Bob Smith, that is, the former U.S. Senator from new Hampshire. Publicly, Charlie Crist's campaign could explain that Smith, who has been living in Sarasota, brings a wealth of experience to the job -- six years in the House and 12 in the Senate. That's more than anyone else being mentioned among the candidates or for that matter the two front-runners for the job in 2010.
But on a more Machiavellian level, Crist can safely predict that whatever bump Smith gets from his time as a seat-warmer will come from the party's right wing, which is liable to vote for Marco Rubio anyway, at least if the straw polls hold steady for another year. In a primary battle that still looks comfortable but which has pitfalls on either side, Crist has every reason to want to split the vote of the far-right, as well as to make an appointment that proves he's a true believer in Reagan Republicanism, like Smith, whose policy positions should appeal to the Glenn Beck set.
Or then maybe Smith's just a sentimental favorite here, because he was the first politician declare his candidacy on this blog
-- though, admittedly, through no particular intention on Smith's part,
but rather the mainstream media's dismissal of him as a fringe
On a final note, yes, this is the second time I referenced the Bill Murray comedy classic in a headline about Bob Smith, but it may not be the last. I'm trying to convince Smith's somnolent campaign to adopt "What About Bob?" as its slogan. A few more posts should do it.