Crist Never Stopped Campaigning
Why is the media shocked that Charlie Crist talks a big game, but avoids political heavy lifting? The Miami Herald's Marc Caputo is dumbfounded that Crist is too busy networking to go to Washington to support the the global warming bill.
Consider his travel schedule the past two weeks: presidential candidate John McCain's Arizona ranch two weeks ago; New York fundraisers for Republicans as well as his socialite girlfriend; private Tuesday fundraisers in Tampa and Fort Lauderdale with Republican Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and others to discuss not the global, but the "political climate'' this year; a ceremonial pitch Tuesday in Atlanta at a Marlins-Braves game; a Republican Governors Association meeting Wednesday in Atlanta;
and a Thursday elbow-rubbing with former football jock Tiki Barber Thursday in Tallahassee after a marathon clemency board hearing.
"I could be criticized for anything. And it's up to critics to make those criticisms. And if they make them, I'll respond to them'' Crist said.
Asked about the crticism that he should spend more time learning about the global warming legislation and less time at ceremonial appearances, Crist said: "It's an argument that can be made. I just do the best I can.''
The St. Petersburg Times was shocked about Crist's disengagement from the recent legislative session.
Here is one snapshot that illustrates the difference between Tallahassee and the real world. After state lawmakers wrapped up negotiations over a meager state budget this week, Gov. Charlie Crist proclaimed himself "so grateful to this Legislature for what they have done.'' Hours later, Pinellas school officials proposed cutting salaries for teachers and other employees by 2 percent and closing up to 10 schools.
The media fails to understand that Crist is in perpetual campaign mode. The man once dubbed as "Chain Gang Charlie" decided to restore felon voter rights and get behind reducing greenhouse gases at a time The GOP is hurting. Crist is talking with party elders while Florida is in economic trouble. This is perfectly logical.
Hardball appearances, positive spin and being mentioned as John McCain's running mate are Crist's agenda. Crist will not risk damaging his approval ratings on legislative fights in Tallahassee and D.C. 60 percent of Floridians are dissatisfied with the state of the state. 61 percent approve of Crist. Effective governing and popularity are two different beasts.