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Friday, April 30, 2010
By Steven L. Taylor

Via the NYT:  Crist Announces Independent Bid for Senate:

Mr. Crist told supporters in his home town of St. Petersburg that his decision to leave the Republican party is "the right thing for America" and "the right thing for Florida."

"My decision to run for the U.S. Senate as a candidate without party affiliation says more about our nation and our state than it says about me," Mr. Crist said. "Unfortunately our political system is broken. I think we need a new tone in Washington."

While it is certainly true that the fact that Crist was going to be crushed in the GOP primary by Marco Rubio, and thus facilitating this move, is commentary on the current state of the Republican Party in Florida (and maybe nationally), it isn’t evidence that anything is broken.  Indeed, it is a rather arrogant thing to say that because one won’t be nominated by one’s former party that it is therefore evidence of systemic breakdown.

Beyond that, the bottom line is that this move is very much about Charlie Crist.  He wants to be a US Senator from Florida and his way is blocked in the GOP.  He has calculated that he at least has a shot as an independent, so he is running as an independent.  There is nothing wrong with making such a strategic choice.  Of course, it wouldn’t sound too good if he just said all of that in his announcement.  (“This is the right thing for Charlie Crist” doesn’t sound as good as “the right thing for America.”)

And if I had a dollar for every politician who says that they are going to go set a “new tone” in Washington, I could probably retire…

The views expressed in the comments are the sole responsibility of the person leaving those comments. They do not reflect the opinion of the author of PoliBlog, nor have they been vetted by the author.

2 Responses to “Crist the Independent”

  1. WilliamJE Says:

    Steven,

    I disagree. Crist has little chance in November. He's losing staff and his campaign funding is about to be turned off. All Crist can accomplish by running is to stop Marco Rubio from being elected. If the Democrats can find a candidate with more appeal than Kendrick Meek, a very liberal congressman with a do nothing record, they will this Senate seat.

  2. Steven L. Taylor Says:

    Perhaps I should put it this way:

    If Crist runs in the GOP primary, he will lose to Rubio, so his chance of winning the Senate seat is o%.

    If he drops out of the race entirely, his chance to win the Senate seat is 0%.

    If he runs as an independent his chance of winning the seat is larger than 0% (it is, therefore, his best chance).

    Exactly what that chance is, I do not know. I think it is a real chance, but not one that I would bet on. As such, I am not sure we disagree.

    And all the issue you note are real problems, yes.


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