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realclearworld

The rise and fall of Charlie Crist

The first time I really became aware of Charlie Crist was when he was running for Florida Attorney General some time back. I remember a friend warned me that Crist was an empty suit. But Crist won that election and later ran for governor. Amid speculation that Crist is gay I supported his bid for that office. In my mind he was center-right candidate and had the best chance to beat the Democrats. And as governor he did do one of the things I felt strongly about, elections reform. But then he failed to throw his support for Marco Rubio's proposal to abolish property taxes on primary residences, which is probably Florida's biggest problem. And later he campaigned for Obama's porkulous package and gladly hugged Obama and accepted billions of federal dollars and all the strings that were attached. In short, Charlie Crist stopped being a Republican a long time ago. And today it looks like he's gonna make it official. Now it's goodbye Charlie for "Good Time Charlie".

12 comments to The rise and fall of Charlie Crist

  • FreedomForCuba

    Henry,

    I saw the part of Charlie's debate with Marco when he emphatically denied that he was going to run as an independent so if he does, he looses all credibility he had left.

    "But then he failed to throw his support for Marco Rubio's proposal to abolish property taxes on primary residences, which is probably Florida's biggest problem."

    Regarding the statement above in my opinion Marco Rubio had the best idea to handle the issue of property taxes that would have spur Real State investments by Floridians and people from out of state while forcing our tourists to help pay a big chunk of our taxes (by raising the sales tax) and Charlie totally dropped the ball on this issue.

    I feel (given what we have been experiencing for the last four years) that if Marco's proposal would have been passed back then, Florida would not find itself in the Real state nightmare that it is these days or at very least this measure would have sufficiently cushioned the Real State crash in our state.

    Unfortunately Charlie had to screw things up for nearly everyone in our state by not endorsing Marco's proposal and now we're paying the consequences.

  • Honey

    Yeah, Crist also promised Giuliani he would support him and then reneged. He's so reliable.
    Well, we chased Specter from the Republican party and now it looks like we are chasing Crist.
    Why, if he is so far behind Rubio now, do polls show him leading in a three way race? Where does his support come then? Are dems going to support him?

  • FreedomForCuba

    The truth is that under Charlie Crist governorship for the first time in 63 years Florida population has decreased because many have moved to states with lower taxes and cost of living.

    What Charlie has totally going against him this time around (whether he runs as an independent or not) is that he cannot run away from his failed record that has led to Florida's downfall.

  • theCardinal

    Crist is done. If he does run as an independent he will lose. He holds a slight lead in polling now but it will disappear for a number of reasons -

    a) funding is going to dry up. GOP contributors will rally around their own. Big money/business interests will either sit it out or back a major party candidate. An independent with 0 seniority and no inroads in the Senate is going to get nothing for them. Sorry Charlie.

    b) GOP will go balls to the wall to bust up Charlie. He will have made a whole lot of powerful people look really, really stupid for backing him. payback will be hell

    c) GOTV - with no party back and zero infrastructure in the grassroots, there is no way that Charlie will match the GOTV efforts of the major parties. The Teachers are thrilled that Charlie hooked them up with the veto but Charlie will discover the sad reality that he has never learned - you can talk like a Dem, you can act like a Dem, but unless you are a Dem they will not support you. Watch the unions go crazy pushing for Meek since the two GOP candidates splitting votes will give them a shot to win.

    d) history - third party candidacies are popular in theory, TR, John Anderson, Ross Perot, et al. BUT in the end they fall short. People go with what they know and what they know is the GOP and the jackasses.

    Here is where the soap opera gets fun. If Charlie goes indie someone hook up George LeMieux to respirator. He wants to run in 2012 against Nelson (not that he stands a chance) so if he backs Charlie his career is over also. Then again if the other rumor plays out, that Charlie quits, LeMieux may croak anyway cuz Charlie will then probably make a run against Nelson. If that happens, even I may vote for him.

  • theCardinal

    Honey -

    the polling that puts Crist ahead is quite interesting - he garners about 30% of the GOP, 27% of the Dem and 39% of the indie votes. All in all he ends up with a slight 2% lead over Rubio - well within the margin of error. It is a BS lead that Rubio can wipe out in no time. The issue is that with a three person race you never know how the dynamics will shake out. Usually independent candidates see their numbers slide as election approaches as party loyalists reconsider and scamper home. Even though both Crist and Rubio outpoll Meek right now it is always dangerous for the party vote to be split...usually that ends up with the solid party winning. Best example is 1912. Although you could argue that Perot drew from Bushes numbers and Nader definitely helped W beat Gore.

  • theCardinal

    Freedom -

    As much as I hate Charlie you do exaggerate slightly. What is killing Florida is lack of jobs. Price of homes was also an issue but cost of living and taxes are minimal compared to many other big states with the exception of Texas which is blessed with a whole lotta land and no everglades. This is not to say the CC has really messed things up and has us on the brink of insolvency. Even without the recession we would have been in trouble.

  • FreedomForCuba

    "Even without the recession we would have been in trouble."

    I agree with that part Cardinal,

    The jobs issue goes without saying (actually I wasn’t referring to that in my post). I was only addressing the real state part of the Florida economy.

    But I don’t think I exaggerated because I feel that if Marco Rubio's tax plans would have passed, the real state crash would not have been so catastrophic as it has been and it would have encouraged more investors from outside the state to purchase property in Florida.

    Plus it would have given more breathing room to those owners beset by high property taxes.

    Remember the many Florida investors (I happen to know a few) that purchased second homes counted on the possibility to flip these homes to people from out state and they were left holding the bag and took significant losses when everything crashed.

  • Cardinal, one of the biggest industries in Florida is Real Estate and all the ancillary industries that come with it. The property tax situation in Florida contributed to freeze in real estate (a compounding effect to the asset bubble created by all the cheap money that was out there). People who want to downsize can't because of property tax reasons, people who want to upgrade or start out, can't because of property tax reasons. In the end, kill an industry and you lose jobs.

  • FreedomForCuba

    Henry,

    You clearly made my point...

  • FreedomForCuba

    Moreover Henry,

    As new construction numbers plummeted the unemployment of construction workers skyrocketed.

    A glut in existing, cheap inventory with much fewer investors (more supply than demand) adds to the malady because until that glut disappears the demand for new construction will be down in the dumps.

    Like you said, all is tied together and since the bulk of Florida’s economy is tourism (which I believe it has rebounded somewhat, correct me if I’m wrong) and Real State (which still is in the dumps) we have nothing else to hold our economy on a firm footing.

  • Cangrejero de Caibarién

    Henry - as much heat as I have sometimes taken on here for being openly gay and NEVER denying it or hiding it - I cannot excuse a candidate for public office who might be potentially hiding his true identity. To me, it is a slap in the face - in effect telling the world that is something to be ashamed of and kept hidden. While I am also not a rainbow flag waving queen, you should at least not be dishonest about who you love.

    And the benefit of Rubio's property tax proposalk would've been enormous! I have owned my home for almost 20 years and my taxes on a very nice home are very low - less than $3,000 per year. Some of my neighbors that bought in the last few years are paying property taxes of over $10,000 per year on smaller homes! Think about it - some of these property tax bills amount to another $1,000 per month in escrow! It is an enormous drain on the economy as we know individuals can spend the money much more efficiently thant he government.

    I honestly think that if Crist runs in the general election as an independent he will lose badly. Just imagine the credibility gap when the Reps AND the Dems run ads showing him on the Fox News debate swearing he would not run as a Independent.

  • Cangrejero, I can't disagree with anything you said. His sexual preference means nothing to me but on the other hand I understand that not everyone feels the same and it's a sad indictment on society that he feels he can't be open about it. But I guess it's just another example of Crist as a chameleon to further his political ambitions. And it says a lot about you that despite the fact that you're benefitting enormously from the inequities in the property tax scheme that you oppose it. You're a good man.