My Thoughts On Charlie Crist and Nan Rich
If you pay attention to social media, there are many progressive activists are against Charlie Crist running for governor of Florida as a Democrat. I have bashed Crist repeatedly on this blog for bad policies during his term as governor. I do take exception with a couple of unrealistic progressive criticisms in this Tampa Tribune article. Here is the first criticism.
“He could be governor today if he wanted to,” said Susan Smith of Tampa, president of the state party’s Progressive Caucus. “I blame him for Marco Rubio” — meaning that Crist’s move to run as an independent for senator in 2010 split the anti-Rubio votes.I have a great deal of respect for Susan Smith. However, Kendrick Meek would lose under any scenario. Smith is basing her assessment on Meek lost votes to Crist in a three-way race. Meek would have lost in a two-way race if Marco Rubio or Crist was the Republican nominee. As I said here, here, here and here that Meek was a shockingly bad candidate. Meek's worst enemy was Kendrick Meek. My second problem.
“If he wants to prove he’s a Democrat, he ought to work like hell to get a Democrat other than himself elected,” said Kathie Jaskolski of Vero Beach, a Rich backer. “Then we could work to get him elected. To waltz into our party and say, ‘Make me your king’ is kind of presumptuous.”Crist was one of the biggest campaign fundraisers for Obama and went around the state stumping for the President. Crist has also raised money for Terry McAuliffe and has campaigned for Darden Rice. Crist has been involved in several other Democratic fundraisers. Crist is doing a lot more than Nan Rich to get Democrats elected. I like Nan Rich. I understand why progressives are skeptical about Crist. I think the criticisms should be fair. Kendrick Meek only got into the Florida legislature and the U.S. House of Representatives by winning his mother's seat. If it wasn't for his last name he would have never been elected to office. Meek had no business running for Senate. To say Crist hasn't been helping other Democrats get elected is just wrong. Crist was been a fundraising machine for the Democratic Party. I say let Crist and Rich both run and we have a healthy debate on the issues in the Democratic primary. Democrats need to support the winner of the primary. People are worried about if Crist is progressive enough or can Rich raise as much money as Gov. Rick Scott. The answer to both questions is no. If you decide to sit this election out then Scott gets a second term. Think about that for a moment.