Don’t waste your time on Charlie Crist

There are important primary elections on August 23 in Florida. Of the many persons running to represent the Democrats in their almost quixotic quest to unseat incumbent Governor Ron DeSantis, the two that stand out are former governor and now member of congress Charlie Crist, and Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried. 

As of this writing, their chances of winning are very difficult — at best. Allow me to delve into the case of Charlie Crist, the party favorite. 

Without a doubt the most experienced politician running for governor is Crist. As mentioned, Crist was governor from 2007 to 2011; he served as Florida Attorney General from 2003 to 2007; he was the state’s Commissioner of Education from 2001 to 2003; he is currently a member of the U.S. House of Representatives; and before all of this he served in the Florida Legislature.  

I believe that Crist is most likely leading in polls among Democrats. I bring this up because they  toot their horn based on internal polls that one never sees. But, as stated, he’s the best known; he’s also collected the most money (among Democrats). Fried, though, has struck out aggressively against the latest ruling by the Supreme Court against abortion, and her stand on the legalization of marijuana has garnered her traction among certain groups in the state. But I believe the party is strongly behind Crist. 

As is usually the case, especially among Democrats, Crist is the safest choice and a better fund raiser. There’s also the media who appears convinced that Crist will win the primary… so their attitude is one of why waste time on anyone else. 

It makes me think back to 2016 at a time when Democrats running to replace Barack Obama included Hillary Clinton, the party favorite, and Bernie Sanders, the self-proclaimed democratic socialist despised by many in the Democratic Party structure. As a result, the Democratic Party bureaucracy did everything in their power, including cheat, to assure that Hillary Clinton won the primary. The rest is history. Although, to be fair to Hillary, first, she would have been a better president than Trump. (No kidding, right?) Secondly, if we lived in a democracy… she had won. Clinton beat Trump in the popular vote count by almost 2.9 million votes.

The point I want to make, though, is that I am convinced that Sanders would have swamped Trump. Interestingly, many Sanders voters ended up voting for Trump in 2016. They were voters looking for a change of direction, and they saw that possibility in Trump, and not Clinton, the establishment candidate. 

The Democratic Party is not very interested in change, though. And Sanders, remember, lists himself as Independent, but caucuses with the Democrats. Whatever the case, think of a Sanders presidency rather than the nightmare known as Trump that culminated on Jan. 6, 2021. It was a big mistake by the Democrats.

I hate to compare Hillary to Crist, there is no comparison, but I’m trying to make the point that part of the problem with the Democratic Party starts at home. They need to look at themselves in the mirror and come to the realization that in their own way they are as out of touch as Republicans. (I suggest you read “Democrats led by an out of tune and complacent gerontocracy.”) The party still feels everything is fine. All that is needed is to win an election here and there and the ship of state will be reset on its rightful course. Nonsense.

But let me get back to Crist. I would not waste my time in his election. Try electing Democrats to congress. There’s a chance here in South Florida. 

And I do have a Charlie Crist story. It was about 15 years ago. Crist was governor of Florida and the legislature had just passed a law, sponsored by David Rivera of all people, banning travel to Cuba. A group of us, which included travel charter company executives who took travelers to Cuba legally, scheduled a meeting with the governor, a Republican at the time, to argue the law’s unconstitutionality. The group was ready to sue the state in order to overturn the Rivera law, if the governor were to sign it. 

The governor did not meet with us. He sent an aide who, during the meeting, basically agreed of the law’s unconstitutionality and told us he would report to the governor. Days later Crist signed the law. It cost the taxpayers of Florida millions of dollars to defend a law that was struck down by a federal judge. It proved to me that Crist was more interested in looking good with a certain group of his constituents than doing what was best for all Floridians. 

Recently Fried has attacked Crist on the Roe v. Wade (abortion) issue. She reminded us that as a Republican, Crist used to claim that he was “pro life.” In other words, against abortion. Recently, though, I guess after reading the tea leaves, he claims he is “running for governor to protect Roe v. Wade.”

Sorry Charlie, you can’t have it both ways. It’s worked in the past, but no longer. 

If you are tired of what’s happening in Florida, don’t waste your time on Charlie Crist. In my case, I’m looking at other elections. And the more local, the better.