Charlie Crist Turns His Back

April 28th, 2010 at 9:30 pm David Frum | 74 Comments |

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Thank God for Kendrick Meek is all I can say. If the Dems had recruited a top-tier candidate in Florida, the Crist-Rubio revenge drama would have already thrown away a Senate seat that ought to be an easy Republican hold. As is, things will be difficult enough.

The Crist-Rubio contest is a tough one for modern-minded Republicans. As Eli Lehrer has noted here, Crist is no paragon of good government. On the other hand, what has got Crist in trouble is not his beach-house bailout, but his willingness to cut a deal with the feds to rescue his state finances – kind of a governor’s job. It’s unnerving too that it is so hard to predict how Crist would behave as a U.S. senator. With Rubio, you have a more certain idea of what you’ll get.

But here’s where I come down: The center right has got to hold together. We cannot afford more NY-23s. In all but the most extreme circumstances, the rule has to be that those who participate in a party contest abide by the results of that process. It’s one thing if the race is Lieberman v. Lamont, and what’s at issue is success or failure in war. I used that comparison in a tweet today, but it does not stand up to scrutiny: the differences between Crist and Rubio are much more differences in tone, temperament, and personality. Had Crist prevailed in the Florida Republican primary, he would have had every valid reason to expect Rubio to support the outcome. The reverse should have held true.

Crist continues to lead the polls. I expect that lead to fade as Republicans rally to Rubio and independents question the grounds for Crist’s candidacy. I hope that translates into a Rubio win, but I worry that a Rubio candidacy will be a tougher and harder fight than a Crist candidacy would have been: I don’t share the view that the conservative future belongs to Rubio’s hard-edged style of politics, especially not in a state like Florida. But all that is past helping. The GOP nomination race has a presumptive winner and Republicans of all stripes have a new standard-bearer.

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74 Comments so far ↓

  • golds1

    Crist is exactly what he’s always been…and, when he figures out what that is, he’ll tell us.

    He is the very definition of a politician – and I don’t mean that in a good way. He stands for nothing except perpetuating his political career. Enough of these people!

    I registered as a Republican last year EXACTLY for the opportunity to vote against someone like Crist in the primary…now, I won’t have my chance.

  • Alan

    @golds1

    That’s funny. I left the GOP so I didn’t have to vote against people like Randall Terry and Marco Rubio in the GOP primaries. I’m glad to see Crist join me at the NPA–more power to us.

  • jabbermule

    (Note: this is a disclaimer for the following statement so leftist race-baiting reactionary socialist idiots like ottovbvs can understand that I’m using irony, and that this is an example of the same tactics the left have been using against the right for decades)

    Headline I’d like to see in the Miami Herald:
    Racist Anti-Hispanic Charlie Crist Files as Independent in Upcoming Senate Bid in Order to Deny Marco Rubio His Rightful Place as Republican Candidate

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  • ktward

    MrIndependent // Apr 29, 2010 at 8:36 am:
    Strange how you write of independents as if they’re a party…
    Not a Party, no, but Indie voters are often the deciding voting block in a close 2-way race. Once a two-way race devolves into a 3-way race, centrists and Indies are the deciding voting block.

  • ktward

    On the Latino vote:

    Typically, Latino voting blocks are as diverse as their Caucasian counterparts: no one would make the argument that every white person in the country is ‘Pub.

    In terms of Party ID, Cuban-Americans in south FL are distinctly more conservative than most Mexican-American communities. South American Latinos are a different story. Puerto Ricans are another. There exists no single Latino stereotype for pols to rely upon.

    But here’s why 1070 unites all Latinos. Follow me …

    I’m of Celtic descent in Chicago. In WI, if there existed a large number of illegal German immigrants and a law was passed targeting this population, in effect making racial profiling easy and defensible, I’d be furious. This is America– I wouldn’t care if Wisconsin’s Germans voted ‘Pub, Dem or Nazi. And, I’d be very concerned about traveling in WI. I could easily be mistaken for German.

    The glaring un-American-ness of 1070 will unite all Latinos against it, regardless of their diverse partisan identities.

  • jabbermule

    ktward // Apr 29, 2010 at 5:33 pm:

    “I’m of Celtic descent in Chicago. In WI, if there existed a large number of illegal German immigrants and a law was passed targeting this population, in effect making racial profiling easy and defensible, I’d be furious.”

    Well, that’s you. I’m of Spanish/Cuban descent in California (my great-grandfather on my dad’s side was from Spain, and my mother is from Cuba) and I’m all for this law in Arizona. Why, you might ask, thinking all Hispanics think and vote as a single monolith? I’ll tell you exactly why—my family came here legally, period. As shocking as you might find this, my mother supports this law 100%. It’s an insult to all people of Spanish/Latino/Hispanic descent (or whatever you people of Northern European descent prefer to call it) in America to assume that we would all support people who jump in line of LEGAL immigrants (Hispanic or otherwise), or drug dealers, human traffickers, kidnappers or gangbangers who have turned the city of Phoenix into the kidnapping capitol of the United States, and a city with one of the worst violent crime rates in the country.

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  • ktward

    @jabbermule // Apr 29, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    The wide outcry against 1070* suggests you and your mother are the exception. Further, no one, including myself, has opined that protest against the unconstitutionality of 1070 is tantamount to blanket support of illegal immigration.

    Evidently, you’re of the opinion that the end justifies the means. I could not disagree more.

    *
    http://mylatinonews.com/2010/04/latinos-prepare-challenges-to-arizona-inmmigration-law/
    After the Governor’s announcement, national Hispanic and civil rights organizations began preparing court actions challenging the constitutionality of various elements of the law, which takes 90 days to go into effect.

    Phoenix attorney Antonio Bustamante told Hispanic Link News Service to expect SB1070 to have repercussions internationally as well as nationally.

  • ottovbvs

    jabbermule // Apr 29, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    (Note: this is a disclaimer for the following statement so leftist race-baiting reactionary socialist idiots like ottovbvs can understand that I’m using irony, and that this is an example of the same tactics the left have been using against the right for decades)

    ……..you obviously seem to be suffering from some paranoia about me and the left……is this because of the fact I’m continually pointing out your ignorance (of European history and the content of AZ 1070) not to mention your lack of comprehension and apparent ignorance of the meaning of certain words and idioms……….sorry but I have to do it again….. reactionary and socialist would be considered antonyms thus a “reactionary socialist” is an oxymoron…..a bit like “intelligent jabbermule”

  • ottovbvs

    jabbermule // Apr 29, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    “It’s an insult to all people of Spanish/Latino/Hispanic descent (or whatever you people of Northern European descent prefer to call it)”

    ……..Obviously not all hispanics oppose this legislation but most do(including Mr Rubio) for the obvious reason it’s aimed at their community who are going to be racially profiled…..as I pointed out yesterday no one seems to have taught you how to join dots.

  • jabbermule

    otto, you’re nothing more than a typical brainwashed far left race-baiter who insults people who disagree with you (as if your insults give your lame arguments and incendiary comments any weight whatsoever). Judging by the sheer volume of your comments on this site, it’s quite obvious you’re one of those losers living in his parents basement, living on soda and Hershey bars and waiting for government-run health insurance to take care of your lame fat ass.

    So, you win, asshole—you’ve pissed me off for the last time. Please don’t address my comments anymore—I’m going to ignore you, and you can simply go fuck off you piece of human excrement.

  • ktward

    @ottovbvs // Apr 29, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Apparently, Mr. Mule is confident he’ll still be allowed to comment here after that tidbit of enlightenment.

  • ottovbvs

    jabbermule // Apr 29, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    “it’s quite obvious you’re one of those losers living in his parents basement, living on soda and Hershey bars and waiting for government-run health insurance to take care of your lame fat ass……..and you can simply go fuck off you piece of human excrement.”

    ……..actually I’m an upper middle class rentier, with graduate and masters degrees from Cambridge and Harvard BS, three kids (two successful lawyers and one musician) retired from running a business with several thousand people working in it, who when he’s not managing his investments enjoys playing here when it too wet, cold and windy to garden or sail……..but I’ve always had a low tolerance threshold for the ignorant who pontificate away about things they clearly know next to nothing about…..and man…..do you qualify……and btw I’ve never eaten a Hershey bar in my life…..are they good?

  • ltoro1

    ottovbvs , my response to what the FL legislature passed today…. F**K!!!!!!!! Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. And this is from someone who is religious and conservative.

    I think this would help Crist unless Rubio can distance himself from it enough.

  • ottovbvs

    ltoro1 // Apr 29, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    “Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.”

    ……Something of a Republican habit these days………I must say you seem to have a touching faith in the fact the Dems are going to be asleep at the switch during this campaign…..I checked out Meek……certainly not a towering Mr Charisma but not a doofus either….I believe the Dems have something like a 40% registration in FL so they actually start with quite an advantage…..throw in Crist bolting the party and he and Rubio are going to start trashing each other, both I believe are having their financial affairs looked into by the IRS and FBI, this sort of stuff, Arizona, an attempt to nationalize the race and it’s going to be an interesting race in which Meek looks very well positioned.

  • Rabiner

    Dems may have a voter registration advantage but the State Legislature is nearly 2/3rd Republican so I guess that doesn’t really mean much.

  • dafyd

    david, its my first time writing on on this blog, but i do read it everyday. i have never been a fan of your point of view, but i do respect it. i voted for obama, but in no way am i a dem, i am socially lib but everything else i consider myself pretty moderate. i live in tx and i am latina, my whole family lives in florida and plan to vote for crist, i cant understand why you would support rubio. i dont get it. the gop r doing the same to him that most r doing to you. you rather have anextremist like rubio at any cost. once again party over principle

  • ktward

    @dafyd // Apr 29, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    Very well put.

  • ltoro1

    ottovbvs, these days? This habit goes back for years.

    Onto your other point, where I have been trying to go is that either Republican nominee should normaly be able to beat meat in a statewide race. That assumed the loser in the primary went away. Instead in this 3 way race, Meek stands a much better chance of winning. That’s what’s frustrating me about this.

  • ottovbvs

    ltoro1 // Apr 29, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    “That assumed the loser in the primary went away. Instead in this 3 way race, Meek stands a much better chance of winning.”

    ……Your take and mine are exactly the same

    Rabiner // Apr 29, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    “Dems may have a voter registration advantage but the State Legislature is nearly 2/3rd Republican so I guess that doesn’t really mean much.”

    …….Gerrymandering?…..local politics?……Obama carried the state in 08 in a national election as did arguably Gore …..in national terms I’d say it was a swing state

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  • dante

    So David Frum feels that the moderate Republican who has widespread support across the general electorate should quietly sit down after being drummed out of the party by the radical right-wing of the GOP. That’s rich…

  • Reality 56

    “……..actually I’m an upper middle class rentier, with graduate and masters degrees from Cambridge and Harvard BS, three kids (two successful lawyers and one musician) retired from running a business with several thousand people working in it, who when he’s not managing his investments enjoys playing here when it too wet, cold and windy to garden or sail……..but I’ve always had a low tolerance threshold for the ignorant who pontificate away about things they clearly know next to nothing about…..and man…..do you qualify……and btw I’ve never eaten a Hershey bar in my life…..are they good?”

    When you were at “Cambridge and Harvard”, did they explain the proper use of an elipsis as part of the graduate or masters degree curriculum?