Charlie Crist Makes Leap: Signs Papers to Become a Democrat

Charlie Crist was a high-profile campaigner for Obama in Florida.

And so former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist makes the leap: after being virtually exiled from his party as a RINO who dared to seem to be too close to President Barack Obama — and claiming to have his political roots in Jeb Bush and Ronald Reagan Republicanism –he has now signed papers to become a Democrat.

It isn’t a surprise: after being dissed and dismissed by many Tea Party and hard-line conservatives for providing aid and comfort to the political enemy (seeming to want to get along with Barack Obama), he came out for Obama during the recent election campaing. So now we have this:

It was just a matter of time. Charlie Crist is becoming a Democrat.

Crist — Florida’s former Republican governor who relished the tough-on-crime nickname “Chain Gang Charlie” and used to describe himself variously as a “Ronald Reagan Republican” and a “Jeb Bush Republican” — on Friday evening signed papers changing his party from independent to Democrat.

He did so during a Christmas reception at the White House, where President Barack Obama greeted the news with a fist bump for the man who had a higher profile campaigning for Obama’s re-election this year than any Florida Democrat.

The widely expected move positions Crist, 56, for another highly anticipated step: announcing his candidacy for governor, taking on Republican incumbent Gov. Rick Scott and an untold number of Democrats who would challenge him for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Then Crist said something upon which Democrats and Rush Limbaugh would agree:

“I’ve had friends for years tell me, ‘You know Charlie, you’re a Democrat and you don’t know it,’ ” Crist, a career-long populist, recounted Friday night from Washington, D.C.

In fact, to many moderates Crist had seemed the reflection of that wing of the GOP that sparked frequent — and frequently successful — RINO hunting expeditions led by Tea Partiers and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. He was the kind of Republican some GOPers on the right felt was not pure enough.

Crist has been registered with no party affiliation since the spring of 2010, when his Republican candidacy for U.S. Senate was fizzling against Republican upstart Marco Rubio. Since losing that race, he has been steadily inching toward the Democratic Party, first when his wife, Carole, switched her affiliation to Democrat and later when he threw himself into Obama’s re-election campaign, earning a prominent speaking slot during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.

Critics from both parties sniff that Crist is merely looking for an avenue back into public office and is willing to throw out his principles to achieve the goal.

“Charlie Crist has the ability to meld into any character — from ‘Chain Gang Charlie’ to sympathetic ‘Man of the People’ — there is seemingly no role that he can’t play,” said one recent release from the Florida GOP, which has been blasting Crist regularly in anticipation of him running for governor as a Democrat.

But:
1. Modern politics is all about trying to discredit those perceived as a threat, so the Florida GOP’s reaction is expected.
2. Is Christ really just melding into characters? Or has he basically been a moderate Republican — that kind of Republican being weeded out of the GOP, the kind of Republican who may not do well when he runs as a Democrat since Democrats still perceive him as a Republican, but the kind of Republican who can pick up a lot of independent voters and voters not happy with the existing Democratic or Republican Parties?

No matter:

Crist has now taken the leap…

         

8 Comments

  1. Why don’t these folks gang up to form a viable third party? Are we forever stuck with two bad choices? A little help, please??

  2. “viable third party” … and magic ponies too!!!

  3. Hehe. :-D

  4. Yeah Right, my question is so What??? He was trounced by Rubio, and now his true colors are flashing. People switch parties all the time. Most recently, Artur Davis, a prominent African American Congressman from AL switched from Dem to Repub. The NY/DC cocktail circuit echo chamber and all the Liberals that front its TV networks and Reporters couldn’t care less. Since Davis was an African American and AAs are thought to be almost always Liberals, that should have been a bombshell. This Crist switch should be even less relevant. Move along, who cares.

  5. “He was the kind of Republican some GOPers on the right felt was not pure enough.”

    But maybe the GOP should be less concerned about ideological purity. I consider myself an independent now due to a general disgust with what the GOP has become in the past 5-10 years.

  6. Romney was also criticized as being able to fit into any position, and to change his convictions at will.

    During the Republican primaries, it seemed to me, that, whenever a GOP candidate made statements that actually resembled the words of a sane man (such as Newt Gingrich’s comment about not wanting to condone social Darwinism) or was it social engineering? from either the right or the left, he was immediately pelted with lethal criticism. Perhaps the actions of Governor Crist should really be considered as one of the first sane things he has done in years. Most Republicans don’t seem to understand that, lately, it is primarily Democrats that actually allow themselves to be concerned with reality. Not only was Crist a closet Democrat all along but, apparently, he didn’t realize that he has also secretly valued sanity all along!

  7. Smooth Jazz, maybe Crist got tired of being associated with a party which has grown to be so dismissive and contemptuous of fact-based thinking and policy. It isn’t hard to understand why that doesn’t appeal to everyone.

  8. Charlie Crist has an agenda. He has always had an agenda. Watch what he does.

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