Meet Mr. Independent: Charlie Christ Leaves GOP to Go it Alone
April 30, 2010
(ChattahBox)—-Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, sporting his perpetual tan, announced yesterday he was leaving the Republican Party to become a candidate of “the people.” With the GOP embracing his right-wing tea party opponent Marco Rubio, who was trouncing him in the primary battle for U.S. Senator, Crist decided to run as an Independent and let the chips fall where they may.
Like the late crooner Frank Sinatra, Crist is doing things his way. Suddenly Crist, a gentlemanly conservative, found himself in a Party overrun with tea party extremists. And it no longer had any room for Crist, who was lambasted by the GOP for treating President Obama with graciousness when he visited Florida to speak about the stimulus bill last year. If Crist instead, snubbed the President of the United States and ranted about his Socialism and appealed to the crazy birther crowd by questioning Obama’s citizenship, he would have been lauded, much like Marco Rubio has been embraced by the new far-right Republican party.
During his announcement yesterday, Crist surrounded by family and friends, appealed to the people of Florida for their help to battle against a GOP gone mad:
“I know this is uncharted territory,” said Crist. “I’m aware of that. I am aware that after this speech ends, I don’t have either party helping me. I need you, you the people, more than ever.”
Crist called the current political system “broken” and cast himself as a man of the people:
“As someone who has served the people of Florida for 15 years, from the state Senate to the Governor’s Mansion, I can confirm what most Floridians already know: Unfortunately, our political system is already broken,” said Crist.
After his announcing his decision, denouncement from Republicans was swift and harsh, casting Crist as a traitor.
What happens now in the senatorial election is anyone’s guess. Crist, as an Independent candidate may split the Republican vote, handing the seat to the top Democratic candidate Kendrick Meek. And this morning the campaign just became even more convoluted, with Politico reporting that Jeff Greene, a Florida billionaire is about to enter the race as a Democratic challenger.
It should be an interesting race to watch.
Photo Credit: Miami Herald