governor is notoriously fickle and could change his mind -- that he will leave the Republican party to run for Senate this fall as an independent raises all sorts of broad national questions about what his departure says about the state of politics in this country.

But, while answering those larger philosophical debates will be the work of the coming months for both Crist and us, there are several more immediate questions that the Governor will need to address if he hopes to run a viable campaign against former state House Speaker Marco Rubio (R) and Rep. Kendrick Meek (D). (And maybe billionaire Jeff Greene.)

Here's a look at five of the most pressing -- as culled from smart Republican strategists (and the Fix brain):

* Where do his staff and consultants come from?: All politicians like to insist that they are their own best (and only) political adviser but that is, of course, not true. While those familiar with Crist's past campaigns said he essentially managed those races on his own, he won't be able to follow that blueprint if he jumps in as an independent. Why? Because two things will happen simultaneously if, as expected, Crist goes independent today: the vast majority of his staff and consultants will quit and the Florida Senate race will become a HUGE national story. Crist will have to very quickly find quality staff to manage his day-to-day operations AND a pollster and media consultant willing to work with him. (It seems likely he will have to draw on Democratic consultants given that no Republicans would likely risk their career by working for him.) Don't underestimate how important and difficult finding people to staff his new independent campaign will be; Crist will need a public relations blitz over the coming days -- an unimaginable strategy without proper staff.

* How does he handle a money crunch?: Crist knows that if he goes independent there will be some donors who ask for their money back. (At the end of March he had raised just short of $10 million and had $7.5 million in the bank.) But, one Florida source with knowledge of the Republican money game argued that Crist is badly underestimating the number of refunds that will be asked for/demanded. If it's $1 million then Crist can weather it; if it's $3 million (or more) that is a problem. The other piece of the money puzzle for Crist is how he can raise enough money -- in addition to what he has already collected -- to be competitive in such a pricey state in which to run for office. Crist will undoubtedly keep some of his closest money men (and women) but we are talking about a $15 million plus endeavor for a serious general election campaign and it's not yet clear how he can get to that number. It's also worth remembering that Crist has never in his political career had to worry about being outspent; he had been, until very recently, one of the pre-eminent fundraisers in the GOP.

* Which side will he caucus with if elected?: Crist is almost certain to deflect this question, which will be asked of him repeatedly if he goes independent. But, his side-stepping won't stop it from being asked until it's answered. While a governor can get away with avoiding party labels -- the essence of the job is competency and accomplishments not partisanship -- a Senator simply cannot. Federal races are, by their very nature, far more partisan affairs and it's impossible for any candidate to avoid answering the question of which side they will caucus with if they get elected. Crist will undoubtedly cast his decision as a sort of "pox on both your houses" choice but, at the end of the day, there is no independent caucus. (The two elected independents -- Sens. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Bernie Sanders of Vermont both caucus with Democrats.) Crist is almost certain to have to choose a side and, in so doing, runs the risk of losing votes -- no matter which side he picks.

* What changed?: On April 8, the Crist campaign released a statement to the state and national press that read (in part): "Governor Crist is running for the United States Senate as a Republican. He will not run as an Independent or as a No Party Affiliation." That statement was the most bold but far from the only assertion from either Crist or his campaign that talk of an independent bid was ridiculous. Assuming Crist is now going to run as an independent, he will have to find a way to answer questions about what changed in his thinking over the 21 days between his Sherman-esque statement on an independent run and his announcement of said candidacy. Rubio has been working feverishly to cast Crist's decision as a wild act of of a desperate -- and desperately ambitious -- man. Crist, according to reports coming out of Florida, will seek to cast his decision as less about him than about his love for country and his desire to see the political system work for average people. A smart strategy but can he sell it?

* What's his second act?: Crist will be THE story in the political world for the next 48-72 hours. But, what does he do after the immediate crush of attention fades and he is a man without a political country? Crist has to figure out a way to build on any momentum gained from his expected announcement today -- and there should be some although the press almost certainly won't be uniformly positive -- and parlay it into a next act that keeps him relevant in the race for the foreseeable future. Simply being an independent won't be enough. Crist has to find places on issues and in the daily political debate in Florida and nationally to drive home the idea that the American public wants and needs an entirely independent voice in the Senate. Relevancy is everything to Crist because it can be translated into money and media coverage -- two things he will desperately need for the six months between today and election day.

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 29, 2010; 11:22 AM ET
Categories:  Senate  | Tags: Charlie Crist, Florida Senate, Kendrick Meek, Marco Rubio, Republican  
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Next: Florida's 2010 Senate race: One for the ages?

Comments

for all those unfamiliar with FLA politics. Crist has to respond to the gay issue. media is well aware of his weakness but he consistently outsmarted them by changing thr topic to their favorites environment and education.

in hopes of mccain choosing him for VP he even took the unprecedented step of marrying a female publicity hound with chill-run. what better for a politician with his tastes than to acquire a built in family.

Posted by: stargirl1991 | April 30, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Non-story. Rubio will win by a landslide and Crist's chances of retaining the statehouse in a few years have evaporated.

Crist, that was a breathtakingly stupid move.

Posted by: IUT1 | April 30, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cilizza's factual statement above -- "It's also worth remembering that Crist has never in his political career had to worry about being outspent" -- unfortunately demonstrates a total lack of historical perspective. Before Charlie Crist became a political juggernaut (in the eyes of the media), Florida Sen. Bob Graham laid a whuppin' on him in '98. Graham beat Crist by about 2-1 and outspent Crist by about 3-1. The other fact (irony) from this race that media with no institutional memory don't mention is that Crist ran against Graham from the FAR right, calling himself "Chain Gang Charlie." How ironic is it that a guy named Chain Gang Charlie who was his party's sacrificial standard bearer in a long shot race against a popular incumbent is now far too liberal to even have a prayer in a party primary. Just demonstrates how far off the deep end the lemmings have driven the GOP.

Posted by: ImaDem | April 30, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I live in Florida and I think I can answer all of Cillizza's questions.

1. Who will be his staff? Charlie has loyal followers who will gladly support his campaign--they just won't be the top tier people needed to win. You can always hire a consultant, but it will be a waste of time and money for Charlie.

2. How will Charlie raise money? Well, he has about 7.5 million on hand, so fund rasing isn't a major issue for now. There will still be donors who will support him because he's governor and still has a lot of power to make thing happen or not. Donations will continue in return for considerations.

However, I predict his revenue stream will fade to a trickle. Worse, however, is the publicity that will come from Republicans asking for the money back. The RNC initiated a successful similar campaign against Arlen Specter when he switched parties. Specter ended up returning close to a million dollars.

3. With Whom will Charlie Causus? I don't thing this is an important question since Charlie isn't going to the Senate. If he did, Democrats and Republicans would be reminded that Crist is a weather vane in a tornado. He is an unreliable allie. Therefore, the only time either party will give him a second thought is when an important vote may be tied or to break a filibuster. Charlie will gladly accept the bribe from the highest bidder for his vote. Those opportunities will be few.

4. What has changed? Nothing. Charlie's decision to run as an independent is completely in character. He is an opportunist who will say and do whatever it takes to further his political career. This is all about Charlie and it always has been. Frankly, I'm surprised he didn't switch to become a Democrat--he would be in a much better position had he done so.

5. A second act? I don't think so. Here in Florida, this story faded about 30 minutes after his announcement. So to will Charlie rapidly fade as voters ponder is bold faced lie that he would never leave the Republican Party or run as an independent. This makes him a person who cannot be trusted.

Charile has burned so many bridges that he has lost the backing of every major conservative personality.

Not only did he burn bridges to others, but he pour gas on the bridge he was standing on and struck the match.

The bottomline is that I would advise Charlie to use most of his time between now and November to think about what he's going to do in retirement.

Posted by: fmb501 | April 30, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I live in Florida and I think I can answer all of Cillizza's questions.

1. Who will be his staff? Charlie has loyal followers who will gladly support his campaign--they just won't be the top tier people needed to win. You can always hire a consultant, but it will be a waste of time and money for Charlie.

2. How will Charlie raise money? Well, he has about 7.5 million on hand, so fund rasing isn't a major issue for now. There will still be donors who will support him because he's governor and still has a lot of power to make thing happen or not. Donations will continue in return for considerations.

However, I predict his revenue stream will fade to a trickle. Worse, however, is the publicity that will come from Republicans asking for the money back. The RNC initiated a successful similar campaign against Arlen Specter when he switched parties. Specter ended up returning close to a million dollars.

3. With Whom will Charlie Causus? I don't thing this is an important question since Charlie isn't going to the Senate. If he did, Democrats and Republicans would be reminded that Crist is a weather vane in a tornado. He is an unreliable allie. Therefore, the only time either party will give him a second thought is when an important vote may be tied or to break a filibuster. Charlie will gladly accept the bribe from the highest bidder for his vote. Those opportunities will be few.

4. What has changed? Nothing. Charlie's decision to run as an independent is completely in character. He is an opportunist who will say and do whatever it takes to further his political career. This is all about Charlie and it always has been. Frankly, I'm surprised he didn't switch to become a Democrat--he would be in a much better position had he done so.

5. A second act? I don't think so. Here in Florida, this story faded about 30 minutes after his announcement. So to will Charlie rapidly fade as voters ponder is bold faced lie that he would never leave the Republican Party or run as an independent. This makes him a person who cannot be trusted.

Charile has burned so many bridges that he has lost the backing of every major conservative personality.

Not only did he burn bridges to others, but he pour gas on the bridge he was standing on and struck the match.

The bottomline is that I would advise Charlie to use most of his time between now and November to think about what he's going to do in retirement.

Posted by: fmb501 | April 30, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Crist is another Ross Perot type. He can't win so he wants to use the scorched earth policy and take down his Repub opponent at any cost!!
End of his Political career.

Posted by: morphy | April 30, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

The Governor of Florida is now running as an independent. It's obvious that Rubio enjoys support from the extreme conservative wing of the Republican party which fails to allow for the views of a moderate governor and his likely supporters. This situation is now quite analogous to what Joe Lieberman faced in Connecticut.

Endorsements of Rubio by former Vice President Cheney and previous candidates like Mike Huckabee (paroler of convicted felons) and Mitt Romney (author of the Massachusetts health reform plan) and former do nothing governor Jeb Bush mean very little to most Florida voters.

Governor Crist has now made his decision and has taken into account Republican, Democratic and independent moderate voters who did not have an alternative when casting a ballot in the upcoming general election. He made his decision based on what's best for Florida voters, all of them, not based on a party endorsement that has been dictated by others.

Frankly, it is both courageous and patriotic on Governor Crist's part to stand up to these fair weather friends and provide a choice for moderate Florida voters. He is a strong leader and that leadership will now be observed by every potential voter. He has stood up for all Florida voters. He has my full support!

As to your five questions that must be answered now Chris, I strongly urged you to watch the polls, listen to potential Florida voters, for in the end they will answer your questions and much more. Those who wrote Charlie Crist's obituary were premature. He will be elected by the many moderate Republican, Independent and Democratic voters of Florida. In that election many questions both real and pseudo will be answered.

P.S., Recent events in the Gulf oil spill have proven his analytical skills and vocal objections to be correct. He's a winner.

Dr. Alan Phillips
Bloomington, IL

Posted by: ctw46 | April 30, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Charlie Crist is a loser and a fraud, willing to accept the support and funding of the Republican party until he is challenged. Then he is willing to abandon his party and join "the enemy" risking losing his party a senate seat. So much for loyalty. Charlie take a seat over there with turncoat Arlen Specter. Go Marco.

Posted by: jb3902 | April 29, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Charlie Crist: Be Proud of Being an Independent Moderate, With Conservative Values, but Willing to Work with Government for the Good of the Nation, Oppose to [Obstructionism]

"Now I could have chosen to stay in the primary, but frankly for me, it's your decision.

It's not one club's decision or another, or even a club within that club. It is a decision too important, it is a decision for all the people of Florida to be able to make," said Crist.

"And so that's why we go straight to November, we give you the chance to make that decision. It's your decision to make. Now I know, I know this is uncharted territory.

I am aware of that. And I am aware that after this speech ends I don't have either party helping me. But I need you, I need you the people more than ever.

And I guarantee you, I'm counting on you. I'm counting on you, and I believe in you. And you can believe in me, and I'll be with you forever -- forever."

Posted by: omaarsblade | April 29, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Chris: Your last question deserves more indepth analysis. (But, what does he do after the immediate crush of attention fades and he is a man without a political country?) I believe you underestimate both the political intelligence of the Governor; and more importantly, recognition that a third party does indeed exist...the "independent party"; although not officially, they are out there in great numbers and the Governor knows it. Your column at minimum implies "doom" for Crist, but he has made a smart move. I am a former General Assembly member from NC and I can express an objective view of this race: he has made the correct move.

Posted by: mfulcher | April 29, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

cillizza,
let us talk increasing
the federal deficit
by a multiple of 5.

si' senor, mucho'mucho'
dollares'

Posted by: simonsays1 | April 29, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

The Republican Party in Florida is now in Crisis. Thats what happens when you allow a group of rabid Wright-Wingers to take over your party. Not all Floridians are that eager to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
Gov. Charle ran into trouble when he embraced the stimulus Bill.
Lets look at the facts. Floeida was in economic crisis. Revenues were down, forclosurers were rampant. Tourism was down because of the economy. Disney was laying off people by the hundreds. You could get a hotel room in Orlando for a few dollars a night because of the large number of vacancies. What they expected Gov Charlie to do not accept the stimulus?
Gov Charlie is doing the right thing by running as an Independent. The Republicants are up in arms. These are the same Republicans who cheered Joe Lieberman when he ran as a Independent when he was defeated in the Primary.
Gov Charlie has a very good chance of pulling this off. In a three-way race all he need is 40% of the vote. Democrats will vote Democrat. Many White and Hispanic Floridians who may not want to vote for Black Meek ( The same way they did not want to vote for Black Obama) But as Democrats they cannot vote for Rubio so Gov. Charlie is the lesser of two evils.
Cornin and Others want their money back Gov. Charlie should not give a dime back.
Look what happened in NY 23? Folks walked away from the Tea Partyers and give the NY 23Rd to the Democrats.
Run Charle Run ,
Gov. Charlie did not leave the Republican Party the Republican Party left Charlie. The same way they walked away fro Kay Bailey in Texas and John McCain in Arizona

Posted by: Carprin | April 29, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

The Republican Party in Florida is now in Crisis. Thats what happens when you allow a group of rabid Wright-Wingers to take over your party. Not all Floridians are that eager to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
Gov. Charle ran into trouble when he embraced the stimulus Bill.
Lets look at the facts. Floeida was in economic crisis. Revenues were down, forclosurers were rampant. Tourism was down because of the economy. Disney was laying off people by the hundreds. You could get a hotel room in Orlando for a few dollars a night because of the large number of vacancies. What they expected Gov Charlie to do not accept the stimulus?
Gov Charlie is doing the right thing by running as an Independent. The Republicants are up in arms. These are the same Republicans who cheered Joe Lieberman when he ran as a Independent when he was defeated in the Primary.
Gov Charlie has a very good chance of pulling this off. In a three-way race all he need is 40% of the vote. Democrats will vote Democrat. Many White and Hispanic Floridians who may not want to vote for Black Meek ( The same way they did not want to vote for Black Obama) But as Democrats they cannot vote for Rubio so Gov. Charlie is the lesser of two evils.
Cornin and Others want their money back Gov. Charlie should not give a dime back.
Look what happened in NY 23? Folks walked away from the Tea Partyers and give the NY 23Rd to the Democrats.
Run Charle Run ,
Gov. Charlie did not leave the Republican Party the Republican Party left Charlie. The same way they walked away fro Kay Bailey in Texas and John McCain in Arizona

Posted by: Carprin | April 29, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the vacuity of Ped, loud and dumb, drivl and ddawd have run off most of the bloggers again.

The fix circles the drain everytime they take over.

Could we somehow flush these turds?

Posted by: Moonbat | April 29, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

TO: Chevy55sc10 who wrote:
“…For those that don’t know Charlie carries a battery operated fan and sits in the studio blowing himself off before going on camera. God forbid the man sweats…”

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Does Rubio sweat?
========================================

Wrong question "Does he carry a little battery operated fan?" LOL

You truly are an idiot and totally missed the point. Even the media is railing on this idiot.

Chevy

Posted by: Chevy55sc10 | April 29, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

TO: Chevy55sc10 who wrote:
“…For those that don’t know Charlie carries a battery operated fan and sits in the studio blowing himself off before going on camera. God forbid the man sweats…”

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Does Rubio sweat?

Posted by: lindalovejones | April 29, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

excommunication? not 'arf. The way the Republicans are going nuts, I think it's only a matter of time before they slaughter their own children because God is going to reveal a cleaner way to reproduce. These guys are NUTS.

Posted by: Noacoler | April 29, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Let's see, Rubio against AZ anti-hispanic law - Teabaggers go (furthre) nuts, Crist used to be but not now republican - reblicans officeholders forced to sign loyalty oath to republicans told they cannot support Crist whether they want to or not - this should be great - I can't wait to watch them start excommunicating each other for heresy :-)

Posted by: orange3 | April 29, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

If he is truly independent and actually wins, he caucuses with the winning side. Lieberman would caucus with the republicans if they won. He CAN get by with saying that, because he can say it gives him power to move HIS agenda in a way that being stuck in the Republican party wouldn't

Posted by: ceflynline | April 29, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

@koolkat: Rubio has come out against the AZ law, thereby alienating the teabaggers. Funny ha-ha that he already has to choose between the 'baggers and real people.

Posted by: Noacoler | April 29, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone asked teatard Rubio what he thinks about the Arizona law, which will impact his brown-skinned brothers?

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | April 29, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

_________________________________


Maybe you should try actually looking things up before you make narrow minded, insulting and idiotic posts.

http://blogs.tampabay.com/buzz/2010/04/marco-rubio-speaks-out-on-az-immigration-law.html

Posted by: etpietro | April 29, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Am a Floridian. Difficult state to get the voter Demographics right. A politician distancing, him or herself, from either the Democrats or Republicans is smart. Now the tough part. The seniors on fixed incomes, voted for Obama, because he promised everyone everything. The Jewish vote is all over the map. Rich ones were okay with the way things were, enter Bernie Madoff as an example. The Latinos love liberals. All the wealthy Floridians are Republicans. So good luck to Charlie figuring all this out. The Cubans, wish Jeb was still here, as do I. If an Independent gets elected in a big state like Florida, the Democrats can kiss their majority good bye. Forty years of pent up social policies, down the drain. Going to be very interesting Nov.

Posted by: dangreen3 | April 29, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Am a Floridian. Difficult state to get the voter Demographics right. A politician distancing, him or herself, from either the Democrats or Republicans is smart. Now the tough part. The seniors on fixed incomes, voted for Obama, because he promised everyone everything. The Jewish vote is all over the map. Rich ones were okay with the way things were, enter Bernie Madoff as an example. The Latinos love liberals. All the wealthy Floridians are Republicans. So good luck to Charlie figuring all this out. The Cubans, wish Jeb was still here, as do I. If an Independent gets elected in a big state like Florida, the Democrats can kiss their majority good bye. Forty years of pent up social policies, down the drain. Going to be very interesting Nov.

Posted by: dangreen3 | April 29, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Florida TV news crew had these portable fans and were blowing themselves off making fun of Crist. LOL I never saw media mock one of their own before. It’s obvious Charlie has become somewhat of a laughing side show. And that tan of his looks ridiculous. For those that don’t know Charlie carries a battery operated fan and sits in the studio blowing himself off before going on camera. God forbid the man sweats. Just shows what a freak he is.

Man when the media in your home state openly and blatantly mocks you one could assume your days a numbered. It’s on YouTube, Google it.

Posted by: Chevy55sc10 | April 29, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone asked teatard Rubio what he thinks about the Arizona law, which will impact his brown-skinned brothers?

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | April 29, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

The tea party and other true conservatives are glad he's gone - he is a Republican in name only. Good riddance.

==

Well if the only "true Republicans" are people with no appeal to anyone but the nutbar right, then the GOP is doomed to an ever-smaller tent and increasing marginality.

Works for me.

Posted by: Noacoler | April 29, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Crist is leaving the Republican party because.......he is going to lose!

Nice spin job by some, but the truth is polls show him behind Rubio in either a 2 way or 3 way race.

The tea party and other true conservatives are glad he's gone - he is a Republican in name only. Good riddance.

Posted by: thinker16 | April 29, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Neo1138

Folks seem to forget that Obama carried Florida. Even Crist's home, Republican bastion Pinellas County, carried Obama! Crist is reacting to the too hard right turn of the lunatic fringe. Shades of New York District 23 as I see it. Charlie is just keeping himself in the center where most of Florida is. I know many moderate Republicans and lots of moderate Dems who will vote for him over the teabag pandering Rubio, or the unknown Meeks.
+++++++++

Unknown Meeks!? I have been living in Florida for over 20 years, and the Meeks are definitely not an unknown name in the Florida Democratic Party-LoL!

There are too many people commenting about Florida politics who either:

A: Know nothing about Florida politics

B: Learn everything they do from skewed and limited national media reports

C: All of the above.

Posted by: moebius22 | April 29, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Folks seem to forget that Obama carried Florida. Even Crist's home, Republican bastion Pinellas County, carried Obama! Crist is reacting to the too hard right turn of the lunatic fringe. Shades of New York District 23 as I see it. Charlie is just keeping himself in the center where most of Florida is. I know many moderate Republicans and lots of moderate Dems who will vote for him over the teabag pandering Rubio, or the unknown Meeks.

Posted by: Neo1138 | April 29, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

This is turning into one of those 'buyer's remorse' moments. Florida's Republicans have bought into the Tea Party agenda big time, all those elderly retired white men with their social security payments and medicare spending hours polishing their guns, dressing up as Washington, posting on this web site about how 'Barry' is a commie. Big fun! Now comes the reality.

Posted by: gposner | April 29, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Laughing, your analysis makes sense. Good post.

Posted by: Brittman1 | April 29, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Two weeks ago this BUM and I do mean Back-stabbing BUM stated to FOX news under no circumstances would he EVER leave the GOP party.

This back-stabbing POS is A moral and is NOT a principled man.

What he is, is a PUNK

A Coward

Run Charlie Run, ya LYIN COWARD

Chevy

Posted by: Chevy55sc10 | April 29, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks the refunds are not going to be a problem for Crist look here:

April 29, 2010
"Charlie Crist's campaign giving donors partial refunds

The Charlie Crist campaign is already hearing from donors asking for their money back, and the campaign is giving donors pro-rated refunds."

Posted by: moebius22 | April 29, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

1. Where do his staff and consultants come from?

Pray some Democrats defect from Meek. He won’t have any Republicans since they are already making sure no one who helps him has a future in the party.

2. How does he handle a money crunch?
Pray the teacher’s union comes through- not likely. The Republicans are already putting the word out that donors should ask for a refund. Crist doesn’t have to grant a refund, but he doesn’t need the bad press or Rubio or Meek making it an issue.

3. Which side will he caucus with if
elected?

My guess is he will say Democrats to peel Democrats off of Meek.

4. What changed?

The same things that have always caused him to change his policy stances since he became governor- polls.

5. What's his second act?

I doubt even he knows.

Posted by: moebius22 | April 29, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

How about these questions:

What is your name?
What is your quest?
What is the average airspeed velocity of an unlaiden swallow?

Posted by: johng1 | April 29, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Tragically ironic that the first issue "culled" from the Republican strategists, was "Where do his staff and consultants come from?" The bureaucrats always consider themselves first!

Posted by: MHawke | April 29, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Crist will be toast as an Independent. How will he differentiate his positions from Rubio and the Republicans?

Crist's record as governor is poor. Florida has one of the highest unemployment rate, the Largest amount of foreclosures, and property insurance that is terribly under-funded.

Floridians know Crist and he is toast if he runs as an Independent.

Posted by: jdcw | April 29, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

"Relevancy is everything to Crist because it can be translated into money and media coverage -- two things he will desperately need for the six months between today and election day."

==

Yesterday "has rode," today "relevancy."

We who post need to proofread better, but our posts aren't for national syndication.

ENGLISH. DO YOU SPEAK IT?!?

Posted by: Noacoler | April 29, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

'Zero, "scrunt." Such a charming way to refer to a woman. I see why you are so successful with ladies.'

that's why you shouldn't waste your time reading his posts. all he he does all day is stew in his anger and type his hate.

==

beat me to it.

After you've read a dozen or so zouk posts you've read all you're ever going to. Let me summarize: zouk hates pretty much everyone except Sarah Palin. He hates everyone else who posts here.

Life is short. Just PgUp and ignore. Reading his stuff is physically wearying, the guy is so sick.

Posted by: Noacoler | April 29, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

As a registered Independent in Florida, who is not allowed to vote in any state primary, I applaud Governor Crist for breaking with the "rabid" Republican party of Florida. This state has many, many Independents, Democrats, and Republicans who feel this way and who will support Governor Crist. More and more people in this country are registering as Independents, because they cannot stomach the two party system we have right now. I think a lot of the "talking heads" might be surprised to see how much support comes out for Gov. Crist once he announces he is breaking away from the "rabid" tea party Republican party.

Run Charlie Run....

Posted by: StayinCivil | April 29, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Chucko2 makes an interesting point about donations.

Corporate donors will continue to donate to Crist on the off chance that he might win, in which case he might smile upon them as a Senator. I know that Crist may have some very conservative Republicans demand their money back, but I think a lot of his Republican donors will let their bet ride, on the off chance "angry" isn't attracting voters in November and "moderate" is attracting voters.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | April 29, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

ataylor, I heard Lieberman has already done a fundraiser for Crist.

Posted by: drindl | April 29, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

This is what Republicans feared, the tea party didn't understand, and the Democrats prayed for.

The Republican party doesn't all line up with the tea party, and the tea party has become too xenophobic recently for the normal libertarian to be comfortable in it. What we are seeing isn't a Republican resurgence, but rather a splintering into core factions. This was great when all their guns lined up at Democrats, but there are fundamental differences in the camps that are going to make elections a nightmare. With a single conservative candidate in Florida Republican carry the seat without effort. With two, at best Republicans have to spend (read: waste) a lot of money on the race, and risk an upset by Democrats.

We'll see what happens in the fall. Personally, I'm not really rooting for anyone, so don't think this is liberal commentary. I'm looking forward to the political theater, which will be the best we've had in years (and that's saying something). Grab some pizza and beer, this is going to get interesting.

Posted by: Laughing | April 29, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

shrink, got it and replied.

I hope CC posts about the Schumer-Wyden-Feingold-Bayh
bill later.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 29, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Has Lieberman endorsed in this race? If I were Crist, I'd try to get Lieberman's endorsement and tie mayself to him as tightly as possible. This accomplishes a couple of things...

1) It reminds voters that an independent centrist can be a viable, effective presence in the Senate.
2) He's got some street cred among Republicans, particularly on national security issues, where Rubio has been very hawkish.
3) He has great affinity with Florida's Northeast Jewish population.

The more Crist can get Lieberman down in Florda campaigning for him, the better.

Posted by: a-taylor | April 29, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

If 5 or 6 Senators were Independent centrists they could run the country.

Posted by: MHawke | April 29, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

The real question is at what point to the moderates in the GOP get fed up and start a new Party. Something like the "National" Party. Arguably it could have in it Collins, Snowe, King, Kirk, Crist, Lieberman, and Brown (just to name 7 moderate republicans that are in, or will be in, the Senate). Add in some democrats that shift the other way, and the National Party controls the Senate by deciding which party they chose to ally with, and they drive the legislative agenda by threatening to change alliances if the Democrats or Republican Party (which ever one they are allied with) decide to push a program that they do not like. It might actually end some of the current gridlock.

Posted by: dcraven925 | April 29, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Michael Steele already answered some of the Crist questions. By acknowledging that Crist could win the general election he is paving the way for the Repubs to reclaim Crist if he wins. I expect that neither Crist and at least the more moderate Republicans will burn their bridges. Crist will be an IINO and be allowed to employ Repub consultants etc. quietly.

Crist is still Governor. That it itself insures free exposure and enables him to campaign statewide with less funding. Since polling indicates he is overall more likely to win than Rubio, he has a much larger population from which to raise funds. Being the likely winner surely much help financially. A lot of contributions will come from business looking to make sure they have supported the winner.

Crist's strongest argument will be he has done what is best for FL. Rubio is embracing too many causes not essential to FL. FL is in bad shape facing a huge budget shortfall next year when the stimulus money is not there. Obama gave the state some breathing room and Crist is not hypocritical about it.

Posted by: chucko2 | April 29, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

"Goodness, people are doing those things already. It's called the Tea Party movement, Mr. President."

No, actually his point is that people are crying out for cutting spending, and people are making them promises n exchange for their support, but no one is offering any specifics. Why? because it is easy to give generalities about "I'm for smaller government," but individual programs are either very popular or so small (Like NEA endowments) that they are irrelevent. Unless you re willing to pledge to cut the Defense budget (18.74%), Social Security (19.3%), Medicare/Medicade (20.98%), or something else along those lines, you aren't being serious about making cuts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fy2010_spending_by_category.jpg

Remember Tom Delay a few years ago? I'll even give you a conservative publication on this one:

http://reason.com/archives/2006/01/23/why-republicans-cant-cut-spend

The simple truth here, it is easy to get caught up in the arguments that "The government is too big, let's cut taxes and make it live within it's means," when the debate doesn't go beyond that. When the debate then turns into "Ok, that means cutting out this program, reducing Social Security benefits, etc., you guys good with that?" The hard liners still say yes, but the middle then says hang on a second...

Social Security and Medicare remain the third rail, and the Tea Party crowd and the politicians padnering to them still won't touch it. In fact, their anti-HCR rhetoric may have put Medicare completely off limits for the near future.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | April 29, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

thanks for the info on the 14th, gallenod.

Posted by: drindl | April 29, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Gail Collins today:

'This month, the most dreadful laws have been coming from Oklahoma and Arizona. The Oklahoma Legislature just overrode Gov. Brad Henry’s veto on two anti-abortion bills, one of which gives doctors immunity from being sued if they conceal information about a fetus’s possible birth defects from a pregnant patient.

Both Arizona and Oklahoma passed bills exempting state residents from gun registration rules and background checks.

A few months ago, Oklahoma won the Largest Revenue Shortfall in the Nation title, edging out — yes! — Arizona.

It is a little ironic that states that spend so much time complaining about federal meddling have been so dependent on the about-to-vanish federal stimulus funds to keep functioning."

The nuts keep getting nuttier.

Posted by: drindl | April 29, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

So Mark, two threads back, just for fun, I call our government sponsored enterprises, Fannie and Freddie, America's prodigal son, not a fed stepchild.

Posted by: shrink2 | April 29, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Okay, with apologies to SaintPete I'll admit my last post was just to give a brief thrill to the conspiracy mavens on the blog. I know bit.ly is Twitter's default service. ;)

Wait a minute... Libya... Twitter...

Nah, don't thinks so. :)

Posted by: Gallenod | April 29, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, he'll sure have to answer your questions, Chrissy. No way he could win otherwise.

Crist will win if he runs a good campaign. Get over yourself, Cillizza.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | April 29, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Just keep moving to the right, GOP. Just keep moving to the right.

Right off the mainstream map.

Posted by: dognabbit | April 29, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

And, while I'm on a country of origin kick...

saintpetersblog: You do realize that providing a URL that links to a Libyan domain name (.ly) makes said link a bit suspect?

Posted by: Gallenod | April 29, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Well mark, as you and Bobby say, doesn't matter if he made it up in terms of perception. That's what good PR is about.

But is there no danger at all in running with a gun? Isn't there a risk of discharging it?

Posted by: drindl | April 29, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Crist will have staff and donations if he runs. He won't make the decision without having settled that.

Rubio has stated that the new Arizona law goes too far. Can't imagine why he might do that, other than that he might want to go to Arizona some day and not be asked for his papers.

drindl's 12:53 post triggered my interest in the 14th Ammendment citizenship issue. The Supreme Court case that set the precedent for citizenship being granted to childrem born in the US of non-citizen parents was United States v. Wong Kim Ark in 1898. Over the years various bills have been introduced in Congress challenging that interpretation of the citizenship clause in attempts to deny citizenship at birth to U.S.-born children of foreign visitors or illegal aliens. None of them have ever come close to passing Congress and, even if one was enacted it would only survive if the Supreme Court, in a new case, were to conclude that the earlier court had been in error in deciding Wong Kim Ark.

It was an interesting case, decided by a large majority (6-2) in an age when the Chinese Exclusion Act was still in effect that essentially prevented Wong's parents from obtaining citizenship but having it granted to their son by location of birth.

Then Chief Justice Fuller's dissent in the case is worth reading, as many of its premises would likely be included in any attempt to overturn the original decision.

Posted by: Gallenod | April 29, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I'll be live-blogging @charliecristfl announcement at 5 p.m. today along St. Petersburg's waterfront.

http://bit.ly/l6KKw

Posted by: saintpetersblog | April 29, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I am not a Floridian, so I have only occasionally noticed Crist in the media. He seems like a talented politician. The problems identified in this article may not be that formidable for him.

Rubio riding the anger wave. That wave is probably already subsiding.

Posted by: guitar1 | April 29, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I assume you don't want people to read your posts, ComradeZero. As soon as I read "if you moonbat liberals," I knew you merely wanted to vent instead of discuss.

I read no further. There was no need to.

Posted by: Brittman1 | April 29, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

WHY WHITE HOUSE / PENTAGON PRESS CORPS IS A.W.O.L. ON THE HOMELAND CELLULAR "TORTURE TOWERS" DOMESTIC WEAPON SYSTEM

The White House press corps has neutered itself -- or should I say, the news organizations that assign reporters to that post have neutered themselves -- by assigning malleable, establishmentarian subjects to that steno pool, drones who stick to the "story of the day" meme and rarely stray from the script.

Case in point: The U.S. government has installed in every neighborhood in America a microwave/laser/radio frequency "directed energy" weapon system, camouflaged in cell towers, that is being used 24/7 by operatives under the command and control of the Homeland-run multi-agency "fusion center" network to silently precision-target and attack "targeted individuals" with harmful, painful, debilitating and behavior-altering electromagnetic frequencies.

This veteran mainstream journalist broke this story last December. I have published the patent number that describes this powerful, scalar wave electromagnetic technology, a little-known science that produces vast amounts of energy from a vacuum state (U.S. Patent No. 7629918).

Not a single mainstream journalist has bothered to ask the White House, or the Pentagon, whether such a system has been deployed domestically, or about credible reports from victims all across America -- perhaps even some political leaders -- who are being targeted for microwave and other radio frequency irradiation.

Instead, it appears, they have bought into a campaign of Soviet gulag-style character assassination directed at journalists who report about the use of radio frequencies to harm and subjugate those deemed by security bureaucrats to be "dissidents" or undesirables -- and that could be anybody.

So here's a test: Surely some members of the White House or Pentagon press corps are reading this. Please read my lead article on the subject, and the linked Raytheon patent, and craft a question about the subject that requires officials to address the deployment of this weapon system, and not the character or mental health of those who dare to write about it. The links:

http://nowpublic.com/world/u-s-silently-tortures-americans-cell-tower-microwaves
http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america
OR NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "Obama: Take Down Fusion Center Gestapo, Fire Secret Service Boss"

Posted by: scrivener50 | April 29, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Crist is done.

Posted by: FLvet | April 29, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

If you moonbat liberals spent as much time trying to define and defend your nutty policies as you do attacking everyone else for having a differing opinion, you might actually stumble on something valuable some day.

As it is, the entire country is looking forward to throwing the entire socialist experiment out next November and sending the Dem clowns in congress to the end of their own crafted unemployment line.

the sweetest tasting piece will be taking over berry's, joe's and harry's seats. What does that tell you about your popularity with the voters?

Of course you would never know it on this thread. It is populated with the last remnants of the commmunist revolution, the 8% of mindless fools who think Nancy is doing a swell job.

Posted by: Comrade_Zero | April 29, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

whether the coyote story is real or not does not matter - the DA needs to let hm off so White can use it as a campaign issue of favortism - it's politics - we need to turn this against Perry -

But the bigger story is that White is basically within margin of error - why - people fear the radical right and Perry is feeling the heat

if the coyote story is just that a story he did it to remind the right why he is the right guy for them - he is getting desperate

forget if the story is real - the DA needs to do nothing with the charges so the Dems can claim Perry is privileged

Posted by: bobbywc | April 29, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

He is not beyond making it up, I suppose.

Doesn't matter, as Bobby posted.

For jogging or hiking, a .38 is small enough to carry in a velcro closing cargo pocket, but would be a potential problem "loose" in the sweatband. So if he is saying "sweatband" I would be less likely to buy the story, unless he has a customized holster rig.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 29, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Wondering how Jindal feels about drilling now? He's asking for massive federal aid -- whatever happened to small government? Why doesn't LA pay for its own problems?

'VENICE, LA (WAFB/AP) - Gov. Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency Thursday morning in preparation for the predicted impact of oil along the Louisiana coast leaking from the Deepwater Horizon, which threatens the state's natural resources.

With their livelihoods in jeopardy, oystermen and shrimpers are volunteering to drop containment booms from their boats to help stop the oil from reaching land.

The Louisiana Senate Committee on Natural Resources held a special hearing on the oil spill, specifically dealing with the impact it will have along the coast. Officials have bumped up white shrimp season. It started at noon. The hope is that starting the season early will help shrimpers get ahead of the spill.

BP's Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles confirmed a new leak was found at the site where an oil platform exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico. Officials monitoring the site reported the leading edge of the oil was nearing the Louisiana coast and could impact it as early as Friday.

Rear Adm. Mary Landry said an estimated 210,000 gallons a day is now leaking and Suttles confirmed those findings as well. Officials had said for days it was only about 42,000 gallons a day. She said National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration experts upgraded the figure based on aerial surveys, study of the trajectory of the oil slick and other factors.

Posted by: drindl | April 29, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

'Zero, "scrunt." Such a charming way to refer to a woman. I see why you are so successful with ladies.'

that's why you shouldn't waste your time reading his posts. all he he does all day is stew in his anger and type his hate.

Posted by: drindl | April 29, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

teleprompter reader getting a little tired:

"As this debate unfolds, I just want everybody to pay attention to what folks are saying. A lot of times politicians will tell you, 'I'm going to cut your taxes, I'm going to lower the deficit, I'm going to expand Medicare.' [Don't settle for that.] Ask every politician when they say they're going to balance the budget and deal with the deficit: 'What exactly are you going to cut? What spending are you willing to eliminate?'"

Goodness, people are doing those things already. It's called the Tea Party movement, Mr. President. You and your ridiculous message crafters and media toadies are busy calling them racists, mobs, fringe kooks, ad nauseam, even though in 2007-08 you seemed to share right many of their concerns. What happened?

The people are asking those very questions, but they're asking them of you, you see, since you promised to cut taxes, lower the deficit and so forth, but instead delivered one deficit-ballooning program after another.

Now they sense, correctly, that you're preparing to make them and their children and grandchildren pay for your own spending party. You and your supporters and pals got their power and payoffs, now you want to pretend as if you're at the mercy of your own farcical Debt Commission, unable to stop a crippling influx of tax increases to solve, supposedly, those problems which you deliberately made much, much worse.

Oh, and we remember how you said we faced a "crisis" back when you were campaigning. Before the Change.

But have at it, Mr. President. What exactly are you going to cut? What spending are you willing to eliminate? These are your questions; you cannot be afraid of them.
-Sanders

Posted by: Comrade_Zero | April 29, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

"Texas is real different than Westchester County."

Well, sure. But this is just one county in NY. Where I once lived, up in the Catskills only 100 miles away, everybody including me had a rifle or shotgun, partly because like a lot of rural areas, we had a max-security prison-- the most dangerous critters around.

I would not have hesitated to shoot an actually threatening coyote either, but I'd certainly get more flack for it here than up in the mountains.

But read the story -- so carefully constructed -- he even went so far as to talk about how the coyote didn't suffer.

It's exactly the kind of thing a good PR person would write and peddle to publishers. As you see, they eat this stuff up.

Posted by: drindl | April 29, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Crist gets to use his position as Governor from now until November to impress the voters of Florida with his leadership. I think the rejection of the recent bill that would have hit teachers and fire fighters hard is the kind of action that a lot of voters admire.

As far as PR... well he just uses the system freely available to him now through the state. He's the Governor. Maybe he calls a few more press conferences than he has in the past, maybe he talks about his decision-making process and his vision for Florida more, maybe he appears at ground breakings and new State/Federal-financed initiatives. It's been done before. Remember Bush and his administration running for reelection? They were promoting him everywhere on the public dime.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | April 29, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

"Why all the focus on Crist - what will Rubio do ?"

Because what Crist will do is both more vague and more interesting than what Rubio will do. Rubio won't, for instance, drop out of the race, no matter what Crist does. Rubio will, certainly, try to cast Crist as an opportunist looking for personal gain. Of course, Crist's rebuttal is that Rubio personally gained quite a bit via the party Amex account. Crist also gets to cast the Repubs generally & Rubio specifically as too extreme, too ideological. What's Rubio's rebuttal?

Posted by: bsimon1 | April 29, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

These are fine questions for the political elite, but what voters care about is that Crist is simply a moderate centrist who is not Marco Rubio...

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | April 29, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

The LEGAL IMMIGRANTS have an obligation to support the laws of this country.


so does the democratic party


So does Obama.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | April 29, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

The Republican anti-Latino orgy continues as Duncan Hunter cosponsors The Birthright Citizenship Act of 2007, legislation that would attempt to overturn the 14th amendment by ending the practice of granting anyone born in the U.S. citizenship status, and then deporting American-born children of immigrants.

Additionally, R legislators from 7 other states have approached the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) — the legal arm of a designated nativist-extremist - for help in drafting similar statues.

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/04/28/state-immigration-report/

Posted by: drindl | April 29, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Zero, "scrunt." Such a charming way to refer to a woman. I see why you are so successful with ladies.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | April 29, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Really? White is within 4 points? That's insane. A Rasmussen poll too!

I have to wonder if the world is as anti-Democrats as the press has been saying for all this time. It really doesn't make sense that people have completely forgotten the severe damage done during the Bush years.

Posted by: DDAWD | April 29, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

-- do people actually beleive the coyote story? there were no witnesses, no corroboration. what makes anyone think he didn't just make that sh*t up to

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

this characterization matches the recent N-word fantasy about the tea party on Capitol hill.

Posted by: Comrade_Zero | April 29, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

The White House Press Corps (that's Corpse in O-speak) is notoriously fickle and quick to take umbrage when they sense any disrespect from an administration. Could they be turning on The One, whom they helped to anoint, who would have the most open presidency in modern times?

The [Obama] White House has adopted a pugilistic attitude towards the press, lashing out at journalists who criticize the president, shutting others out, and adopting a deferential attitude towards the press corps that has some journalists reminiscing about the openness of -- gasp -- the George W. Bush presidency.
The Obama administration "came in with every reporter giving them the benefit of the doubt," one journalist told Politico's Josh Gersten and Patrick Gavin. "They've lost all that goodwill." It seems that the press corps's offense is questioning the administration's positions.
At least the Obama regime can lay claim to one thing: being the most thin-skinned in modern history

Posted by: Comrade_Zero | April 29, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

AndyR3, stop! My ginger ale is coming out of my nose and the screen is a mess.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | April 29, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Mark -- certainly I beleive there's coyotes out there -- we have plenty of them here. But the idea of running with a pistol in the sweatband of your shorts sounds silly.

Since nobody likes the coyotes, he gets to swagger and not get sh*t about it. It's great PR -- why wouldn't he just make it up?

Posted by: drindl | April 29, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

does not matter if teh story is true - he is actually bragging about it on his campaign web page - it may be a ploy to get the gun people solid on his side - does not matter

i say make a political issue of it by letting him off - this will have people yelling foul - favoritism - look I would have done the same thing - i am not talking being rational i am talking politics and if the DA lets him off people will yell privilege - this helps White

But I think Perry is in trouble - White is basically within margin of error - where is the radical right helping Perry - they are not - they are sending moderate republicans, and independents right into White's hands

This is the bigger story which relates to Crist - the teabaggers are turning the Rpublicans into a party to fear - I hope the Coffee party can get the moderate teabaggers to switch - most people agree we have a problem with spending - unfortunately for the teabaggers their base is well beyond the tax and budget issues into radicalism and this will be their demise

Posted by: bobbywc | April 29, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Drindl,
Who runs with a gun in their shorts?

Plaxico Burress

Posted by: AndyR3 | April 29, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin just had a 26th Ethics charge dismissed as meritless. This specific baseless complaint dealt with a legal defense fund set up after she left office to pay her legal defenses for the other 25 baseless ethics charges; a number of which were filed by fat bitter Democrat scrunt Linda Kellen Biegle.

Meanwhile, tax cheats Tim Geithner and Charlie Rangel continue to wield power over the tax code, and Countrywide Chris Dodd gets to author banking regulations.

But it's OK because they're Democrats

Posted by: Comrade_Zero | April 29, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Also, Yvonne, the widow across the street from me, and Judith, the widow two houses east, both have .38s loaded with hollow points. They would violate the ordinance to shoot a coyote. We have all talked about it.
These women are Ds in their 50s and 60s, btw. Texas is real different than Westchester County.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 29, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I will taek each point one at a time,
#1-Staff, two groups Bloomberg and Liebermann will all work with him since they are now out of work. He can also contact people from Huntsman's team in Utah. But that is IF his people leave in mass, which I dont' think will happen.

#2-Money, I don't think he needs to send a dime back to donors, and if he does he would still have a few million in his bank. Then it will only take a few promosing polls to get the cash to start flowing again. People donate money to winners.

#3-The caucus question. I think he should state that if he is the deciding vote and the house is for one party he will caucus with the other to assure a split government. If he isnt' the deciding vote he will caucus with the party whose leader promises to be truly bipartisan.

#4-What changed? He couldnt' win as a Repub, but can win as an Ind so he switched. No big deal.

#5-His second act is going to be to talk about truly bipartisan issues. Expect to hear alot about immigration reform, environmental stuff, education reform, and Debt Reduction. The debt reduction should be his real crudgel because he can argue that the only way to really face the growing debt is to do it in a bipartisan way.

Posted by: AndyR3 | April 29, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Why Henry "Wormtail" Waxman Turned Tail

Remember those hearings that Rep. Henry Waxman called, in order to compel those evil big corporations like AT&T to explain exactly why they were declaring huge losses only weeks after ObamaCare was signed? Why did the hearings all of a sudden disappear?

Publicly, Waxman said the investigation showed the companies' disclosures were properly filed. But a new report from committee Republicans reveals the documents Waxman obtained included embarrassing evidence that the health-care law could drive up insurance premiums and force employers to dump employees from their health plans.
Which, is just what conservatives and Republicans had been saying about ObamaCare fallout all along: Chairman Zero's promises were pure folly.

Most significantly, documents unearthed by the investigation highlight companies that are considering dumping employees from their current health-care plans in the face of new costs from the health-care law. President Obama repeatedly promised his health-care law would let Americans keep their current insurance if they're happy with it.

Posted by: Comrade_Zero | April 29, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

One has to look at PATH TO VICTORY


Crist really does not have a path to victory.

The only one this switch opens up a Path to Victory is Meek - not Crist.

I don't think that is going to happen - I am just mentioning that Meek now has a better chance than Crist.

All Meek has to do is rile his base - 40% could win the race.

The democrats could also make a deal with Meek and switch candidates with someone who has much more money -

Crist's move is not really good - there are too many things that could go wrong.


There really is only one thing that could go right for Crist - an implosion by Rubio - and Crist really does not have control over that.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | April 29, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I believe it. Lots of coyotes in Lost Creek just like on Walnut Creek where I live. Bobby is right - and I am not sure Lost Creek is actually IN Austin. But assuming that it is, all dog people and cat people so hate coyotes along the creeks that he will get a pass of some sort. This is no biggie in Austin.

My neighbors on both sides of me have high powered pellet guns for coyotes so they will not violate the ordinance. I have my shotgun, and I will not discharge it in the city, so I think I will be getting a hi powered pellet gun too.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 29, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

The fallacy of Political Greed! Give it up Charlie!

Posted by: ajguru | April 29, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

bobbywc -- do people actually beleive the coyote story? there were no witnesses, no corroboration. what makes anyone think he didn't just make that sh*t up to sound macho? i mean, look at the timing.

also, who runs with a big gun in their shorts? accidents happen.

Posted by: drindl | April 29, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

mark, did you see the law rasm poll which has White down only 4 points - I think even in Texas Repubcs are beginning to see the irrational element known as the radical right

Also mark how is the coyote story playing in Austin - they need to let Perry off for 2 reasons [1] most dog owners would have done the same thing and [2] when they let him off it will allow for a campaign issue of perry being privileged.

But back to the thread - in Ariz, Texas, and now Flor. we are beginning to see the effect the radical right is having on the statewide elections - this is all good for the Dems

Posted by: bobbywc | April 29, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Refunds? How exactly do you ask for money back that you gave to him to get elected?

Perhaps the RNC might want any money they've given him back but that likely has legal strings associated with it. Do individual donations have any such strings on them legally?

I would think it's a buyer beware type of arrangement when giving any political donations, no?

Posted by: rpixley220 | April 29, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse


This is going to translate into a massive movement of support from Crist to Rubio


I don't believe a telephone poll accurately predicted the state of the race.

The reason is: after Republicans start talking to each other - and deciding that they will shun Crist - many Republicans who said they would stick with Crist will move over to Rubio instead.

This leaves Crist even further out there.

The GOTV efforts as well - how is Crist supposed to get the manpower together throughout such a large state ?


If Crist had 50 million dollar, maybe it would work.


But Crist doesn't

What you will see over the next few weeks is a MASSIVE consolidation of the Republican party structure under Rubio - and Crist is going to see his options limited.

I believe Crist made a mistake interpreting the recent polls showing a three party race - AS A PATH TO VICTORY.

A path to victory is a whole lot more complicated.


,.

Posted by: 37thand0street | April 29, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Why all the focus on Crist - what will Rubio do ?


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | April 29, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"I think a moderate 3rd party would have gain more influence and capture more votes than the TEA Party"

Absolutely, margaret. I know a few Repubicans who are just embarrassed by their party now, it is so extreme. Just watching Jowls/Waddles McConnell speak is embarassing.

Posted by: drindl | April 29, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

On the previous thread, bsimon pointed out that Crist retains the bully pulpit of governor. That alone will permit him to run a credible campaign, even if funding gets dicey.

He will have the teachers union as foot soldiers, and we know that there are PR firms that will flak for anyone [take Carville and Matalin, for example]. He does not need a TV budget. He is known. He does not need to do anything but show up all over the state and meet and greet. Let me add that if he is half the campaigner that Rick Perry is, one-to-one, he will not need much money at all. Because as governor he can go around the state on the flimsiest pretext, and never get into actual campaign mode, while smiling all the while.

I do not think he is by any means to be favored - but think "Ventura" and know that a third party candidate as well known as Crist is not in a bad position.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 29, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

His own party hung Crist out to dry months ago when they seized Rubio as their dream candidate. Certainly Crist will have the backing of Jim Greer and other marginalized Republicans who used to think of the RP of Florida as their home.

I think we will see a group of perhaps more moderate Republicans align themselves with Crist and try to take the RP of Florida back from a noisy but over-reaching wing of the party.

Or we may be seeing the start of a moderate 3rd party in our political scheme. Crist is not alone in being squeezed out by an inexperienced group that calls 50% of their own party not Republicany enough. I think a moderate 3rd party would have gain more influence and capture more votes than the TEA Party or C for G will.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | April 29, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Are we sure his staff will quit? It is the case often when a person switches parties, but not necessarily if they go independent. Does he already have his key staff in line and onboard with the move? Surely if he was floating this the Rahm Emanuel and others over the past few days, he's polled his own staff as well. Pollsters are another issue (although I'm sure Penn will sell himself out)

Posted by: kreuz_missile | April 29, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I am expecting him to call me any minute and I'm going to tell him, "Charlie, stay in there and fight. You can beat Rubio if you give the battle for moderate voters everything you've got."

Posted by: shrink2 | April 29, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

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