So if Crist's public divorce from the Republican party does not signal a GOP crack-up, what exactly does it signify? First, it shows what a dead weight Obama is for politicians of both parties. The famous shot of Crist hugging Obama hurt him as much as Obama's low job approval numbers weighed down Creigh Deeds in Virginia and Martha Coakley in Massachusetts — a fate now threatening Democratic candidates from coast to coast. When Obama campaigned for Deeds and Coakley (and former governor Jon Corzine in New Jersey), no surge in support materialized. "Yes, we can!" became "wake me up when it's over."I thought Stephen Hayes captured Crist's problem quite succinctly on Fox News:
Second, voters across the board — from tea-party activists to party rank-and-file to anxious independents — are hungering for authenticity. Crist's political calculation and chameleon-like shifts on the issues (and now party affiliation) repel far more voters than they attract. Voters would rather support a politician with convictions, like Marco Rubio, even as they may disagree with him on some issues, because they know where he stands and they trust him to tell them what he really believes. This is the essence of leadership, especially in a moment of crisis.
Finally, Crist still does not grasp that the country wants a check on Obama, not an enabler in Republican or independent skin. The backlash over spending, soaring debt, government take-over of major industries, and Obamacare calls for a new breed of GOP leaders who are unafraid to stand in the gap and stop the Obama agenda. Crist's failure to understand that is what sunk his candidacy in the GOP and will likely do so in the general election. It also explains why John McCain is moving to the right so swiftly in his primary with J.D. Hayworth in Arizona — causing whip-lash for his former base, the media.
So I think he knew at the time he wasn't telling the truth. The real difficulty that Charlie Crist faces now is what are his principles? What does he run on? You can't run on just being a politician, can't run on just being a guy. He hasn't done that much as governor. His approval rating plummeted over the past year.The Florida Republican Party seems to agree with Mr. Hayes:
He has made statements about what he was going to do, how he would run as a Republican, and he backed off of those. He used to oppose drilling offshore, and then when he was being considered as a potential vice presidential candidate, he was in favor of it, and now he's opposed to it again.
He couldn't say yesterday who he was going to caucus with, Republicans or Democrats. Voters are willing to forgive a lot. But they want somebody who actually believes something, in something other than himself. (emphasis mine)
It's one thing to call a guy the new Benedict Arnold. But things are really crossing the line when you try to sell them on eBay.
The state Republican Party, clearly still upset at Gov. Charlie Crist about the whole independent thinking decision, is reportedly ready to auction off anything related to Crist found in the state headquarters.
That includes a handsome oil painting of the once beloved governor that once greeted visitors when they walked in the door. The $7,500 portrait was paid for by party money and since Crist is a Republican no more, they figured they might as well get some of their money back.
“I don’t need the picture and it was paid for by party money," said Sen. John Thrasher, chairman o fthe state GOP. "He’s no longer a Republican, so it’s logical to me that we try to see if we can get some money for it.”