TAMPA — What can stop Charlie Crist now? The Terminator has his back. Yes, the one and only Ahnuld has taken time away from pondering what on earth to do about his bankrupt state to boost another failed governor’s failing independent campaign for the U.S. Senate. Professional courtesy I guess you’d call it.
If you think about it, they’re a natural team (even if one of them is built like a stretch Hummer and the other is so skinny he has to run around in the shower to get wet). Both men have retailed baseless environmental alarums for votes, both are about as popular with the Republican base in their states as tooth decay, and, most importantly, both of their terms as governor expire shortly after the election and neither has the least prospect of a further political career. Ahnuld at least can fall back on acting. Floridians will simply say, “Hasta la vista, Charlie” to Crist after he loses the Senate race to conservative Republican Marco Rubio November 2.
Restrained as I always am in political comments, I read nothing into the fact that Governor Schwarzenegger chose to endorse Governor Crist via Twitter. So please hold those tasteless jokes about one Twit endorsing another.
In his Twit, sent from Europe from where Ahnuld was avoiding Sacramento, he praised Crist as a “great leader” who “works with both parties.” Florida Republicans may have difficulty remembering when Crist last worked with them, and in any case nothing much resulted from Crist’s labors. Since Crist took office early in 2007 Florida’s unemployment rate has more than tripled and home foreclosures have gone, excuse the expression, through the roof. (Perhaps this is why Crist avoids Tallahassee as much as Ahnuld avoids Sacramento. In the last two years there have been more sightings of Elvis in Tallahassee than of Crist working in his office.)
The buffed one added, “Our country needs someone like him in DC right now.” Perhaps Ahnuld is too busy with the spiraling problems of California to notice that Washington is already full of vacuous and principle-free career politicians like Crist, this being why so many voters are so scratchy this year.
On receiving the endorsement, Crist replied with this little air kiss: “Governor Schwarzenegger has led California through extraordinarily difficult times in a bipartisan way. We have worked together on such crucial issues as reducing climate change and promoting alternative energy. I’m honored to have the support of this independent leader,” Crist wrote.”
I guess this is a soft way for Crist to say that Ahnuld’s policies and his record in office have been as incoherent and achievement-free as his own. Having just survived another Florida summer, I can say the climate here is the same as it was before Ahnuld and Charlie put their hearts and minds to it. And whatever they’ve done on the energy front hasn’t led to the production of a single extra kilowatt hour of electricity or a single extra half-gallon of anything combustible.
Though Charlie and Ahnuld have done nothing about the climate (and seem unaware that they couldn’t even if they wanted to), as well as less than nothing to produce more energy, they’ve certainly demagogued the issues in an attempt to win the granola vote.
In a two-day climate dog and pony show called by Crist in Miami in the summer of 2007, Ahnuld was a guest speaker. He showed how deeply he has studied the complex chemistry of climate by revealing, “We have to say hasta la vista to greenhouse gasses.”
Well, that clears it up. At this séance, Crist issued an executive order to put Florida on a carbon cap and trade system. Fortunately, this daft order required legislative action, and a lucid Florida Legislature refused to go along with the gag. A very expensive gag it would have been too.
Also at the Miami “climate change summit” were various activists, palmed off by Crist as climate experts. One of these was Robert Kennedy Jr., son of the former presidential candidate, attorney general, and Kennedy family consigliere. Kennedy demonstrated the kind of practical, even-handed, bipartisan approach Charlie says he wants to bring to Washington by claiming that anyone who rejects the global warming hysterics worldview and agenda is a “traitor.” And check out this more recent measured Kennedy remark about Rubio: “Mr. Rubio has a radical vision, a narrow vision, an I-can-be-as-stupid-as-I-want vision of this country.” Bobby Jr. has now endorsed Charlie.
Charming. I’m sure there are some Floridians who will be tempted to give Crist another look when they learn that these two moderates are now on Team Charlie. But even if both of them decide to vote for Crist this will do little to alter the formidable arithmetic facing the Crist campaign.
Rubio, who has run on opposing the Obama agenda, putting an end to federal turbo-spending, and defending American exceptionalism, is saying what the biggest fraction of Florida voters want to hear this year. As a result the Real Clear Politics average of polls give Rubio a monster lead at 45 percent, with 28.8 percent for Crist and 21 percent for Democrat Kendrick Meek.
Crist can turn his positions on issues around in short order, and has done so frequently. But with help from the likes of Ahnuld and Jr., he won’t turn these kinds of poll numbers around in less than three weeks. Not even if his excellent string of C-list endorsements continues and Bill Ayers decides to join Team Charlie.