Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Charlie Crist for Vice President!

Please please PLEASE, John McCain, make Charlie Crist your VP nominee! We need to get this man out of the governor's office before he can do any irreparable harm!

I got up this morning and started making the usual round of websites to check on the status of the world. On the Drudge Report I found this set of headlines:

McCain touts energy conservation and oil exploration...

Gov. Crist likes plan, wouldn't rule it out for Florida...
The story for the first headline states that McCain wants to lift the moratorium that keeps the oil companies from drilling for oil off the Florida coast. In the second story Crist agrees with this plan. Here's the kicker: Crist has been steadfastly opposed to even CONSIDERING drilling off the Florida coast for his entire career. In fact about two weeks ago he let it be known that he wouldn't consider drilling off the Florida coast for any reason whatsoever. That was TWO WEEKS AGO!

But now he is suddenly for this measure. Apparently he changed his mind because of his desire to be McCain's running mate. Here's hoping he gets picked and leaves the Governor's mansion.

Look, people can change their minds, and they can do so for good reason. But in this case no reason for the about face has been given, nor is one likely to be given until his pollsters can find a response that polls well.

On top of this bit of shameless political expediency we also have Crist's recent gaffe-fest at a Republican shindig in Orange County California. From the OC Register report on the event:

Crist. Oy. Brought in as the keynote speaker because he's on the short list of potential McCain running mates, his performance Friday night truly did help his party. By showing unequivocally he would be a complete disaster for the GOP – the worst running mate since Dan Quayle.

Mr. Crist looks great: – silver hair, ragged shirt, baggy pa— … wait, that's Mr. Bojangles; let's try again: silver hair, warm smile, great tan, perfectly tailored suit of clothes, decent teeth. It's when he uses his facial musculature to try and form cogent sound that he falls apart.

His speech began at 7:38 p.m. and was over at 7:47 p.m. – at nine minutes the shortest Flag Day Dinner speech on record. A couple of years ago, there was a post-dessert standup comic who took longer to spit out one joke. So that was the good part about Crist's speech. Brevity is not always the soul of wit. Sometimes it's just merciful.

But into that nine minutes, he packed two major gaffes and one cliché-ridden anecdote, a nice trifecta. First, he displayed his knowledge of history by informing us that Ronald Reagan "came from right here in Orange County, California." (Sorry, Charlie, that was that other Republican president. Orange County was simply where Reagan's ATM was located.)

Then, again seeking to, uh, connect, with the O.C. Republican establishment, he managed to invoke one of the most reviled names in Orange County: "Your governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is doing a great job! … I love him!"

Thud. The groans in the room were audible … audible!!! Obviously, Crist's advance team had failed to tell him that conservatives see Arnold as a vapid, poll-driven sellout who faked 'em out good.

Crist closed with an anecdote about the American Dream, about "a boy named Adam" who came to the U.S. without knowing English, who worked hard shining shoes, had seven kids … At which point, I wrote in my notebook: "It was his dad." Close. A minute of porridgy drama later, we find out Adam was his grandfather.

OK, here's an easy one, Charlie: How do you spell potato?

Somebody please take this turkey off our hands! (The sad thing is that Crist was by FAR the better choice for Governor in the last election. Can't these parties find any competent people to run for office?)

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