"My decision to run for the United State Senate as a candidate without party affiliation in many ways says more about our nation and our state than it does about me . . . As someone who served the people in Florida more than 15 years, from the state Senate to the governor's mansion, I can confirm what most Floridians already know. Unfortunately our political system is broken. I was never one who sought to hold elective office to demagogue, to point fingers. For me, for me, public service has always been about putting the needs of our state and our people first. And every single day, as your servant, I have tried to do exactly that."Crist is counting on a groundswell of moderate opinion in his favor.
Good luck with that.
Joe Lieberman won as an independent in Connecticut because the GOP did not field a credible candidate, which meant that Lieberman was supported by Republicans as a way to undercut the Democratic candidate. However, Florida Democrats have a major candidate of their own in Rep. Kendrick Meek. Crist isn't going to get anywhere unless Meek closes up shop.
And that's highly unlikely.
The problem for Crist is the same as it is for almost any moderate. He wants to put "the needs of our state and our people first" but doesn't identify any specific ideas for doing so because that would put him in the crosshairs of the ideological battles between conservative Republicans and progressive Democrats.
Moderates generally like "compromise" and "bi-partisanship," but Crist is going to find out how poorly those principles play on the campaign trail. The right-wing views any politician who is willing to compromise with the Democrats as a "big-government liberal." Likewise, progressives view any willingness to compromise with Republicans as evidence of a politician's selling his soul to "corporate interests" and the Washington/media establishment.
And the worst thing for Charlie Crist is that both sides are right about him.
Sorry Charlie! But you still haven't hit bottom yet.