Crist’s strange career

(See Joseph C.’s and Kevin V.’s blistering comments on Crist.)

Can someone make sense of the career decisions of Charles Crist? He became governor of Florida on January 2, 2007. On May 12, 2009, two years and four months into his first term, he announced he was running for the U.S. Senate, in an election which at that point was a year and seven months away. He has spent the last year, an entire year of his governorship, running for the GOP Senate nomination, in a primary that still doesn’t take place until August. (And by the way since when does a U.S. Senate primary race go on for 15 months? I feel as though I’ve been hearing about the Rubio-Crist contest forever) And now, after all that, having fallen hopelessly far behind his opponent Marco Rubio, Crist has quit the Republican Party to run as an independent for the Senate seat. He could have been coasting toward re-election as a popular Republican governor and a second term, but instead, after consuming much of his single term as governor in running for another office, he’s walked himself out of the governorship and out of the Republican Party. For what?

Also, here is video of the infamous Crist-Obama “hug” in February 2009 that Rubio has used to great effect against Crist.

As a commenter points out, Crist did not really hug Obama. Obama comes in for the clinch and Crist pats him on the shoulder. At the same time, an office holder of one party simply does not engage in hug-like gestures with a U.S. president of the other party. Isn’t done. So in that sense Rubio was on to something in using the hug against Crist.

But really, enough of these hugs between American politicians, and American men generally. This is America, not Latin America.

- end of initial entry -

Jack S. writes:

I wanted to comment on Crist. He is rumored to be a closeted homosexual who entered into a beard marriage just prior to his run for governor. I instinctively distrust these used car salesman types with their face frozen in an ersatz smile and their hair sprayed ‘til there’s not a strand out of place. Terry Goddard, the Arizona attorney general who is the likely Democratic candidate for Arizona governor this year, has a similar background and appearance. I knew that something was up with Crist as soon as the New York Times started running glowing articles praising Crist during the ‘08 campaign. They were proud of Crist’s support for McCain, their favorite Republican and especially for his taking the initiative to ensure that felons have their voting rights restored!

Florida Governor Is Hoping to Restore Felon Voting Rights

If I had to guess why a man would immediately run for another office after winning the governorship, it would be that term limits make the governor’s office a dead end job. For someone like Crist, the dream of Byrd or Kennedy-type senator-for-life gig is too attractive to pass up. That’s why I can’t understand why Hillary gave that up for a temporary job as the Kenyan’s flunky.

LA replies:

I agree with your description of him as “a used car salesman type with his face frozen in an ersatz smile and his hair sprayed ‘til there’s not a strand out of place.”

A. Zarkov writes:

Let’s not make too much of this Obama version of the Vulcan Death Grip and pay attention to what Crist actually said that day in Ft. Myers.


Crist cheered on the so-called “stimulus package,” which by now everyone knows did not work. He said we must support education, which means more money for the liberal, anti-white education establishment. Then he put in a plug for heath care using the over-worked liberal slogan “the most vulnerable among us.”. Then, adding yet more insult to injury, he virtually ordered us to do all this in a bi-partisan way, which is obvious Obama-speak for doing it all Obama’s way. On every issue, Crist opposed his party, and the way his party voted in 2010. Crist does not understand that the Democrats have redefined the center; to be center-right these days is to be on the left? Should we be surprised that Rubio easily trounced the RINO governor in the polls? Being neither fish nor fowl, Crist now finds himself in a political netherworld of his own making.

James N. writes:

I wouldn’t be so sure Crist is doomed.

The Republican triumphalists (you and your vile sycophants of course excepted) believe that, since the people are floridly ready, in fact are salivating, to fire the Democrats, that a GOP restoration is inevitable.

I don’t believe it for a minute.

The people just got done firing the Republicans. People HATE the Republicans. True, not as much as they hate the Democrats right now—but they do hate ‘em.

In three way elections this Fall between a Democrat, a Republican, and an eggplant—bet on the eggplant. There are other Charlie Crists in waiting—Bennett in Utah, maybe Specter in Pennsylvania after he loses the Democrat primary, and who knows who else.

Political junkies are MUCH more likely than normal people to identify with one of the two teams. Voters? They’re sick of both of ‘em, and if Crist plays his cards right (a BIG if), he can win.

LA replies:

Good point.

But are you saying that I and the Vile Ones are not Republican triumphalists, or that we are Republican triumphalists who nevertheless do not believe that a GOP restoration is inevitable?

James N. replies:

I feel that the Vile Ones have a healthy skepticism regarding the Sons of Gingrich. I wish they were a little more enthusiastic about Our Lady of Wasilla, but, as they say, it is what it is.

Joseph C. writes:

As a Florida resident for the past several years, I can explain Charlie Crist simply: he is an unprincipled whore loyal to no one and nothing except himself.

The Lowry article is accurate so far as it goes, but does not indicate the depth of his mendacity. Crist was Education Commissioner and spent the entire term running for Attorney General. As Attorney General, he spent his entire term running for Governor. As Governor, he spent two years campaigning for Vice President and two years running for Senate. I have no doubt that if he is elected to the Senate, he will spend his time running for something else, or angling for an ambassadorship. As to Jack S’s point, every job for Crist is a dead end job—not just Governor.

Crist’s response to his continued betrayals: “Things change.” He supported school reform but “things change.” He agreed to run as a Republican but “things change.” He now runs as an independent but will vote for a Democratic Senate majority leader if he thinks it is the right thing to do, because “things change.” Charlie Crist could probably support tougher sentencing guidelines for sexual assault, then turn around and sell tickets to his own mother’s rape because “things change.” The quote “things change” is a get-out-of-jail-free card on every issue for politicians like Crist—i.e., unprincipled whores loyal to no one and nothing but themselves.

As to Crist’s sexuality, I believe this is overblown. A lady friend of mine who is an interior decorator knows several homosexuals, and these men pride themselves on being able to spot closeted fags. They swear Crist is straight—just a metrosexual type. (They were, however, not shy about supplying the names of several other Florida pols who were “one of the boys”—but believe Crist is straight.)

The one saving grace is our election law, which does not allow candidates to hedge their bets to get two bites at the apple. The deadline to file as an Independent is April 30th, so Crist had to leave now in order not to be sent packing after Marco Rubio cleaned his clock in the primary. Unfortunately, that is not the case in every state. As James N. points out, that waste of a human conception named Specter can file as late as August 2nd if he loses his primary—and I have no doubt he will. Arlen Specter has one half the scruples of Crist; he already slunk away from the GOP for no reason other than he would have been humiliated in the primary. He is now in danger of losing in the Democratic primary. In a perfect world, Specter would accept the will of the voters and go gracefully into retirement. Of course, in a perfect world, Arlen Specter would never have been born.

As to James N.’s points, I agree. As much as the Tea Party has contributed, it will make no difference if they win primaries only to see the “establishment” RINOs turn around and run as “independents.” Happily, many states do not allow this (see link). Notably, Utah and Arizona have filing deadlines before the primary (and Utah’s has already passed).

Kevin V. writes:

Some time ago Mencius and I engaged in a long comment thread discussion with you, the gist of which was that Mencius (a Beltway brat born and raised in official circles) and I (a former Beltway official) were of the position that the USG is hopelessly dysfunctional and any opposition that does not start from that premise is doomed to failure, while your view was that this was an inherently defeatist position and that if many millions of Americans were to change their minds on a number of core traditional conservative issues there could be a sea-change in this nation and its government as a result.

I was reminded of this exchange as I read your latest post on Crist of Florida.

You see, you are making the same mistake: you are assuming that there is something there to analyze. You are assuming that since Crist is the Governor of Florida and a major candidate for the Senate that he is something worth discussing seriously, that he has political positions that can be debated and weighed. Since you accept the current system as a serious matter, you are forced to accept a discussion of this ridiculous man as important.

As a man who was forced to spend 48 hours in close contact with Crist, let me assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. Crist is, in fact, a deeply unserious person, the kind who gets an artificial tan until his skin is a near-orange. He is the kind of man who can stare at himself in the mirror for a dangerous length of time with no loss of enthusiasm for the view. And, best of all, he is deeply, deeply unintelligent, possessed of just enough cunning to pass the bar and then proceed to perform the political equivalent of selling used cars to losers.

Which is to say, of course, that he’ll fit right in the U.S. Senate.

The larger point here is that such matters are not worthy of discussion. Whichever non-entity fills the junior Senate seat for Florida does not matter in the larger context. Worrying about that is much like worrying about whether Caligula’s horse was the right color to match the Senate marble.

The real issue is: why do we have a system where such horses and horses-asses are endlessly produced?

LA replies:

While I admire the purity of Kevin’s sulphuric rage, I also think that he is indulging in a kind of negativity that is tantamount to (sorry, folks) nihilism. To say that there is no difference between a Charles Crist and a Jeff Sessions, between an Arlen Specter and a Jim DeMint, is just wrong and destructive. Hell, if things are as bad as Kevin says, why not just set off the Doomsday Device and be done with it all?

Daniel L. writes:

Take a look at the three-way poll numbers listed at Wikipedia; Gov. Crist is polling pretty well. He is winning in several polls. I think he is gambling that those numbers will hold and his popularity will carry him to the Senate.

Kevin V. replies to LA:

To say there is no difference between two like things depends on one’s perspective. I did not mean to suggest that there are no differences between, say, Crist and Sessions; what I do mean is that there are no differences that matter. Let me tackle this subject from a different angle to illustrate what I mean.

Let’s say that I was a long-time veteran of the U.S. Dept. of Transportation. Through my years of intense exposure to transportation policy and issues, I have come to the conclusion that a transportation policy based on personal use automobiles is destructive, inefficient, counter-productive and ultimately harmful to the people. I have concluded through my exposure to the issue that our fundamental approach is wrong-headed and that what is needed is not better cars but no cars.

Let’s say that your blog is devoted to transportation issues. I’m browsing the transportation blogosphere and come across a post by you denouncing the newest GM car, the Hummer Mark VI, as badly engineered, bad for the environment, unsafe and, to boot, an unsound economic decision that will likely not sell in the marketplace.

So, I write to you and say: Yes, I know all about this car. I was in on the early discussions on the car as it was through the design process and actually spend some time working closely with the car’s main engineers. It is horrible, I agree. However, that’s not the issue. It wouldn’t matter if this car was vastly superior because in the context in which it is being used it is destructive even if it is a fine car. The real problem is: why do we have a system that is totally dependent on personal use automobiles when that model is clearly destructive?

You could respond by stating that, c’mon, eveyone knows there is a difference between the Hummer Mark VI and the Honda Accord and to suggest otherwise is just plain foolish.

And you’d be right: in the context of acceptance of current transportation policy and popular consensus, there is a vast difference. If one, however, rejects that policy and that consensus, the two are just two more cars. There is no difference between them that really matters.

It is not nihilism to hold that current liberal internationalism, which has completely captured USG and its permanent government—which, as Mencius has tirelessly pointed out is our real government—prevents any meaningful differences between the candidates. Even if one were to take office, they would find themselves completely powerless.

LA to Kevin V. re his comment on Specter:
Whew. I’m going to have to put my hands in the ice box to cool them down after preparing your comment for posting.

Kevin replies:

I really dislike him! Can you tell?

On a related note, I had a former State Dept colleague tell me at lunch the other day that while preparing for a CoDel (Congressional Delegation) to his Embassy he received an email from someone in the Department that dealt regularly with the Senate warning him to let everyone at the Embassy know that Senator Specter was not (or, as they say in the State department for emphasis “not /not”) to lose at tennis under any circumstances.

Sure enough, when Specter arrived he was up for a game of tennis. Everyone knew that his opponents had been told to lose. The Senator knew this too. Yet he played game after game, lording it over each loser.

I can tell you this: what this tells you about the quality of man Specter is is entirely normal on the Hill. This is the norm, not the exception.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 07, 2010 02:32 PM | Send

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