It seemed too nakedly cynical to be possible -- and yet it just happened. Pass the smelling salts.
We warned Charlie Crist this could be his Harriet Miers moment. He didn't listen -- to us or to the people in his campaign who must have had the same anxieties.
If Crist gets just half the public backlash he deserves for this move, then Marco Rubio is alive in the race of the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.
After the jump, Florida Democratic Party Chair Karen Thurman gives an appropriately disgusted reaction:
"Today, Charlie Crist decided to play political games with the public's trust by appointing George LeMieux to the U.S. Senate. This glaring example of political cronyism is the last thing Florida needed while we face these tough economic times and the Congress is tackling critical issues such as health insurance reform and global warming.
"In appointing LeMieux, someone who has made millions over the past several years selling access to Crist to the highest bidders among Tallahassee's special interests, Charlie Crist once again put his own political ambition above doing what is right for Florida.
"Floridians are sick of the Republican culture of corruption and the Tallahassee back room dealings that clearly led Crist to pick LeMieux, whose only qualification is being Charlie Crist's crony."