Abandon ship: Two key staffers leave Crist’s campaign

posted at 12:37 pm on February 23, 2010 by Allahpundit

The good news? He still crushes Democrat Kendrick Meek head to head. The bad news? He almost certainly won’t make it that far, and his inner circle now seems to be realizing it.

Looks grim, sure, but don’t forget: There’s “no way” he’s losing this primary.

In the latest sign of turbulence for Charlie Crist’s wounded U.S. Senate bid, key staffers are starting to leave the campaign.

Political director Pablo Diaz, one of the first two staff members hired for the Senate campaign, is departing at the end of the month for “a new opportunity.” Sean Doughtie, a well-regarded new media consultant who had worked with Crist for years, stopped working for the campaign at the end of January.

“The campaign was going in a different direction,” said Doughtie.

That’s as tactful a way to spin a fading campaign as you’re ever likely to see. Elsewhere, Politico’s wetting itself for reasons that escape me over Rubio’s decision to go to South Carolina and raise money with Jim DeMint:

Coming off his star turn at CPAC last week, Rubio’s plans to visit an early presidential primary state don’t look good. “Anything such as this which lends appearance that Marco is already looking past not only the August primary, but the November election, is not a good place for him to be politically,” a Republican strategist told Morning Score. “Oftentimes some forget that while Jim DeMint may have a small universe of followers who read RedState, the reality is that the vast majority of Americans, including in Florida, don’t have the slightest idea who Jim DeMint is.”

They’re both grassroots darlings who are using each other’s cred with the base to their own advantage. DeMint gets some extra cachet with young righties who are excited about Rubio and Rubio gets to raise his national profile with righty donors outside Florida who may not know who him but who certainly know DeMint’s “true conservative” reputation. Win/win. What’s the problem?

Exit question: Is there anyone in the party who’s both willing and able to help Crist in Florida by campaigning for him? The obvious candidate is McCain, who benefited so much from Crist’s own endorsement two years ago, but while he might be able to peel off a few centrists who are leaning towards Rubio, he’ll take a beating among grassroots conservatives in his own race with Hayworth for doing so. Romney’s another possibility, although I don’t know how much pull he’d have in Florida and he’d be foolish to antagonize tea partiers by going against their new idol. Jeb Bush would be a huge get for Crist, but it looks like he’s tilting the other way too. Anyone out there? Bueller?


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Comments

Only if ACORN shows up, Charlie, only if ACORN shows up.

wildcat84 on February 23, 2010 at 12:39 PM

Willy Wonka’s chocolate river: Hardest hit.

ted c on February 23, 2010 at 12:39 PM

Exit question: Is there anyone in the party who’s both willing and able to help Crist in Florida by campaigning for him?

how about his hug buddy outside the party….? He’s got a great winning record. SEN Coakley, anyone?

ted c on February 23, 2010 at 12:40 PM

But he’s the future of the GOP. :-(

spmat on February 23, 2010 at 12:41 PM

this loser just needs to quit now.

ousoonerfan15 on February 23, 2010 at 12:41 PM

But what about sticking around for that high speed train????

search4truth on February 23, 2010 at 12:41 PM

Charlie to jump parties in 5… 4…

Enoxo on February 23, 2010 at 12:42 PM

That’s as tactful a way to spin a fading campaign as you’re ever likely to see.

What if by “different direction”, they meant the Crist campaign is about to begin a very negative smear-centric campaign against Rubio and they want to get out before it gets ugly? Just tossing that out there.

LastRick on February 23, 2010 at 12:42 PM

This is awesome news. Down with orange candidates.

OmahaConservative on February 23, 2010 at 12:42 PM

NO WAY!!

:)

Maquis on February 23, 2010 at 12:43 PM

Crist’s insistence that there is no way he will lose this primary has all the gung-ho assurity that Custer had when he said he had all those Indians surrounded!

pilamaye on February 23, 2010 at 12:45 PM

a Republican strategist

Who works for… any guesses?

strictnein on February 23, 2010 at 12:45 PM

Willy Wonka’s chocolate river: Hardest hit.

ted c on February 23, 2010 at 12:39 PM

That’s…not…chocolate

DrAllecon on February 23, 2010 at 12:46 PM

Exit question: Is there anyone in the party who’s both willing and able to help Crist in Florida by campaigning for him? The obvious candidate is McCain,

There’s just not enough “moderate” love to go around. Besides McCain is trying to look hardcore tea party conservative right now. Isn’t that the reason he called on the lady who frightened the moderates?

Weight of Glory on February 23, 2010 at 12:46 PM

Anyone out there? Bueller?

You’re just lobbing softballs now, AP. The answer is clearly Arnold.

Vashta.Nerada on February 23, 2010 at 12:46 PM

Charlie to jump parties in 5… 4…

Enoxo on February 23, 2010 at 12:42 PM

Or that.

LastRick on February 23, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Romney’s another possibility, although I don’t know how much pull he’d have in Florida and he’d be foolish to antagonize tea partiers by going against their new idol.

No, Romney would be a fool because Crist stabbed him in the back in 2008. Let Crist twist in the wind.

KickandSwimMom on February 23, 2010 at 12:47 PM

I can think of only one big mouth Crist fan who would LOVE his face out there campaigning for him: David Frum.

Marcus on February 23, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Crist will always have JetBoy.

myrenovations on February 23, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Be wary of those Charlie Crist promises.

Just ask Rudy Guiliani about Crist’s word.

http://is.gd/9169A

Crist and his supporters are all about winning. If they’re not going to win the endorsements will never sprout. Crist for Senate is done.

gabriel sutherland on February 23, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Don’t worry, Mitt Romney will hire those staffers.

portlandon on February 23, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Rubio up by 18% and climbing … Rubio, the Florida Tea Party guy.

tarpon on February 23, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Hey Charlie,

CAN YOU HEAR US NOW?

RealMc on February 23, 2010 at 12:49 PM

TIME FOR DESPERATE MEASURES!

Crist can put ACORN to work deporting illegals and still win this thing.

I don’t think that The One would give you TARP money for that, though.

IlikedAUH2O on February 23, 2010 at 12:49 PM

This is awesome news. Down with orange candidates.

OmahaConservative on February 23, 2010 at 12:42 PM

Racist!

rbj on February 23, 2010 at 12:50 PM

I agree with Gov Crist that there is no way he is going to lose in the primary election. Because he will not be in the race by then.

meci on February 23, 2010 at 12:51 PM

“It’s just a flesh wound.” — Crist campaign

neurosculptor on February 23, 2010 at 12:51 PM

Someone do a “welfare check” on Jetboy. He is gonna be drowning in tears.

Branch Rickey on February 23, 2010 at 12:51 PM

When asked about his chances earlier this morning, Crist replied:

“I will eat his liver with a fine kee-anti and some scozzafaahhvah beans.”
The attendants then placed the muzzle-like mask back over his face, wheeled him to the ambulance, and whisked him off to the home.

Doorgunner on February 23, 2010 at 12:52 PM

OT: What’s with Allah posting so early in the day? Have the new overlords started cracking the whip?

Infidoll on February 23, 2010 at 12:53 PM

Win/win. What’s the problem?

Um, when Conservative win, that is a problem for politico.

Branch Rickey on February 23, 2010 at 12:54 PM

OT: What’s with Allah posting so early in the day? Have the new overlords started cracking the whip?

Infidoll on February 23, 2010 at 12:53 PM

Ed’s taking some time off after CPAC, so AP’s filling in. He does have to wear a tie now, and a shirt. And pants too, for crying out loud, Allahpundit! Put some frakking pants on.

rbj on February 23, 2010 at 12:55 PM

Coming off his star turn at CPAC last week, Rubio’s plans to visit an early presidential primary state don’t look good. “Anything such as this which lends appearance that Marco is already looking past not only the August primary, but the November election, is not a good place for him to be politically,” a Republican strategist told Morning Score.

Um, don’t know what univers this “Republican strategist” lives in, but at this point Rubio is better known and even more popular than DeMint, thanks to Mark Levin’s radio program and CPAC…..something that’s obviously not lost on DeMint and his campaign staffers.

I’m hoping DeMint tosses his hat into the presidential election ring next spring. Someone really needs to knock out the tainted old guard, among which I include McCain, Gingrich, Romney, Huckabee, et al.

KendraWilder on February 23, 2010 at 12:55 PM

Oompa, loompa doopady-do
I’ve got another puzzle for you
Oompa loompa doopa-da-dee
If you are wise, you’ll listen to me.

What do you get when the liberals fail
But RINO candidate doesn’t bail?
What are the Florida voters to do?
When candidates can’t catch a CLUE!

Oompa loompa doopady-do
What is Crist supposed to do?
Oompa loomp doopady-day
If he is wise he will go away!

Sekhmet on February 23, 2010 at 12:55 PM

I’m hoping DeMint tosses his hat into the presidential election ring next spring.

KendraWilder on February 23, 2010 at 12:55 PM

I enthusiastically second that nomination. DeMint is a rock.

neurosculptor on February 23, 2010 at 12:58 PM

Willy Wonka is a good source of help!.

hawkman on February 23, 2010 at 12:58 PM

It’s not easy being orange in a red state. You end up clashing too much of the time. :)

I’d say Obama is about the only one who doesn’t lose more than he gains by sticking with the Ooompah Loompah.

highhopes on February 23, 2010 at 12:59 PM

Does this mean SquidShark and JetBoy are looking for new jobs?

JohnBG on February 23, 2010 at 12:59 PM

The question would be how is Rubio polling against Kendrick Meek. If Meek beats Rubio, having the “more conservative” candidate is stupid. Having half a loaf is better than nothing. We can’t play that “if the Democrats win, they will screw things up so bad people will come to the conservatives in droves” again this year. We did that last time and we are currently in a financial disaster situation because of it. We need to get Republicans in office and ALL levels of government (state and local governments, too).

This is a redistricting year. We need Republicans in as many offices as possible, even if they aren’t “perfect” conservatives.

But it looks like we are ok because the last polling data I saw shows Jimmy Carter, John Wayne Gacy, and Rod Blagojevich beating Meeks so I think we will be ok in this instance.

crosspatch on February 23, 2010 at 12:59 PM

note to Mitt Romneycare:

this is you, in one year

james23 on February 23, 2010 at 1:02 PM

Christ should hire Congressman Grayson to run his campaign, talk about a ship sinking quick.

la.rt.wngr on February 23, 2010 at 1:03 PM

We can beat the rino’s but don’t put all your faith in any politician. The people of Mass gave us Brown and we have yet to see just how conservative he may be.

Kissmygrits on February 23, 2010 at 1:04 PM

I’m hoping DeMint tosses his hat into the presidential election ring next spring. Someone really needs to knock out the tainted old guard, among which I include McCain, Gingrich, Romney, Huckabee, et al.

KendraWilder on February 23, 2010 at 12:55 PM

DeMint’s biggest problem, IMO, is that he is from the South. The amount of bigotry and stereotypes out there about Southerners hurts with voters in other parts of the country.

Besides, I want to see a real shake-up of the old guard. Nominating yet another Senator isn’t good enough. I’d like to see a governor (Bobby Jindal please call your office) or somebody that isn’t, in fact, currently part of the problem.

highhopes on February 23, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Ed’s taking some time off after CPAC, so AP’s filling in. He does have to wear a tie now, and a shirt. And pants too, for crying out loud, Allahpundit! Put some frakking pants on.

rbj on February 23, 2010 at 12:55 PM

The bath robe and Spiderman pajamas are definitely out now.

BuckeyeSam on February 23, 2010 at 1:06 PM

Governor with Guts?

Heh. Go for it Charlie.

gabriel sutherland on February 23, 2010 at 1:06 PM

a Republican strategist
Who works for… any guesses?

strictnein on February 23, 2010 at 12:45 PM

Exactly! Nice job of Politico/liberal-lite to find one source to prove their dissonance.

Rovin on February 23, 2010 at 1:07 PM

No, Romney would be a fool because Crist stabbed him in the back in 2008. Let Crist twist in the wind.

KickandSwimMom on February 23, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Didn’t he stab Giuliani in the back?

fiatboomer on February 23, 2010 at 1:07 PM

If Republicans (any Republican this side of a John Bircher) can’t beat Kendrick Meeks in Florida, this country is in a whole lot more trouble than we realized.

chris999 on February 23, 2010 at 1:08 PM

This is awesome news. Down with orange candidates.

OmahaConservative on February 23, 2010 at 12:42 PM

Sadly for Charlie, the tent is just not that big.

“The campaign was going in a different direction,” said Doughtie.

Yes, sinking like a stone is a different direction…from Rubio’s campaign.

BuckeyeSam on February 23, 2010 at 1:08 PM

Stop making me feel sorry for him. As for campaigning for DeMint, if it wasn’t for my illogical prejudice of senators he is someone I would like for president.

Cindy Munford on February 23, 2010 at 1:08 PM

But it looks like we are ok because the last polling data I saw shows Jimmy Carter, John Wayne Gacy, and Rod Blagojevich beating Meeks so I think we will be ok in this instance.

crosspatch on February 23, 2010 at 12:59 PM

Heh.

Weight of Glory on February 23, 2010 at 1:09 PM

Crosspatch –

Do you know anything about Kendrik Meeks? The danger is not that Rubio can’t beat him, the danger is the Democrats run someone who is a “centrist” moneybags instead of Meeks. Luckily, Meeks is black, so they don’t dare.

chris999 on February 23, 2010 at 1:11 PM

http://tinyurl.com/ybodosg

Published: Sunday, August 2, 2009 at 1:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, August 1, 2009 at 10:42 p.m.

TALLAHASSEE – The day after Florida’s unemployment rate climbed to 10.6 percent, the highest in the state since the mid-1970s, Gov. Charlie Crist was in the Hamptons, the tony millionaire enclave in New York.

Crist was gathering tens of thousands of dollars at a fundraiser for his U.S. Senate campaign.

While Florida has sunk deeper this summer into its worst recession since the Great Depression, several of the state’s top political leaders have been busy tending to other business — raising money for what are expected to be spirited statewide campaigns in 2010 for U.S. Senate, governor and attorney general.

In the past few months, Crist raised more than $4 million around the country. He is spending this weekend in Aspen, Colo., at yet another fundraiser.

JohnTant on February 23, 2010 at 1:12 PM

O/T Mitt with no honor at stake nor any reason what so ever decided to endorse McCain. ROFLMAO……..

He endorsed McCain. LOL

I can see Palin endorsing out of loyalty and honor but Mitt the man that ran agaisnt him, attacked him, said he wasn’t the best man for the job endorsed him…..

Maybe we should nominate Mitt then at least we can laugh everyday at his boneheaded moves………..OMG he endorsed McCain…….lol

unseen on February 23, 2010 at 1:14 PM

He’s got a nice tan, though…

loudmouth883 on February 23, 2010 at 1:14 PM

OT: What’s with Allah posting so early in the day? Have the new overlords started cracking the whip?

Infidoll on February 23, 2010 at 12:53 PM

First week with new boss , got to show some ambition. It’ll pass..

the_nile on February 23, 2010 at 1:17 PM

I admit that I live in Cali and of course can’t vote in this thing but I could NEVER vote for someone who has a better tan then my daughters! Does this guy have his own tanning booth for Christmas’ sake?

Vntnrse on February 23, 2010 at 1:18 PM

Christ should hire Congressman Grayson to run his campaign, talk about a ship sinking quick.

la.rt.wngr on February 23, 2010 at 1:03 PM

If he keeps his seat his district qualifies as certifiable.

Cindy Munford on February 23, 2010 at 1:20 PM

He’s got a nice tan, though…

loudmouth883 on February 23, 2010 at 1:14 PM

Only if you are color-blind

OmahaConservative on February 23, 2010 at 1:20 PM

fiatboomer on February 23, 2010 at 1:07 PM

There is no doubt that Crist was going to endorse Guliani. There is also no doubt that Romney was leading in the polls in Florida at the time. So what does Crist do? He breaks his deal with Guliani (or perhaps Guliani, McCain and Crist conspired together) and throws his endorsement behind McCain in order to put a dent in Romney’s momentum. At least that is how I saw it.

KickandSwimMom on February 23, 2010 at 1:23 PM

DeMint is a rock.

neurosculptor on February 23, 2010 at 12:58 PM

Yes, indeed he is. That’s why I have high hopes for him. He seems to be in the ‘fight’ for the long haul.

DeMint’s biggest problem, IMO, is that he is from the South. The amount of bigotry and stereotypes out there about Southerners hurts with voters in other parts of the country.

Besides, I want to see a real shake-up of the old guard. Nominating yet another Senator isn’t good enough. I’d like to see a governor (Bobby Jindal please call your office) or somebody that isn’t, in fact, currently part of the problem.

highhopes on February 23, 2010 at 1:05 PM

I’m not so sure that being a ‘Southerner’ will be a huge burden come 2012. Nor would being perceived as being part of the ‘old guard’. Plus even though, historically, Senators don’t fare well in presidential elections, I wouldn’t think that in DeMint’s case it would be an automatic deal breaker. He is part of the transitional Republicans, like Paul Ryan, who are not only attempting to fundamentally return the GOP to its foundational conservative principles, they’re actively resisting the liberal/progressive agenda that had threatened to overwhelm Congress for the first year of Obama’s administration. That should count for an awful lot.

The activated and conservative leaning “Silent Majority” is far more informed about issues, especially pertaining to actual voting records and submitting alternative legislation to liberal bills, and I would hope that would result in a heavier degree of consideration By the time the voting starts in November 2012, one would also expect our numbers to increase dramatically as we get the word out to people not currently involved on any level.

KendraWilder on February 23, 2010 at 1:41 PM

The orange glow is killin’ me Charlie…let me put my sunglasses on.

yoda on February 23, 2010 at 1:45 PM

yoda on February 23, 2010 at 1:45 PM

No need to. He’ll disappear soon enough.

OmahaConservative on February 23, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Crist’s last minute endorsement of McCain in the FL presidential primary was the last straw and the reason I officially left the Republican party and re-registered as NPA. F’m.

Dandapani on February 23, 2010 at 8:59 PM

We can beat the rino’s but don’t put all your faith in any politician. The people of Mass gave us Brown and we have yet to see just how conservative he may be.

Kissmygrits on February 23, 2010

I, for one, never expected him to be a staunch Conservative. He’s a Massachusetts Republican, remember. But he was far and away better than the Democrat and a solid no on Obamacare. That was good enough for me in that bluest of blue states.

SKYFOX on February 24, 2010 at 9:21 AM

And I bet he thought he could live the rest of his life as a fat-cat spender in the US Senate. SORRY CHARLIE!

kens on February 24, 2010 at 10:19 AM