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Crist gets back to his roots

For most of the last year, Crist has ineffectually tried to define himself as the real conservative in his primary against Rubio.  Clearly, it is a strategy that is going no where.  Seemingly, each new poll that comes out shows Rubio climbing and the only thing dropping like a rock in Cristworld are his own numbers.

But just in the last few weeks, he appears to be changing course, first deciding to appear with President Obama in Tampa, then staking out a more moderate terrain with his budget, then today, getting back to the tone that defined his first few years as Governor, with comments like this: 

While there is great virtue in being true to your principles, conviction must be tempered with practicality and pragmatism. Taken to an extreme, conviction becomes inflexible – even destructive. Extreme views rarely solve problems and frequently create them. Look around the globe. Can’t we agree our world would be better with less overheated rhetoric and more common sense?

The reality is Crist is never going to be able to change the hearts and minds of the most conservative elements of the GOP because his problems run far deeper than just one Presidential man-hug. 

From embracing the science of climate change to taking the principled stand in 2008 that long lines should never stand as a detriment to a citizen's right to vote, Crist has found himself at odds with his own party---hence my comments a few months back about him lacking a real base.  I might have a better chance of convincing some conservatives of my bona fides than Crist.

But in this political environment, Crist has one way to get his mojo back, and admittedly, its a hail mary:  stand up as a leader.  With people of all colors frustrated with Washington, Crist has a narrow 60 day window to wrestle some common sense into Tallahassee.  If he succeeds (and people give him credit for it), he's got a shot.  If not, he's done.  It is just that simple, which is why a few weeks back, I suggested that he simply suspend campaigning and focus on running the state, which is the only way he is going to change minds.

It may not carry him to victory, but clearly the road he was on was leading him into the desert.  So why not get back to what he knows best?

Clearly he is taking a step in a new (or really old) direction...or maybe he's two steps ahead of us and is just laying the road work to run as an independent....

(I doubt it)

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Reader Comments (4)

Should've called it a State of the Campaign speech. Does seem like he's swimming back to shore.

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKevin King

Wait a minute. You say:

"...the road he was on was leading him into the desert. So why not get back to what he knows best?"

What does he know best? Because I thought it was advancing his own political career.

Isn't he in a bit of a box, here? The man can't govern -- he doesn't know how (or care to; either way). And his tried and true method of campaigning his way to the next biggest office is failing him.

Would he do best to simply drop out, write a book, go teach for a bit, make the rounds on talking head shows, and then maybe try again for VP in '12?

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBen

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March 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterANDREALamb28

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March 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara O'Brien

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