Trailing Rubio badly, Crist mulls independent bid

Jeffrey Schmidt
The mainstream media is all atwitter (or is it a-tweeter) with speculation that Florida Governor Charlie Crist is nudging closer to running as an independent for Florida's open U.S. Senate seat.  If so, Crist will just confirm what a lot of conservatives know: Charlie Crist is the Sunshine State's version of Pennsylvania's Snarlin' Arlen Specter, who has set the standard for putting his own political interests ahead of principle and party. 

Fueling the chatter is Crist's veto of a Republican sponsored bill that would tie teacher pay and job security to student gains on standardized testing.  Florida's public school teachers number about 167,000 and not only provide votes for preferred candidates, but dollars and grassroots muscle.  Crist, it appears, is making a play for a voting bloc that is decidedly un-Republican.  But teachers are a voting bloc Crist would find invaluable as an independent candidate.  

In response to Crist's merit pay veto, his longtime mentor and campaign chairman, former U.S. Senator Connie Mack, has resigned from the Crist Senate campaign.  Evidently, Crist isn't just burning bridges, he's nuking them. 

It wasn't supposed to happen to like this to Crist, of course.  Wooed and recruited by Washington's Republican establishment, Crist was supposed to take a few warm up laps around Florida's GOP primary before outdistancing the Democrats' likely Senate nominee, Congressman Kendrick Meek

But while Crist was taking warm up laps, former Florida House Speaker and no-bones conservative Marco Rubio was running hard for the GOP nod.  In so doing, Rubio has consistently outpolled the flummoxed Crist and appears headed for a landslide victory in Florida's late August primary.

If Crist wins election to the Senate as an independent, who is he likely caucus with, the Republicans or the Democrats?  Who would those 167,000 Florida teachers expect him to caucus with?  Answer: the teacher union-loving Democrats.   

So, it appears now, rather than face certain defeat in the Republican primary, Charlie Crist is opting to join Snarlin' Arlen Specter in the world's oldest profession - well, at least the political version of the world's oldest profession. 
 
But Crist may find Florida voters are in no mood to buy his tricks.  The "P" that voters want this year in candidates stands for "principle."  Arlen Specter lost his principle long ago.  Charlie Crist is an eyelash away from losing his. 

The mainstream media is all atwitter (or is it a-tweeter) with speculation that Florida Governor Charlie Crist is nudging closer to running as an independent for Florida's open U.S. Senate seat.  If so, Crist will just confirm what a lot of conservatives know: Charlie Crist is the Sunshine State's version of Pennsylvania's Snarlin' Arlen Specter, who has set the standard for putting his own political interests ahead of principle and party. 

Fueling the chatter is Crist's veto of a Republican sponsored bill that would tie teacher pay and job security to student gains on standardized testing.  Florida's public school teachers number about 167,000 and not only provide votes for preferred candidates, but dollars and grassroots muscle.  Crist, it appears, is making a play for a voting bloc that is decidedly un-Republican.  But teachers are a voting bloc Crist would find invaluable as an independent candidate.  

In response to Crist's merit pay veto, his longtime mentor and campaign chairman, former U.S. Senator Connie Mack, has resigned from the Crist Senate campaign.  Evidently, Crist isn't just burning bridges, he's nuking them. 

It wasn't supposed to happen to like this to Crist, of course.  Wooed and recruited by Washington's Republican establishment, Crist was supposed to take a few warm up laps around Florida's GOP primary before outdistancing the Democrats' likely Senate nominee, Congressman Kendrick Meek

But while Crist was taking warm up laps, former Florida House Speaker and no-bones conservative Marco Rubio was running hard for the GOP nod.  In so doing, Rubio has consistently outpolled the flummoxed Crist and appears headed for a landslide victory in Florida's late August primary.

If Crist wins election to the Senate as an independent, who is he likely caucus with, the Republicans or the Democrats?  Who would those 167,000 Florida teachers expect him to caucus with?  Answer: the teacher union-loving Democrats.   

So, it appears now, rather than face certain defeat in the Republican primary, Charlie Crist is opting to join Snarlin' Arlen Specter in the world's oldest profession - well, at least the political version of the world's oldest profession. 
 
But Crist may find Florida voters are in no mood to buy his tricks.  The "P" that voters want this year in candidates stands for "principle."  Arlen Specter lost his principle long ago.  Charlie Crist is an eyelash away from losing his.