Too fun to check: Did Crist meet secretly with Obama in Martha’s Vineyard before the Florida primary?
posted at 7:05 pm on August 26, 2010 by Allahpundit
There’s no question he was up there last Friday. The only question is why. Just a coincidence or a grand-scale hmmmmmmmmm?
“He [Crist] was in New England for a private campaign event,” Crist spokesman Danny Kanner said of the governor’s whereabouts on Friday.
When asked by CNSNews.com whether Crist was in Martha’s Vineyard, Kanner said, “Martha’s Vineyard is accurate.” Kanner confirmed that the private event was a fundraiser for the governor’s campaign.
While Crist’s staff would not divulge who hosted the fundraiser, they did say that Crist did not meet with President Obama when he was in Martha’s Vineyard.
“No he did not,” Kanner said. “If you’re about to ask me if he met with the President, no he did not.” When asked if Crist met with anyone from the Obama administration, Kanner said, “The answer is no.”
A strong denial, but Erick Erickson says eyewitnesses tell him they saw Crist in the company of Secret Service agents. I don’t know what kind of security detail he normally travels with — maybe they look like Secret Service to the untrained eye? — but the possibility of primary-eve cloak-and-dagger by The One and Sunshine Charlie is too irresistible to question. Needless to say, if it happened, he must have had something awfully important to ask Obama to warrant skipping a phone call in favor of a direct appeal. One possibility: Maybe Crist offered to bow out of the race and campaign on Meek’s behalf in exchange for some sort of huge favor/political appointment. The timing would make sense since not until the very end of the race did Meek finally pull away from Jeff Greene in the Democratic primary, which was always Crist’s nightmare scenario. Maybe he saw some internal polls, realized that victory now seems unlikely, and, true to form, opportunistically tried to capitalize. Having him drop out and endorse Meek is the only faint chance Meek has of beating Rubio since it would unite Democrats and bring some indies over to the left. But it’d also alienate Crist’s centrist Republican supporters, of course, and in a year where most indies will break red, that means a likely Rubio victory anyway. Under the circumstances, Obama’s better off offering Crist nothing so that he stays in the race, hopefully wins, and then can be tempted into caucusing with the Democrats.
Which brings me to the other possibility for a meeting. What if Crist went in there to see how The One would react to him publicly declaring his intent to caucus with Reid et al. if he wins? According to PPP’s latest poll, Crist would pick up fully two-thirds of Meek’s Democratic support if he did that but would also bleed his own Republican supporters, leaving him seven points behind Rubio and desperately needing to clean up among undecideds. Since Crist can basically destroy Meek’s candidacy by making that move, maybe he went to see Obama to tell him in person of his intention to do so — as a professional and political courtesy — and also to suggest to The One that it’s in everyone’s interest for Democrats to lean on Meek to drop out when Crist makes his announcement.
Actually, these two possibilities aren’t mutually exclusive. Crist could have said that he’s about to declare that he’s caucusing with the Dems (and I do think he’ll declare that pretty soon, out of desperation) unless The One wants to somehow bribe him out of the race. You’ve come to the right man, Charlie! Exit question: Aren’t there pool reporters following Obama around the Vineyard? Wouldn’t one of them have spotted Crist if he was close by?