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The Case Against Charlie Crist

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is one of the few potential vice presidential candidates of either party who doesn't seek to downplay his interest in and excitement about the post.

VP Watch

"It is very flattering to be considered and even the mere mention of the question is a humbling kind of thing for someone like me," Crist told Sky News during an interview earlier this week on a trip to Europe.

Yesterday we made the case for why Crist would be the perfect pick as John McCain's running mate. Today we argue the opposite.

Conservative Catnip

Crist insists he is a conservative but no one outside of his staunchest allies in the Republican party really believe him.

Crist, who downplays policy questions on the campaign trail and in the governor's office (more on that later) has taken a variety of positions on issues dear to conservatives' hearts -- among them abortion and and gay marriage.

Charlie Crist
Fla. Gov. Charlie Crist (Bloomberg News)

Crist is also far more friendly with trial attorneys -- he famously declared "the lawyers are back!" soon after taking office -- than most Republican office-holders and activists who tend to see plaintiffs attorneys as nothing more than ambulance chasers trying to score a quick buck.

The sentiment of movement conservatives toward Crist was summed up in a column in the Washington Times penned by Burnie Thompson, a Florida talk-radio host. "Crist is the RINO poster boy," wrote Thompson. "He's a Republican in name only. He's as politically calculating as the Clintons, and equally enamored of power."

In other words, Crist isn't one of them. And, despite his largely conservative record, neither is McCain. While conservatives have generally rallied behind McCain following the primary fight, it's an open secret that most movement conservatives would have preferred either of the two former governors -- Mitt Romney (Mass.) and Mike Huckabee (Ark.) -- to McCain.

For McCain to have any chance at winning this fall, he MUST find ways to excite the conservative base about turning out for him. The easiest way to do that is to pick someone as vice president that conservatives see as one of their own. And, that isn't Charlie Crist.

Showhorse not Workhorse

Conversations with a variety of unaffiliated Republican operatives about Crist's prospects all produced a consensus: the Florida governor's knowledge of issues is a mile wide and an inch deep.

Crist's appeal to voters in Florida is based largely on who he is, not what he stands for. His detractors attribute his high favorability ratings to the fact that his chief governing philosophy is based on doing whatever is easy and popular. Crist defenders insist that he is a compromiser by nature, an approach to governing that rank partisans might not like but that voters respond to.

Still, Crist's passion is clearly his populist pitch not his policy chops. At the national level, Crist would be challenged far more often than he is in Florida on his stances on issues and his own proposals on key public policy matters of the day.

And, given that McCain's appeal to voters is far more dependent on his personality than his policies, it might make sense for the Arizona senator to choose someone who adds policy heft to the ticket.

Vet-Proofing Problems?

If, as is widely speculated, McCain picks his running mate sometime after the conclusion of the Democratic convention in late August, it is considered absolutely essential by many GOP operatives that the v.p. pick be fully vetted in advance so that there are no potential surprises that could derail what is already shaping up to be a difficult fall campaign.

Unlike some of the other most prominently mentioned candidates (Romney, former Rep. Rob Portman, former Department of Homeland Security head Tom Ridge), Crist has never had to submit to a full vetting by the national media and the Democratic party.

He has led something of a charmed life in Florida politics, having spent four years as a popular attorney general before running for governor in 2006. In the gubernatorial primary, Crist benefited from a significant financial edge and a badly flawed opponent to cruise to a 30 point win. The general election race against Rep. Jim Davis was never particularly close as Crist outspent Davis at a nearly three-to-one clip.

And yet, despite the relative ease of that race, Crist faced persistent and pernicious rumors during the campaign about his personal life, being asked at a public forum whether he was gay. Crist has faced renewed questions about his sexuality of late despite his recent engagement to 38 year old Carole Rome. Of the questions, Crist responded, "Well, you know, when you're in the public eye, and being governor of Florida that's inevitable, you know, I don't really focus on it, I'm just damn glad I found such a wonderful lady."

Crist's engagement may well put the rumors behind him. But if McCain's main objective in picking a vice president is finding a vetted and "safe" candidate, there are far better vetted individuals in the mix than Crist.

A Little Too Interested

Crist has made no bones about his interest in the vice presidency in private and he has been far more willing to speculate publicly than some of the others mentioned in the veepstakes (see Pawlenty, Tim).

To some observers, Crist has been too willing to campaign for the job and to shore up perceived weak spots -- reversing positions on offshore oil drilling to match up with McCain and announcing his engagement to stave off the dreaded bachelor label.

Making such an obvious play for the vice presidency is not only a tried and true strategy to not get it but also runs counter to the core of the McCain brand: principled leadership, politics be damned.

McCain has made his political name by his willingness to stand by unpopular positions; his fight against his own party on campaign finance reform and his push for Republicans to acknowledge the perils posed by global warming burnished his independent/maverick credentials with voters even as it angered many within the party.

By naming Crist, McCain would run the risk of tarnishing that brand, as even Crist's admirers acknowledge he is a smooth-talking politician and, in that, is an anti-McCain.

Agree? Disagree? What did we miss in making the case against Crist? Feel free to offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 17, 2008; 1:40 PM ET
Categories:  Veepstakes  
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Comments

Christ may have lived a charmed life politically, but neither the charm nor the life have ever been seriously tested. Not too long after he admitted he did not understand the Florida Homestead Exemption law, he got elected governor. When told that his landlord was illegally claiming two such exemptions, the then-attorney general asked: "you mean he cannot do that?".

While it is "charming" that Florida's higest ranking law enforcement official at the time would not know that its a crime to claim two such exemptions, it is actually funny that future governor charlie was actually living in the residenced covered by exemption number two.

He is governor of Florida, but it seems that this fact is more the function of luck than charm. Sure charlie is probably accurately described as a charming guy. But would he have to be all that charming to beat sour-puss Jim Davis ?? Davis couldn't raise much money and ran a zimpy campaign of no imagination. Plus, no one asked either of those guys a good question during the entire campaign. Christ got lucky in that Davis was his opponent and because the bench for both parties was weaker than a Devil Rays bullpen from the 1990's.

Can luck get a guy nominated and elected vice-president?? It worked for Dan Quayle- once. But it really depends upon the opposition. Obama is no Jim Davis and he is no Dukakis, And he counts himself fortunate for that. And all this talk about energizing the right wingers?? What poop. If McCain was smart he would choose Hillary. Look at how many republicans voted for her just to extend the democratic primary season. Like those voters are going to sit back and let Obama win?? seriously now.

Posted by: donny rhode | July 22, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

First off, the Republicans in North FL are not Crist fans at all. He really upset alot of conservatives in Panama City over the Martin Lee Anderson issue, and they're usually in-the-bag GOP votes. Crist will have a tough primary in 2010 with someone coming from the right to challenge him (Rubio?).

Then there's the whole gay thing. It shouldn't be a big deal if he's gay or not. However, it does matter to some voters, and more importantly, he has denied it at every step. If he were openly gay, who cares? But because he's living a straight public life, it becomes an issue of honesty. If he is willing to lie to the public about his sexuality what else would he be willing to lie to the public about? That's when a personal issue becomes a public one. And you know if there is anything in his past it will be dug up and put on display for all to see during a national race. I'm sure McCain's people know all about Crist's past, and will not seriously consider him for the VP nomination because of it. Too much risk involved.

Posted by: DC | July 19, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

As a voter in Florida, your colum is very accurate. "A mile wide and an inch deep"

Perfect discription.

As a VP choice my only question would be;
Given McCains age, Do Charlie Crist supporters, see him as a president of the U.S.?

That's my only question because I'm laughing to hard to engage brain.

Posted by: Daniel | July 19, 2008 6:27 AM | Report abuse


The comments really run far afield. Why does this issue bring up McCain's 1st wife? What about Reagan's first wife? Might as well bring up that so-called religious consevative. I thought this article was about the vice presidential pick.

Posted by: Katherine | July 18, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

For those who believe Crist is incredibly popular, take a look at SurveyUSA's latest poll of Crist in FL:

http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollReport.aspx?g=17fde017-d5a4-47b2-be51-b10a1f346269

Do you approve or disapprove of the job Charlie Crist is doing as Governor:
Approve - 50%
Disapprove - 38%

One in two think he's doing a good job. Not exactly a runaway success.

Posted by: ChadInFL | July 18, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Oh for Pete's sake. Who cares if Crist is gay?

McCain shouldn't pick him for two other, more important reasons: 1) His hair is too gray/white -- McCain needs someone in the photo op with hair that hasn't aged more than his; 2) Crist has too deep a perpetual tan -- that could lead to serious skin cancer and preclude him from being able to take over the reins should McCain's own skin cancer overtake him ....

Let's focus on what's important ...?!

Posted by: frannie | July 18, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

See who the first wife of John McCain is working for now and who she contributed to

http://webofdeception.com/#carolsheppmccain

Posted by: Robert Lewis | July 18, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

John McCain was pre-selected by the Bush White House to lead the charge....and by so doing, to reinforce the Bush legacy. The only requirement placed upon McCain was that he openly accept Crist as his running mate. This would put Florida into play for the Republicans for two reasons: Crist is popular and stands an excellent chance of bringing Florida home for McCain AND it also provides the opportunity to shore up and perpetuate the Bush Brand for yet another run at the White House by brother Jeb.

Posted by: Nils Klykken | July 18, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

You write: McCain has made his political name by his willingness to stand by unpopular positions; his fight against his own party on campaign finance reform and his push for Republicans to acknowledge the perils posed by global warming burnished his independent/maverick credentials with voters even as it angered many within the party.

In what universe????? McCain "standing by unpopular positions"???? That is SO "last week."

You've really been drinking the Kool-Aid Chris. Is that what McCain serves at his b-b-q?

[And BTW, WaPost, come into this century and allow HTML tags in your comments.]

Posted by: Mauimom | July 18, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Everything you say are total lies you are making up. Crist on the other hand used to frequent gay bars, thats no even in dispute. Who knows, maybe he liked the music.

======
If inuendo that someone's a homosexual makes someone untouchable, then let's look at Obama, and the Larry Sinclair statements and the three mysterious deaths of people Larry Sinclair claims can give witness to his assertion that he gave oral sex to Obama on two occasions. Sinclair said a member of Obama's church knew about Obama's bisexuality and died very suddenly with no medical history of disease. I think we have to get away from homophobia. If race is not a factor, why then is homosexuality? It seems that if someone is out of the closet,they are no longer subject to extortion, so why then are they not electable? Maybe I just don't understand this issue as many on the extreme right seem to. Explain please.

Posted by: mvpeach | July 18, 2008 10:59 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Don't know what you own but mine on just my main house dropped $1600.00. And on the rest of my property I will have another $4000. in savings. Not huge but better then nothing. You need to go to your property appraisers web site and look at something current.

========
Charlie Crist is as phoney as the governor he replaced.

His policies continue the degradation of the State of Florida.

His promises are as bad: "property taxes will fall like a rock"--average savings: $20 a month.

I'd like to see him selected as veep--we'd get rid of him, and the country will find out how weak he really is.

Posted by: John | July 18, 2008 12:10 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Charlie Crist is as phoney as the governor he replaced.

His policies continue the degradation of the State of Florida.

His promises are as bad: "property taxes will fall like a rock"--average savings: $20 a month.

I'd like to see him selected as veep--we'd get rid of him, and the country will find out how weak he really is.

Posted by: John | July 18, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Not as vitriolic a thread as I expected, just more of the rumor-mongering which has been going on here for a couple of years.

Posted by: Mild | July 18, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

If inuendo that someone's a homosexual makes someone untouchable, then let's look at Obama, and the Larry Sinclair statements and the three mysterious deaths of people Larry Sinclair claims can give witness to his assertion that he gave oral sex to Obama on two occasions. Sinclair said a member of Obama's church knew about Obama's bisexuality and died very suddenly with no medical history of disease. I think we have to get away from homophobia. If race is not a factor, why then is homosexuality? It seems that if someone is out of the closet,they are no longer subject to extortion, so why then are they not electable? Maybe I just don't understand this issue as many on the extreme right seem to. Explain please.

Posted by: mvpeach | July 18, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

To reiterate and revise some comments I made on the previous installment:

As a Florida moderate (registered Republican, but not hard-core), I find the hype over Crist a bit much.

Crist is rather untested and seems, as the Fix says, power-hungry and also too much like a crony, having bounced around between lesser and rather unrelated political jobs -- FL Senate (6 years), horribly failed bid for US Senate, appointment as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (2 years), special election to Education Commissioner of Florida (a position that was already slated for elimination by constitutional amendment shortly thereafter), elected as State Attorney General (four years), and in 2006 elected as governor.

Besides the mile-wide/inch-deep policy background the Fix mentions, Crist doesn't have a lot of executive experience since he hasn't even finished his first term as gov, and I'd suggest that most people don't want to give the launch codes to someone who is a relative unknown. (Obama was also an unknown, and some think his relative inexperience may yet hurt him.)

Add to that his recent flip-flop on off-shore drilling and the fact that his marriage at this moment in history seems a bit too politically expedient for many, and you have some things to give pause. There are more than just rumors about his bachelorhood being a result of his sexual orientation (cf. http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/2008-02-28/news/the-talk-of-the-green-iguana ), and while we can argue about how much weight (if any) this should have, you can see by the comments here and on the Fix's "Case for Crist" that it *is* definitely a factor in national electability.

Even so, he *might* help deliver Florida, which could be crucial if conservatives don't stay home in November. However, as a person on the street, I don't feel like he has a high degree of visibility for doing much in Florida (save his recent stumping for McCain, flip-flop on drilling, homestead tax change, and engagement). Most people, even those interested in national politics, are ignorant of most of his doings. So my impression is that his "popularity" in Florida is over-rated as a benefit for McCain.

The sad thing is that Jeb Bush will never get a chance for obvious reasons. He has all the charms of Crist and more -- he's conservative (more than Crist), popular, a former governor of FL (out by term limits, not a loss), youngish and handsome, speaks Spanish, etc. He was governor when all the hurricanes hit, and he helped us through. His popularity here would not be over-rated for McCain, but unfortunately, it would be over-shadowed by his surname.

Posted by: Metal | July 18, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

As a worker I can tell you, we have been farming that vote very successfully. There are about 200 of us volunteers working full time. I don't think I am aware of even one Mccain worker in the area. That vote may very well swing to Obama.

$$$$$$$$$$
McCain doesn't need Crist. He will win Florida handily. Whatever "close" polls are being publicized don't take into account the right-wing conservative elderly Cuban vote. They are usually not counted in the results because of the language barrier. Ultimately, Florida always goes Red by a couple of percentage points beyond the last polls before the election because of this.

Also, many traditionally Democrat-leaning Jewish voters will not vote for Obama because of his muslim upbringing and his 20-year affiliation with an anti-semitic church and lunatic pastor.

McCain doesn't need Crist to win Florida. He needs a real conservative.

Posted by: Pepe | July 17, 2008 5:06 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

"Crist is the most popular Governor in the country."

Not true. Sarah Palin of Alaska is polling higher than Crist, as is Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. Crist's once skyhigh approval rating now hovers around a very pedestrian 50 percent.

"During his two years as Governor he orchestrated the largest tax cut in the state's history,"

While this is technically correct, it omits the fact that Crist settled for a populist tax cut advanced by Democrats and moderates in both chambers of the Florida Legislature. Crist angered conservatives (and taxpayers) by refusing to support a more ambitious plan to eliminate property taxes altogether.

"he vetoed more pork barrell spending than any Governor in the State's history,"

Not true again. Jeb Bush still holds the record for vetoes as a percentage of the budget. Moreover, Crist presided over the first expansion of Florida Government since Lawton Chiles, a Democrat, was governor.

"he developed a market-based health insurance program that will virtually eliminate the uninsured problem at no cost to the taxpayers,"

This is overstatement at best. His plan has been panned by many policy wonks as being window dressing. Not one Floridian has received healthcare from his plan as of this writing.

"he has spreaheaded a 21st Century energy policy that will take us down the road of renewable energy and eliminate our dependence on foreign oil..."

Again, overstatement. Crist has tinkered around the edges of reform, and his embrace of Al Gore-like alarmism over "global warming" is just another reason for Republicans to hate him. Oh, and his "reforms" have already caused energy costs to spike in Florida, meaning higher energy bills for Floridians.

Crist has been an abject failure as Governor, and Chris' analysis doesn't been to scratch the surface of Crist's weaknesses.

Posted by: About Charlie | July 17, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

If McCaint wants a gay d00d for Veep, he should pick Lindsey Graham. Why settle for half-measures?

Posted by: TeddySanFran | July 17, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Charlie Crist won after two terms of Jeb Bush, just as McCain is going to win after two terms of George Bush. It takes an extraordinary person to win as a Republican after two terms of a Bush.

McCain would have probably lost Florida without the endorsement of Governor Crist and Senator Martinez - a Republican Latino born in Cuba.

Crist is young, a good speaker, and he is telegenic. He is the son of a Greek immigrant and would make an ideal VP for McCain.

Posted by: alance | July 17, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

A good friend of my family often saw Crist in gay bars in the Tamps area I believe in the early 90's. He told me back then "chaingang Charlie" was known for wearing an entirely different set of chains.

Posted by: ChadInFL | July 17, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm from Florida and Crist has been around for a while. I agree that his primary interest is power -- he ran against Bob Graham for the Senate (and lost) ran for Education Commissioner (and won) and then ran for Attorney General (and won). He comes across as a very polished politician -- even down to his perfect tan -- and comes across as power-hungry. He comes across as a Florida version of Mitt Romney (and contrary to what the above article says, I thought Romney was not well-respected in the Republican party?) If he is not chosen for the VP spot, you can bet that he will be running for something else once his two terms as governor is up (given his popularity and really no credible Democratic challenger, he probably will win a second term). Given that the Florida political landscape has trended Republican in the last 10-15 years, and given that his popularity will most likely continue barring some unforeseen event, I certainly see him running for the Senate again or perhaps even throwing his hat in for the presidency in 2012 or 2016.

Posted by: Steve S. | July 17, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

The selection process is an exercise in achieving a mediocre outcome

Posted by: nclwtk | July 17, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

McCain doesn't need Crist. He will win Florida handily. Whatever "close" polls are being publicized don't take into account the right-wing conservative elderly Cuban vote. They are usually not counted in the results because of the language barrier. Ultimately, Florida always goes Red by a couple of percentage points beyond the last polls before the election because of this.

Also, many traditionally Democrat-leaning Jewish voters will not vote for Obama because of his muslim upbringing and his 20-year affiliation with an anti-semitic church and lunatic pastor.

McCain doesn't need Crist to win Florida. He needs a real conservative.

Posted by: Pepe | July 17, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Excellent analysis that puts the final nail in the coffin, perhaps closing the closet door for good on this two-day romp.

Nice writing, though!

IF YOU CARE ABOUT OUR DEMOCRACY
AND THE RULE OF LAW, CLICK BELOW:

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/vigilante-injustice-organized-gang-stalking-american-gestapo-are-they-doing-hi-tech-torture?

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/zap-have-you-been-targeted-directed-energy-weapon-victims-organized-gang-stalking-say-its-happening-usa-1

Posted by: scrivener | July 17, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

You watch. If Crist doesn't get picked for Veep, the marriage is off.

Posted by: McGee2 | July 17, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I doubt it Mark.

Posted by: Patrick NYC | July 17, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Patrick, I must assume that your list of pseudonyms was intended as satire, mocking all the posters who think namecalling is amusing or politically enlightening.

Do you think they will stop now?

Posted by: MarkInAustin | July 17, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

GAY GAY GAY GAY GAY GAY GAY GAY GAY.

not a problem for me, but it will be for the bigoted American public

Posted by: Dmc | July 17, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

The fact that McSame is no real conservative, as was seen with them all pulling for Schmuckabee or even a Moron, I mean Mormon, over McOld. He is not going to pick someone who is going to make them even more angry.

As for McTan being McGay, yes getting married helped Larry Craig and McSleazy in NJ, but with the internet and the rumors heating up with less than two months until a VP will be picked, I'd tell Crist to just work on that tan.


Besides, does McPaleface want someone so young, tan and healthy standing so close to him for two months reminding America he is so McOld?

Posted by: Patrick NYC | July 17, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

drindl - ignorant coward - still a loony moonbat with no life stealing from Kos/moveon to make yourself seem bright.

It's not working.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 17, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

The analysis comes down to one word: winning. Who can best help McCain win the Presidency? The false claims that Crist is gay are as hollow as the claims that McCain will win Florida with or without Crist. Have you followed elections down in Florida? They are close folks..very close. They have more registered Democrats than Republicans. One thing McCain knows for sure...if he loses Florida he will lose the election. That is a major reason a guy like Crist has to be on the short list. Obviously Crist has experience (in fact, far more than Obama). But he has another intangible no other VP candidate has....his support of McCain in the Florida primary not only helped McCain win the Florida primary...it gave McCain the momentum to win the nomination. As for the "rally the base" argument...that is a false argument. What more do you need to say to rally the base than "President Barrack H. Obama"?! THis election will be won by the candidate that wins the battle for Independents...not the battle of the base. That also works in favor of a McCain-Crist '08 Ticket.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 17, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I hate to rumor-monger, but The Fix started it....this is not the first time Crist has gotten engaged before an election.

Only saying.

Posted by: Karen H. | July 17, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

This is the same Charlie Crist I see at the movies, at the marina, etc. in St. Petersburg? The same gay or bi-sexual man that gave birth to a daughter that he refuses to acknowledge? Or according to some, he's already made a settlement to the mother and his/her daughter that was sealed with a confidentiality agreement. This is Mayor Baker's best friend who Baker hopes will appoint him to replace Alex Sink when she decides to move on? This is our talent pool in the United States, what an excuse for leadership these two men are.

Posted by: Tramor | July 17, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

"Did you hear the one about the woman who is attacked on the street by a gorilla, beaten senseless, raped repeatedly and left to die? When she finally regains consciousness and tries to speak, her doctor leans over to hear her sigh contently and to feebly ask, 'Where is that marvelous ape?'"

You like that one, McCain supporters? Pretty funny, huh? One of his favorites.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 17, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse


Ummmm, I really don't think Republicans are ready to elect a gay VP.

Posted by: sequoia | July 17, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

snObama/zouk -- still no job, eh?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 17, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I wish to downplay the gay rumors about Charlie Fist. Why, some of our greatest statesmen who have been rumored to be gay were married or engaged, men like Larry Craig.

Posted by: John McSame | July 17, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

'By naming Crist, McCain would run the risk of tarnishing that brand, as even Crist's admirers acknowledge he is a smooth-talking politician and, in that, is an anti-McCain.'

Oh, right. McCain isn't a smooth-talking politician-- he's 'authentic' -- what a joke. He sure has you superficial little 'journalists' wrapped around your finger.

But you may be right about the smooth part. Most Senators would probably think twice about telling an unfunny joke about a woman who gets r*ped and beaten by an ape -- and loves it.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 17, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"Crist" rhymes with "fist."

Posted by: John McSame | July 17, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I have no interest in Crist, but Burnie Thompson might want to update his clichés - Crist and McCain want to be seen as WINOs... wingnuts in name only.

Posted by: FlownOver | July 17, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

"Crist's engagement may well put the rumors behind him."

Right. Because no closeted gay person has EVER entered a sham marriage to cover up their secret shame. Ask Linda McGreevey!

Posted by: howlless | July 17, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

My numbers are sinking fast. I need some new policies. therefore I am off on a listening tour of Europe and Iraq. If I can't steal positions from fellow Muslims, the enemy and other cowards, then my entire candidacy falls into question. I know we have to raise taxes, surrender, increase government and spend like crazy, but if I tell anyone that, they won't vote for me. what's a good socialist to do? Off to France and Germany to figure it out.

Posted by: snObama | July 17, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

As a Florida resident, I find the prospect of Charlie Crist in the #2 position in our government frightening. He is a consummate political lightweight and political opportunist, and it would be hard to find someone less ready to lead on national issues than Crist. As Florida governor, he has consistently made a big show of embracing issues popular with voters, only to deliver no real solutions or actually make things worse. If Crist is the best that McCain can find, then McCain's campaign really is hurting. The cons aren't the only ones who should be rejecting Crist.

Posted by: btbwt | July 17, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Excellent analysis that puts the final nail in the coffin, perhaps closing the closet door for good on this two-day romp.

Nice writing, though!

IF YOU CARE ABOUT OUR DEMOCRACY
AND THE RULE OF LAW, CLICK BELOW:

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/vigilante-injustice-organized-gang-stalking-american-gestapo-are-they-doing-hi-tech-torture?

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/zap-have-you-been-targeted-directed-energy-weapon-victims-organized-gang-stalking-say-its-happening-usa-1

Posted by: scrivener | July 17, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I have no personal knowledge of Crist's sexual orientation. However, as a gay man, I do have a sixth sense commonly known in the LGBT community as 'Gaydar'. Over this past July 4th weekend, national TV news programs covered an event at the McCain ranch in AZ at which perspective GOP VP prospects were guests. One clip featured Crist prancing down the stairs. Yes, prancing. I recall saying to myselt, "Ought Oh!"
And that tan. How many 51 year old st8 guys with a full time job, even in Florida, maintain a 365 day a year tan?


Posted by: mike | July 17, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

It's pretty clear that Crist's negatives far outweigh his positives. Two RINOs on the ticket (despite McC's rightward lurch) will keep the conservative R's at home on Election Day.

And the fact that people are still talking about potential VP picks being gay shows how uninformed and provincial the average American is. Hello -- we've already had a gay President (Buchanan). Get over it.

Posted by: mnteng | July 17, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

All academic, as the next Vice President of the United States will probably by Joe Biden.

Posted by: Soonerthought.Blogspot.Com | July 17, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I can't vote for a phony like crist - a gay man hiding in the closet, even going so far as to involve himself in a phony marriage for cover. Nope, you are what you are, it's better to be honest.

Posted by: Bill | July 17, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Condi Rice would be another gay selection..............or so they say

Posted by: mike | July 17, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

The gay rumor has been around in Florida for years. Charlie has always had tough opponents (at least they seemed to be prior to running against Charlie), and his handlers have always run tough campaigns. The list of consultants that have tried to attack him and have conducted expensive and in depth oppo research is long. The problem is that they've never been able to come up with anything real to attack him with.

You can have a whisper campaign about a public official being gay, but until you produce a former boyfriend or lover, it is all a sham. Nobody has ever stepped forward and claimed to have had a relationship. Nobody. So all the gay rumors are BS. Produce a boyfriend or shutup.

The fact is that Charlie is not gay. Simply because he's a nice guy and not some arrogant prick (lick most politicians) his detractors have always tried to attack him.

All you neo-cons that attack him with these false rumors are grasping for straws.

Here are the facts (as another poster pointed out yesterday):

Crist is the most popular Governor in the country. During his two years as Governor he orchestrated the largest tax cut in the state's history, he vetoed more pork barrell spending than any Governor in the State's history, he developed a market-based health insurance program that will virtually eliminate the uninsured problem at no cost to the taxpayers, he has spreaheaded a 21st Century energy policy that will take us down the road of renewable energy and eliminate our dependence on foreign oil...I could go on...the point is...there is a reason that his approval ratings have consistently been in the 60-70% range.


Did I mention that he's very likeable and maybe the single best fundraiser in the Republican Party?

Chris -- Good analysis

Posted by: So. FL Republican | July 17, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Although I'd rather see McCain pick Condi Rice for his VP, my guess is Guiliani. McCain will win Florida with or without Crist; he doesn't like Romney; Huckabee is too far into the Evangelical scene for most GOP voters; Lieberman is still a far-left liberal Democrat exept on the war, and Powell will probably turn him down because he's not interested in politics. Rudy Guiliani has a lot of plusses. He's a law and order guy who has proved his leadership role as mayor of New York; he did a great job handling the aftermath of the WTC 9/11 terrorist attack; brings into play the states of NY, NJ, and possibly a few other New England states, and just about every American of Italian heritage in the country will vote for him.

Posted by: tic | July 17, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Crist has done nothing while our FL economy tumbles and collapses thanks to overbuilding, etc. Crist will be seen as out-of-touch and hurt McCain on the economy.

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

Posted by: matt | July 17, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Chris, I don't know if you ignored this due to prudishness, but I'm disappointed you ignored the biggest problem to Crist's being picked as VP: the open secret in Florida that he is gay. Recent engagement notwithstanding, that will eliminate him from contention. And is discussing that really beyond the pale for the Post?

Posted by: Pete | July 17, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

McCain will win Florida without Crist so what good does putting a gay man on the ticket do?

When the rumours are so rife there is bound to be something behind them and his getting engaged doesn't mean much. Just look at McGreevy and you find that out.

Just like the rumours of Gov. Janet Neopolitano have gone away on the Democratic ticket because she is supposedly a Lesbian, and Sebelius is supposedly an alchoholic the candidates have learnt that you don't want the VP to create waves or news of their own- just be there and be considered mature enough to take over if need be.

Posted by: peter | July 17, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

snObama -- you are funny. Get your passport ready, your boy McMooch is going to get whipped in November. At least an Obama win will keep you out of Iraq. Wait, I am sure you have already enlisted and volunteered, right? Right? That's what I thought, typical Republican coward.

Posted by: Vincent F | July 17, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Crist's personal appearance (i.e., like a six time winner of the George Hamilton Open) might work against the Republicans this year. I think working people might resent a guy whose hobby is getting a suntan.

Posted by: W. Korman | July 17, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Charlie Crist just got married.

US economy is not at honeymoon stage so just forget it.

McCain will go for grown ups with bunch of kids.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 17, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Despite his recent engagement and whether the rumors are true or not, questions about his sexuality will rile the base. Can you imagine the joke beginning, "So Charlie Crist's boyfriend and John McCain's black baby walk into a bar..."

Posted by: John | July 17, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I am compiling a list of all my policy "refinements"

Going to need a bigger hard drive. Send money.

Posted by: snObama | July 17, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

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