Charlie Crist made it official on Friday night at a Christmas party at the White House: He’s becoming a registered Democrat.
The former Florida governor evolved in 2010 from a self-described Reagan Republican to an independent in order to continue his campaign for the Senate after losing to Marco Rubio in the Republican primary. At the time, he told NRO’s Bob Costa that Senator Joe Lieberman had helped him to see his way toward overcoming his repeated avowals that he would not run as an independent. “[Lieberman] told me that [going independent] is the most liberating thing,” he said. “He was right. I’m much happier now, to be perfectly candid.”
It seems that other observers were even more attuned to where Crist’s political beliefs ought to take him. “I’ve had friends for years tell me, ‘You know Charlie, you’re a Democrat and you don’t know it,’” he told the Tampa Bay Times on Friday. “I feel at home now.” He also reiterated the theme of his Democratic National Convention speech, “I didn’t leave the Republican Party; it left me.”
Crist, who is positioning himself to challenge Florida Republican Rick Scott in the 2014 gubernatorial race, tweeted a picture of himself with his wife (who recently also made the switch to the Democratic party) holding registration papers at the White House reception:
— Charlie Crist (@CharlieCrist) December 8, 2012
He earned a congratulatory fist bump from President Obama.