Last week, just as his pissing match with the state Legislature over oil drilling in the Gulf reached ludicrous proportions, Charlie Crist got a big, wet boost to his Senate campaign from the national press.
In a Newsweek article, "The Resurrection of Crist" (who knew Jesus was so tanned?), writer Arian Campo-Flores argues that the governor has revived his campaign by playing the centrist candidate. And he has a good chance of winning the Senate race, mainly because the other candidates suck.
Hmmm. Granted, tea-party darling Marco Rubio and the remarkably unremarkable Democrat U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek are depressing options (as for Democratic challenger billionaire Jeff Greene, well, ask these oldsters in California). But that doesn't mean Crist is worthy of a biblical love fest.
Crist, as the article points out, is a blatant political chameleon. It's tough to believe he stands for anything when he constantly shifts views -- on issues such as abortion and gay adoption -- to fit the public mood.
"All he has to figure out is what you want to hear, and as long as it doesn't contradict something he said yesterday, you will probably hear it," Republican lobbyist Mac Stipanovich told Newsweek.
Yet Campo-Flores argues that Florida voters are so dense, they're not bothered by a governor whose only clear constituency is himself. "While political elites may get agitated over such slipperiness, average voters don't seem to care much," Campo-Flores writes.
Really? Are we that hard-up, politically speaking, that we'll just accept the guy who trots off to lavish New York fundraisers while his state drowns in unemployment? The guy who arranges a multimillion-dollar bailout for Big Sugar and calls it an altruistic rescue mission for the Everglades? Or wastes time grandstanding for a constitutional ban on offshore drilling when he should have been figuring out how the state will recover from the massive economic losses caused by the oil spill?
Chipper Charlie, Newsweek tells us, is Florida's Great Tanned Hope. If that's true, we're in serious trouble.