Charlie Crist: The Political Opportunist

Published Wed, Dec 19 2012 3:22 AM

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This morning, Republican, then independent, now Democrat Florida political opportunist Charlie Crist will testify in front of the Senate Judiciary committee on “voter suppression.”  Unfortunately he will not be talking about true voter suppression like that committed by the New Black Panthers in 2008 or the continuing efforts of many Democrats to suppress the military vote, a big issue in a state with a large military voting population like Florida.  No, Crist will be talking about the made-up non-existent topic of Republican “voter suppression.”  Why?  Charlie is a Democrat now and wants to get in the good graces of the Democrat party. 

Some may respond that Charlie has never been a believer in vote fraud.  That is not true. Check out this 1998 story of a younger State Senator Charlie Crist.  Crist favored increased criminal penalties for vote fraud at that time. 

But Charlie Crist started speaking against vote fraud in earnest in 2008.  Why?  In 2008, then Florida Governor Charlie Crist was bitter at John McCain for not choosing him as his running mate.  First, here’s some important background about the political opportunist named Charlie Crist.  Crist switched his endorsement from moderate Rudy Giuliani to the more conservative Senator McCain in the Florida primary in 2008.  Most agree this was a key to both eliminating Guiliani and propelling McCain to the Republican nomination.  Crist, quite reasonably, who was aided in his run for Governor by Guiliani and was closer politically to the more moderate Giuliani, felt that McCain owed him.

After McCain chose Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, Crist was of no help at all.  It was so bad he seemed to be looking for excuses to distance himself from McCain, as was noted at the time:

Charlie Crist, the popular Florida governor, decided to go to Disneyland rather than attend a McCain rally. 

Even Obama-supporting Time magazine noted in understated fashion,  “as well as the fact that McCain passed him over for the vice-presidential slot . . . seems to have made Crist a less than ardent McCain campaigner this fall.” 

Crist struck back at the time by not campaigning “ardently” for McCain in Florida but also being the only Republican I can remember at the time that defended the corrupt vote fraud organization ACORN.  ACORN was a major issue in the 2008 campaign, both for their tactics and violations of law, and for the fact that President Obama was an ACORN supporter and in a very real sense “grew up” politically in their bosom, working for the ACORN-affiliated Project Vote.  Again from Time:

Nor did it help last week when McCain, complaining about the admittedly boneheaded voter-registration tactics of left-leaning activist groups like ACORN, somewhat petulantly suggested that Democrat-engineered voter fraud could cost him Florida on Nov. 4. Crist later called that notion exaggerated, saying that in the closing days of a campaign "there are some who enjoy chaos." 

To disagree with McCain on the corrupt and easy political target of ACORN was a slap in the face of McCain that was needless.  But Crist went one step further: Crist even worked with Democrats to extend early voting hours.   Regardless of what one thinks of the merits of the move in retrospect, the fact that Crist only worked with people in the Democrat Party on the move is telling. 

Charlie Crist has an unfortunate history of using voting issues to get back at people.  I am sad that Senator Leahy would consider him remotely credible on this issue.  But Democrats should keep in mind that the political opportunist who is Charlie Crist will strike back at them just like he did McCain when it is in his political self-interest. 

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# The Republican Lawyer Blog said on Thursday, December 20, 2012 7:43 AM

At yesterday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing , Democrats tried to perpetuate a fiction of

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