Perhaps just plain “sorry Charlie” would be better…
By Chris Ingram
My friend and fellow political consultant Jamie Miller recently wrote on Irreverent View that he speculates Florida Governor Charlie Crist will run for re-election.
I disagree with Jamie.
I believe Charlie has his eye on the U.S. Senate.
Here’s why and what I think will happen:
Since first being elected to office in 1992 to the Florida State Senate where he served just six years, Charlie Crist has bounced around from one office to another and been a candidate for multiple offices including U.S. Senate, Education Commissioner, Attorney General, and Governor. Charlie is an opportunist always keeping his eye out for the next chance to advance his stature as a career politician.
His bio on his campaign website concludes with these words:
“He vows to work as ‘The People’s Governor’ because he is working for the people of Florida—the people he calls his boss. Today, he is ready to lead Florida onward, to new opportunities and to Florida’s brightest future ever.”
This is of course a bunch of hogwash because Charlie Crist couldn’t lead a starving dog to a steak dinner; and the only opportunity he’s looking out for is his own. And saying he’s the “people’s Governor” because he’s working for the people of Florida is almost as insultingly stupid as my local TV station’s meteorologist referring to the forecast as the “futurecast” – I guess they just make up words when they think viewers are too stupid to understand the meaning of real words.
Don’t get me wrong, I like Charlie Crist. I like him the same way I like the guy who mows my lawn. He’s a nice fella with a deep tan and a friendly smile. But I don’t want my lawn man making decisions about taxes, insurance, or my children’s education. And I don’t want Charlie Crist doing so either because he doesn’t have a grasp for the issues and he’s not willing to take a stand for anything. The proof is in the pudding: despite a lifetime in public service, Florida’s governor doesn’t have many accomplishments to show for.
He is what he is: Charlie Crist is a political animal and ever since he first started running for office he’s wanted to go to the U.S. Senate.
Enter Senator Mel Martinez.
Poor old Mel is one whipped mule who has completely lost his base. He’s so unelectable he probably couldn’t Win, Place, or Show in an “Ugliest Pig” contest if he were the only contestant. Martinez is probably the most politically tone-deaf member of Congress in the country. Throw in the fact that he has the poorest constituent service ever seen in Florida and all this added up to someone (probably Karl Rove) pointing out to Mel that he can’t get re-elected. So Mel decided not to run for re-election and announced as much late last year.
Exit Mel. Jeb is out too. Poor Bill McCollum finally is going to get his best shot. Then Charlie talk squashes McCollum’s latest hopes (along with those of Connie Mack, Vern Buchanan, and Marco Rubio to name but a few).
My guess is Senator Martinez will soon announce he not only plans to not run for re-election, but that he is going to resign from the U.S. Senate. Then Mel’s pal Charlie appoints himself to the senate seat, thus giving Charlie the power of incumbency when he has to run for re-election next year.
Forget about the fact that Charlie longs for the Potomac and all the filet mignon dinners senators get invited to in Washington (can’t blame him, it beats the rubber-chicken dinners offered up in Tallahassee). The real reason Mr. Crist wants to go to Washington is he knows the mess he has helped to create in Florida is about to explode. In short, the rubber is about to meet the road and the best thing for Charlie to do is to get out of Dodge before anyone realizes he is to blame. I’m talking about the Amendment 1 tax mess he created (remember “your taxes are going to drop like a rock?” – how about a pebble Charlie?), or the economy, or Florida’s insurance crisis (the state is one major hurricane away from bankruptcy). And just wait until all of the budget cuts start affecting our parks, schools, courts, and other state and local government services. People are gonna be mad!
Of course Charlie saw an opportunity to delay the proverbial rubber hitting the road by coming out in support of the Plan for Incumbent Member Protection (PIMP), which is also known as the economic stimulus package supported by Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, and Barney Frank (among other liberals). The bill is nothing but pork for members of Congress to send home and governors and local elected officials to use for “special spending projects” veiled as “economic stimulus” so they can get re-elected. The amount of debt they continue to place on future generations is disgusting but hey, we elected these clowns.
So with all this pork coming to the state of Florida, Charlie has bought some time before the inevitable skid marks show up. Just enough time to work out a deal with Mel and jet off to Washington in some corporate fat cat’s G-5. Oh the life of a Senator…
But he’ll be the “people’s Senator” for sure!
Of course I could be completely wrong. Maybe Charlie doesn’t have his eye on the U.S. Senate. Just last week after all, I was able to buy the web URL http://www.CharlieCristforSenate.com for the whopping price of $9.99 (thanks GoDaddy!). This may eventually prove I’m Charlie’s fool and all this speculation is nonsense. But I doubt it. I think the fact that I was able to buy the URL is a leading indicator of how grossly incompetent Charlie Crist is.
At least if he’s in the U.S. Senate he’s one out of one-hundred and he can do tremendously less damage than as governor of America’s 4th largest state.
Editor’s note: USF Political Science professor Darryl Paulson made some interesting similar observations to the Sarasota Herald Tribune on February 9. You can read about his comments by clicking here.
Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of http://www.IrreverentView.com. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, Front Page Florida, and National Review online. E-mail him at: Chris@411Communications.net.