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Charlie Crist To Speak At Democratic Convention

One day after endorsing Barack Obama in an Op-Ed piece, former Florida Governor Charlie Crist has been given a speaking slot at next week’s Democratic Convention:

Florida’s former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist will be a speaker at the Democratic National Convention.

An official with President Barack Obama’s campaign said Sunday that Crist will speak at next week’s convention in Charlotte, N.C., but the day hasn’t been worked out.

The official wasn’t authorized to speak and requested anonymity.

If this is the “surprise Republican” that Democrats had promised for the convention, color me unimpressed. Crist doesn’t strike me as a guy who carries much weight outside Florida and, even there, I can’t see him having much of an influence on the race. Nonetheless, this will likely be considered a big deal by pundits who enjoy pointing to things that are mostly irrelevant and telling us they’re important.

Also, it’s worth noting that Crist likely has ulterior motives here. It’s been rumored for some time now that he is interested in running for Governor in 2014, either as an Independent, or as a Democrat. This advances that cause.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Derrick says:

    Doug,

    I’m not saying that this is the biggest deal in the world, but getting a former governor from an important state like Florida to switch sides is a pretty good effort. Crist wasn’t universally popular but he probably would have won another term as Florida Gov if he’d stayed. I definitely wouldn’t classify this as insignficant.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  2. al-Ameda says:

    If this is the “surprise Republican” that Democrats had promised for the convention, color me unimpressed. Crist doesn’t strike me as a guy who carries much weight outside Florida and, even there, I can’t see him having much of an influence on the race. Nonetheless, this will likely be considered a big deal by pundits who enjoy pointing to things that are mostly irrelevant and telling us they’re important.

    It might matter if Crist gets up there and reminds everyone that the Ryan-Romney plan to privatize Medicare will end Medicare as we now know it, by effectively transferring hundreds of billions of dollars in expenses annually onto retired Americans.

    That might be a message that plays well in Florida, right? Especially coming from a Floridian?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  3. John Burgess says:

    @al-Ameda: Nope, it doesn’t play. Floridian retirees, of which I’m one, aren’t stupid. We realize that “Medicare as we know it” just isn’t sustainable. It needs to be changed and changed dramatically.

    Nor is Crist just now ‘switching sides’. He did that when he lost the Republican primary for the US Senate back in 2010. Florida Republicans deride him as a sore-loser turncoat; Independents (and more than a few Democrats) see him as an opportunist. Crist may dream of returning to the governorship, but they’re only dreams. He might have a future selling cars, however. He has enough name recognition for that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  4. G.A. says:

    Who?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  5. Tsar Nicholas says:

    I thought it would be Arlen Specter, but in any event it’s six or half a dozen. With Specter they’d have had to gloss over the facts that he got Alito onto the SCOTUS and that he formally switched parties. With Crist they’ll have to gloss over the facts that he was obliterated two times in the same overall election cycle and that up until 2009 or thereabouts he frequently was excoriated by the left for being too conservative.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  6. Gustopher says:

    If former Governor Pataki of New York was speaking, I don’t think it would matter much. Florida is a very big, very swingy state though.

    If he gives a speech on Medicare, Social Security and cat food, I think it could have a big effect.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  7. David M says:

    From what I understand, Crist is probably more popular than the current Governor of Florida, so it’s probably a win from that point of view.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  8. Franklin says:

    @Derrick:

    he probably would have won another term as Florida Gov if he’d stayed

    Am I missing something? Didn’t Crist try to stay but was defeated in the primary by Rubio?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  9. Franklin says:

    Please disregard my stupidity in the above post. Senator, Governor, what’s the difference?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  10. Moderate Mom says:

    The funniest comment on Christ’s op-ed yesterday was that Christ is so anxious to be in the parade that he’ll wear anyone’s costume. Absolutely dead on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  11. Bill says:

    @David M: @Moderate Mom:

    From what I understand, Crist is probably more popular than the current Governor of Florida, so it’s probably a win from that point of view.

    Crist is certainly more popular than Scott but Florida has been trending Republican in statewide races for over a decade, Senator Bill Nelson being an exception, but he’s been challenged by Howdy Doody Bill McCollum and corrupt drama queen Katherine Harris and will be facing a bar brawler Connie Mack IV this November. The Florida GOP has only shown itself to be stupid when fielding Senate candidates.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  12. An Interested Party says:

    Nope, it doesn’t play. Floridian retirees, of which I’m one, aren’t stupid. We realize that “Medicare as we know it” just isn’t sustainable. It needs to be changed and changed dramatically.

    As if that is a good reason to turn Medicare into a voucher program…that may play well with people like you but I highly doubt if it will play well with a majority of those who have Medicare, not to mention a majority of Americans…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. bandit says:

    Sore loser endorses loser.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  14. MarkedMan says:

    @John Burgess: John, let me assure you that your parties attitude of ‘Medicare (and probably Social Security) must be changed… for everyone younger than me’, is not going to wash. My generation (just on the other side of Paul Ryan’s dividing line) will not continue to fund free health care and retirement for a bunch of freeloaders like you. You are worse than free loaders – you not only expect us to pay your bills but you vote much more Republican, i.e. you vote for the “screw everyone but the rich – and people who vote for us” party.

    The irony here of course is the Randian’s like Ryan have no doubt figured this out. They tell the seniors that they get to keep their benefits as long as they screw the young, so the young lose their benefits. Then, when enough of the seniors have died or merely grown too confused to figure out the Voter I.D. laws, the young will vote to cut off their benefits. And the Randian’s will dance.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0