Specter Redux: Crist Out Of The Closet

Charlie Crist, Kay Bailey Hutchison and Arlen Specter share one thing in common. During the glory days of early 2009, when President Obama was still basking in the full awesomeness of his omnipotence, they hit the panic button.

Hutchison, the Senior Senator from Texas, chose to run for governor in a primary against popular incumbent Rick Perry. Part of her motivation to do so was surely based on a political calculus that showed her party being out of power for a long time. Specter’s decision to switch parties was less surprising given his history of derailing Republican policy during his tenure as the most reluctant Republican in the Senate since Jim Jeffords. Crist’s decision today to run as an independent in a Florida Senate Primary where he was being crushed by Marco Rubio is the most cynical of these moves. All three of the politicians caved to the 2009 Obama awesomeness early and often. Hutchison, to her credit, sacrificed some of her credibility but remained loyal to her Party and the thousands of contributors that financed her campaigns.

Crist and Specter, however, are cynical opportunists that should be thrown to the curb. They have earned well the Ayn Rand Wesley Mouch Award for deceiving, conniving con artists devoid of any principle. There is a lesson here for Republicans that should be heeded if the national Republican Party seeks to maintain any credibility with conservatives and libertarians: moderates are suspect and have a very poor track record in national campaigns. John McCain, the hold your nose vote for many Republicans in 2008, garnered 2,000,000 fewer votes in 2008 than George W. Bush received in 2004 against John Kerry. Bush got these additional votes because he stuck to certain principles, many unpopular in his Party. But he was seen as a man of conviction (at considerable cost to his political legacy), not a mavericky opportunist. This explains why Senator McCain is having trouble in his primary in Arizona against a weak and poorly financed opponent.

After three years of a wrenching recession voters have developed finely tuned bull shit meters and incumbents across the country are at considerable risk. Crist is surely ignoring the lessons of Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts that have already established the template for 2010. But that shouldn’t surprise anyone. The leap from shameless careerist to poseur fighting the machine is seen by today’s electorate for the patently dishonest posturing that it is. Crist is a mountebank who might displace Specter as the most despicable pol of the new century (excepting the Emperor himself). It’s no surprise that his staff is fleeing in droves.

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  • davidt

    Crist knows he can’t win in November. He just wants to cause Rubio to lose by drawing away votes. Probably in collusion with the Democrats.

  • epador

    “Wants to” does not equal any chance of succeeding in satisfying that want.

  • ODA315

    I was suspicious of Crist until his speech today when he told us he was doing this switch to independent ’cause the peeps of Florida want him.

    I f*ckin’ near blew pepsi out of my nose…..

    The narcissism of Crist, Specter, Obama, et al is clinical and pathological. Keep it up Charlie and Obama might throw ya a bone by appointing you to the shitburnin’ detail. Get your diesel and JP4 cans ready.

  • Caesar Augustus

    Specter redux??

    Seems a lot more analogous to Joe Lieberman in ’06.

  • Jim Addison

    On the contrary, Crist might have some dim idea of Democratic rewards in the back of his mind, but I fully expect that a narcissist like him cannot conceive of not winning. To accept the possibility of Rubio winning the GOP primary he had to convince himself it was some fringe conspiracy against him, and if his trusted pals like Connie Mack IV and John Cornyn couldn’t make him see an independent run was not only doomed to lose the Senate race but also effectively end his political career in either party, he’s already left reality far behind.

    It was only 3 weeks ago he appeared on national TV and declared he was a Republican, would only run as a Republican, and would endorse the winner of the Republican primary even if it was Rubio. Only days ago his web site carried a strong denial of an independent run and similar declarations of party loyalty (yes, people got screen caps). These will surely be enough on their own to show him for the self-centered, orange-tinted, opportunist bee-yotch that he is.


    Kay Bailey Hutchinson was never strongly conservative, but it seems rather harsh to portray her as feckless and disloyal as Specter and Crist. On the list of Republican Senators we might lose to a Democratic bill, she may not have been at the bottom, but she was far enough down the list that if we might be losing her, we’d already lost the vote.

    It is this habit of smearing those on our side who do not share our every position that dismays me most about my fellow conservatives. It’s one thing to purge an 85% lifetime ACU guy like Bennett in Utah with good replacements available and no credible Democratic threat to win the seat (ditto Coats in Indiana), but going after McCain in more competitive Arizona, and with a crooked nut case like Hayworth is borderline insane.

  • HughS

    Caesar Augustus ,

    Lieberman lost the primary in 2006 to Lamont but beat him in the November election. Which is to say he earned it the hard way. Crist is triangulating in the primary. Which is why he is a scoundrel.

  • HughS

    I didn’t smear KBH. I pointed out that she totally misread the political climate in early 2009.

    Also, McCain’s opponent is not mentioned by name in my post for a reason. Maybe McCain will get religion in the primary. I doubt it.

    Republicans would be wise to recognize that the status quo is not acceptable to the conservative base and incumbent Republicans are not immune to the change that is coming. McCain’s primary challenge is an excellent example of that even if his opponent is seen as a nut. Anti incumbency is the issue that is driving local politics right now. Voters have a long history of throwing the baby out with the bath water.

  • Neo

    The irony or ironies is that Specter probably would have won re-election if he had stayed a Republican .. no matter how he voted. He gave up his seniority and his manhood to become a Democrat because he put up his finger in 2009 and his knee jerked.

  • 914

    Crist out of the frickin closet? I would have expected him to come down my non-existent chimney… That little gremlin fucker.

  • Jim Addison

    HughS ~ Sorry, that was awkwardly phrased. But Hutchinson’s miscalculations are orders of magnitude different from the perfidy of Specter and Crist.

  • Gmac

    I think someone at Redstate predicted this would happen 3 or 4 months ago.

    Crist, if he’s lucky, may pull 15% of the total vote with most of it coming from liberal tax and spend supporters. Meeks is the one getting hurt here.
    Conservative voters clearly do not care for a good tan and support for Obama’s policies.

  • James H

    Hmph. HughS writes as if party loyalty should trump other considerations. Can’t say I agree with him. Not at all.

  • Oyster

    Crist has surrounded himself with a nice little bubble if he thinks Floridians want him as their Senator. The fact is many independents and republicans who voted for him as governor rue that decision. These are the people he thinks he can woo by putting an “I” after his name.

    He’s still Charlie Crist. He’s governed Florida the same way the Obama Admin is governing the US. As a central planner without regard for individual municipalities’ and their unique situations.

    I didn’t vote for him. I looked in his eyes and saw 4 letters; RINO.

  • Wayne

    Caesar Augustus
    A difference with Lieberman is his party leadership actively backed his opponent and were trying to punish him. They were playing pretty dirty with him and he still only lost by a thin margin.

    The same can’t be said about Specter and Christ. It was the Republican voters that turn against them in large numbers. The party leadership were sucking up to them not playing dirty politics to punish them.