The Campaign Spot

Charlie’s Tuna Is Cooked

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This Charlie Horse Can’t Win the Race

You’re going to get beat, Charlie, and I’m going to enjoy it. It didn’t have to be this way; you notice Mark Kirk got through a Republican primary without insisting that everyone in the GOP had become an extremist except him. Mike Castle’s probably going to get through his primary fine. It’s this ‘primary voters have to love me, if they don’t, it means the party been hijacked by radicals’ victim card that is so darn tiresome. You know what Jim Jeffords, Dede Scozzafava, Lincoln Chafee and Arlen Specter all have in common? By the time they switched parties/endorsed the other side, they were so politically weakened they would have a tough time outpolling Jesse James among women voters. Nobody switches parties when they’re a winner.

I’ve noted that I don’t agree often with Daniel Larison, but I’d offer some ‘amens’ to this: “No one has to agree with or even like Marco Rubio to appreciate the one service he has done for Florida, which is to expose how Crist’s desire for personal advancement trumps any and all other considerations. Whatever their reasons for the Republican rank-and-file’s rejection of Crist, there are few candidates more deserving of rejection than Crist because of the sheer opportunism that has marked his career and which he will continue to display this year.”

Red State’s Erick Erickson has earned the right to an ‘I Told You So’ or two: “Charlie Crist will not only run as an independent in Florida, but he has also reserved all of his air time in Florida through November, or as much as he can. Why? Because he knows the Club for Growth is going to do what they did to Specter — fund an effort to have Crist donors ask for their money back. Well, because Crist has spent it all on television advertising holds that he may or may not later use, he can say he has none to give back. Classy, Charlie.”

David Frum is dusting off Tony Kornheiser’s old Redskins bandwagon and is painting ‘Rubio 2010’ on the side: “Crist continues to lead the polls. I expect that lead to fade as Republicans rally to Rubio and independents question the grounds for Crist’s candidacy. I hope that translates into a Rubio win, but I worry that a Rubio candidacy will be a tougher and harder fight than a Crist candidacy would have been: I don’t share the view that the conservative voter belongs to Rubio’s hard-edged style of politics, especially not in a state like Florida. But all that is past helping. The GOP nomination race has a presumptive winner and Republicans of all stripes have a new standard-bearer.”

Yeah, Crist led some hypothetical three-way polls, but I suspect that his bold departure from the party, about a month and a half after he pretty explicitly promised he wouldn’t do that, is going to drag down his approval across the board. ‘Florida Independents for Duplicitous Turncoats’ just isn’t a big enough demographic to get Charlie to 34 percent.

Oh, and Drew M. at Ace of Spades would like a word with Frum and other past fans of Crist: “Why exactly should the right be taking advice from someone who thought Crist was a great choice, really the only choice? The guy has turned out to be a sore loser snake who may well be trying to cut a deal with the Obama White House to win this race. Some of us saw that early on and wanted nothing to do with the guy.  Exactly at what point to our ‘leaders’ have to answer for the fact that they are often wrong?”

On NRO today, I take a look at Crist’s many avoidable mistakes since declaring his Senate bid.