Citing a slew of insider folk who compose the "Charlie Crist camp," Politico recently unleashed one of the most unintentionally satirical articles of Washington reporting this side of a Joseph Heller novel.
According to "Democratic sources closely watching the race," and "operatives familiar with [Crist's] thinking" and "allies" and "sources in and outside the Crist camp" and "a third source familiar with Crist's thinking," Politico says Charlie Crist is all but certain to run for governor.
How they came to such a definitive answer: A few e-mails from some guys who claim to know Crist. And, pow! THE NEWS IS BORN.
Everyone and their mom has been saying Charlie Crist will run for governor. (Hell, even we did, writing a 5,500-word cover story on Crist's likely run.)
We got to know the guy pretty well. And it's unclear what "camp," in fact, Politico is referring to. Crist doesn't have a "camp." Crist's right hand man, Jim Greer, is in jail and the rest of the gang abandoned him years ago after he fled the Republican party in 2010.
Which brings us to our first reason Crist -- despite everything you've heard until now -- will not run for governor.
5. Charlie Crist is all alone A funny thing happened when Charlie Crist decided he didn't want to be a Republican anymore in 2010 in the heat of the Republican primaries, becoming a moderate. His entire campaign collapsed and everyone jumped ship. His sister had to take over the bewildered effort. No one else would.
Though years have passed since, and Crist has lured some high-profile supporters -- like Barack Obama -- they aren't exactly the most loyal because Crist, himself, hasn't been loyal.
And today, what POLITICO refers to as the "Crist camp" -- doesn't, in fact, exist. Several months ago, I spoke with almost every person who came to know Crist well, and that was one of the most salient discoveries. Charlie Crist doesn't have a lot of friends -- and the ones he had, he's lost.
4. His sweet deal with Morgan & Morgan Crist has it pretty good right now. He's has a nice place along the bay in St. Petersburg, he has a high-paying job that allows him to exercise his high quota of pouts and brow furrows.
The job allows Charlie Crist to live out his own caricature. He can help "the people," get paid for it, and have lots of free time to do things he loves, like sailing boats and working out.
If he ran for governor, he'd give all of that up for an uncertain future and more bruising criticism.
3. All the divorce drama If Charlie Crist decides to run for governor, there's one man who will come back time and again: Todd Rome.
Rome claims he once chased Crist down the streets of New York, clutching a box of cupcakes, and deriding the alleged fact that Crist "has no balls."
Todd Rome, a luxury travel tycoon and CEO of Blue Star, is a Carole Crist's ex husband -- and he's beefing hard with both Charlie and Carole, who he says abandoned their children.
As I recall the phrase "piece of shit" came up often in conversation. And if Crist decides to run, it will again and again.
2. Who the fuck is Charlie Crist, anyway? Though he dismisses the myriad flip-flops -- on gay marriage, on taxation, on health care reform -- as an evolution of thinking, they speak to a much broader issue in his politics.
Charlie Crist doesn't stand for anything, I was told time and again, but Charlie Crist.
Voters aren't stupid. And this is the issue, more than any other, that will kill Crist if he decides to run. Which he may not, because...
1. He won't win Since Rick Scott has gotten into office, the unemployment rate has dropped to 7.2 percent. When Charlie Crist left office, it was at 11 percent.
You do the math. Granted, much of this change has been beyond other man's control. Florida's economy is driven by tourism, and when the rest of the nation is hurting for cash, that cripples how much money is coming into the Sunshine State.
Still, there is some cause for concern for Crist. Those numbers are hard, and though Crist is undeniably more likable than Rick Scott, his economic performance has been substantially better.
And if Crist runs, Scott will remind us of that fact about 3.2 trillion times, and his campaign's narrative will go like this:
Charlie Crist is a flip-flopper.
You can't trust Charlie Crist.
You were unemployed under Charlie Crist.
Charlie Crist cares about ambition, not the people.
Charlie Crist won't win.
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