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Jim Greer: Enjoyed the Spoils of Cronyism a Bit Too Much

If you ever find yourself being interviewed for a job with Charlie Crist, don't worry about such things as a crummy résumé or a pending criminal investigation. Just give an answer of "Hell, yes!" to the question of whether you'll be loyal to the Crist political franchise.

Judging by this fascinating article from this weekend's Orlando Sentinel, loyalty is all that Jim Greer needed for his meteoric rise in the Republican Party of Florida. He was an Oviedo city councilman and -- perhaps more important -- a marvelous fundraiser during Crist's 2006 gubernatorial campaign. From those humble beginnings, Crist elevated Greer to chairman of the state party.

It's one thing to prize loyalty over qualifications in hiring someone, but it's another thing to still defend that hire even after he demonstrated he was unworthy of the job. That's exactly what Crist did in defending Greer for months after allegations surfaced that the Republican chairman was misusing party funds.

Broward Republican powerhouse Sharon Day offers an anecdote that tells you all you need to know about Greer:

"We were at RNC meetings, and if you were to believe Jim Greer, the governor was calling him every 40 minutes."

At one out-of-state RNC meeting, an aide kept walking in and handing notes to Greer, Day said. She was afraid something bad had happened in Florida, so she asked the aide about the notes. They were blank, she said. Her conclusion: Greer had had them delivered to make himself look important.

It's absurd, a parody. And it tells you exactly how seriously Greer took the responsibilities that come with having political power. But who can blame him? He didn't get the gig by being responsible. He got it by being a Crist sycophant, just as "maestro" George LeMieux earned his appointment to the U.S. Senate.

Imagine: Just a few years ago, Crist's name was in the veepstakes -- some even named him as a possible presidential candidate in 2012. Don't expect a revival of that nonsense.

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Thomas Francis

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