Uh oh: Prominent Florida Dem endorses Crist over Meek

posted at 8:00 pm on September 3, 2010 by Allahpundit

Wait, it gets worse.

The highest ranking Democrat in Florida’s state Senate on Thursday endorsed Republican-turned-independent Gov. Charlie Crist in his bid for the U.S. Senate…

Lawson, known as the “Dean of the Legislature” for his tenure as the longest serving member of Florida’s state Senate, is the only African-American state senator from North Florida; Meek is Florida’s first ever African-American U.S. Senate nominee.

“Florida desperately needs an independent senator in Washington who will fight for good jobs and economic opportunity, a quality education for every child, and Social Security for all of our seniors regardless of what the political party bosses want,” Lawson said in a statement. “Charlie Crist will be exactly that Senator, and I am proud to endorse his candidacy.”

Big deal or no? Well, remember that Crist polls fairly well among black Democrats. He might have ended up as their candidate of choice had Greene upset Meek in the primary; as it is, he’ll have to work hard to peel black voters away — although endorsements like this certainly help. Then again, Hillary was endorsed by a bunch of prominent black Democrats early in the 2008 primaries and Obama won overwhelmingly among in that demographic anyway.

Beyond the racial politics, though, obviously any signal from a top Democrat to the rank and file that it’s okay to support the indie over the party nominee is crucial. Ed cited an analysis the other day claiming that Crist has a tough path to the nomination because he needs a third of both the Democratic and Republican vote, as well as 50 percent of unaffiliateds. But a third of the Democratic vote isn’t unthinkable, especially if big names start coming out in his favor. In fact, Crist can conceivably do way, way better than a third if he starts to identify publicly as a Democrat, which he’s bound to do — if not personally, then via surrogates like Lawson — as the race wears on. I still think the most significant poll in the race thus far is the one last week by PPP claiming that fully two-thirds of Meek’s support would shift instantly to Crist if he announced that he’ll caucus with the Democrats. He’s reluctant to do that since it’ll cost him his Republican support, but then that’s why these endorsements are important: They preserve plausible deniability for him while wooing the voters he needs. (At least one Crist fundraiser is on record as saying, “[A]fter all the Republican Party has done to Charlie, he caucuses with the Democrats.”)

The big question, now more than ever, is whether there’s any critical mass of support among Democrats that Crist can attract to sway Obama into endorsing him. The only way it happens, I think, is in late October and only then if Meek is completely hopeless; imagine Rubio leading Crist 45/37 with Meek floundering at around 18 percent and you’ve got ideal conditions. In that case, the party would forgive The One for betraying the nominee for the greater good of keeping the seat out of Republican hands. And hey — it’s not like Obama would have to do it through gritted teeth. According to the Hill, he’s in Crist’s camp already:

Unfortunately for Meek, one of the worst-kept secrets in Washington and in the media who care to report the actual news is that President Obama and key Democratic leaders, particularly those who control and influence the purse strings, are giving a wink and a nudge to big donors to write checks to Crist instead of Meek. Crist is now being supported by the dirty, sexy money from Establishment Democrats, and is certain to lose what little Republican support he may have been able to hold onto up to this point, significantly increasing the chances for a Marco Rubio (R) win in November. Crist needs Obama, and Obama needs Crist. And like a Lifetime Channel tearjerker made-for-TV movie, we all know where this leaves Kendrick Meek.

Amazingly, Meek lives up to his name and is “meek” on this important point, instead preferring to grovel and be grateful for crumbs tossed his way by Establishment Democrats, pretending that President Obama is right there by his side. In truth, Obama and the Democrats are doing just enough to keep up appearances, all the while sticking the shiv in Meek’s back behind the scenes, and cavorting with Charlie Crist on the side.

Exit question: Time to start a pool on when Obama dumps Meek officially? I’ll take October 20.


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Hey Mr. Tangerine Man, play a song for me.

carbon_footprint on September 3, 2010 at 8:02 PM

The Congressional Black Caucus may have a few things to say about this.

Buford Gooch on September 3, 2010 at 8:07 PM

Crist is toast. At least, that strange orange color makes him look sort of like toast.

Buford Gooch on September 3, 2010 at 8:08 PM

Exit question: Time to start a pool on when Obama dumps Meek officially? I’ll take October 20.

Oct 15th

upinak on September 3, 2010 at 8:08 PM

In the end it won’t matter. Crist is toast.

Guardian on September 3, 2010 at 8:09 PM

Meanwhile the Dutch still can’t form a government, nor can Iraq.

Reading the news, nearly every story provokes the muttered comment, ‘this is nuts’.

Skandia Recluse on September 3, 2010 at 8:09 PM

Buford Gooch on September 3, 2010 at 8:08 PM

lol

Guardian on September 3, 2010 at 8:10 PM

At least one Crist fundraiser is on record as saying, “[A]fter all the Republican Party has done to Charlie, he caucuses with the Democrats.”

What did we do to him?

You mean not automatically giving him the nomination? Or abandoning him when he decided to leave the party, break his word, and stab us in the back?

Entitled whiny turds.

amerpundit on September 3, 2010 at 8:11 PM

Wow, this is all very interesting – but it boils down to who gives a golden sushine hoot who Obama supports – I thought he had a 59 percent disapproval in that state. SO all the black voters are raring to be at the polls when they open November 2nd? Uhm, not quite – unless they are Tea Partiers.

Marcus on September 3, 2010 at 8:11 PM

In the end it won’t matter. Crist is toast.

Guardian on September 3, 2010 at 8:09 PM

He’s more like a burnt sienna.

amerpundit on September 3, 2010 at 8:12 PM

Jetboy’s digestive tract hardest hit!

LincolntheHun on September 3, 2010 at 8:14 PM

By the way: Al Lawson is also running for Congress in FL’s 2nd. How much of this is political angling for his own benefit?

amerpundit on September 3, 2010 at 8:16 PM

While everyone was wailing about Landrieu and her “Louisiana Purchase” her real payoff was when funding for the only credible black candidate for Mayor of New Orleans dried up instantly as her younger brother Mitch announced his candidacy late in the race.

O’zero will abandon “brothers” just a fast as any other base segment. They are not what elected him and backed him in the first place.

I say he already has abandoned Meeks and will only let it been seen publicly on October 10th.

Kermit on September 3, 2010 at 8:16 PM

Isn’t it more likely than ever that Crist and Meek will divide the Dem vote?

Rubio has 80% of the Rep vote (Who are more enthusiastic about voting) while Crist and Meek are fighting over Indys and Dems.

Slam dunk for Rubio!

Nelsa on September 3, 2010 at 8:18 PM

You know what’s funny? Crist is probably staying away from the “Meet the Press” debate this Sunday beween Marco Rubio and Meek because he knows it’s going to be Einstein vs. Mortimer Schnerd and Charlie thinks “out of sight out of mind” I guess.

Marcus on September 3, 2010 at 8:19 PM

The big question, now more than ever, is whether there’s any critical mass of support among Democrats that Crist can attract to sway Obama into endorsing him.

Nail meet hammer…because sickly Crist will offer to clean Obama’s anus, in any which form, in order to win.

Schadenfreude on September 3, 2010 at 8:19 PM

When will the leftwing lemmings start calling this guy a Uncle Tom for turning his back on a democratic brother in favor of a chameleon that doesn’t have a clue what he stands for until he blurts it out. They attack all blacks who are Tea Party, but are silent when a prominent black turns his back on a black democratic nominee needing his support. Hypocrisy is always a part of the liberal makeup.

volsense on September 3, 2010 at 8:20 PM

OT and OLD…

“Get yourself a cowboy hat and a shotgun”

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2010/08/cny_native_americans_call_new.html

ninjapirate on September 3, 2010 at 8:22 PM

“[A]fter all the Republican Party has done to Charlie, he caucuses with the Democrats.”)

The NRSC backed you and you took a bunch of GOP money that couldn’t be refunded…

ninjapirate on September 3, 2010 at 8:24 PM

Jetboy’s digestive tract hardest hit!

LincolntheHun on September 3, 2010 at 8:14 PM

So many crude jokes, so much self-restraint.

darwin-t on September 3, 2010 at 8:29 PM

Exit question: Time to start a pool on when Obama dumps Meek officially? I’ll take October 20.

Dude, the electoral backlash would be nuclear, especially at that point.

Patrick Ishmael on September 3, 2010 at 8:30 PM

Big deal or no? Well, remember that Crist polls fairly well among black Democrats.
==========================

It appears,that the Democrat Liberal theme,is that standing up against your party,as Crist has done,is sought after by
Leftys!

If you are a judist,to your Party,your campaign supporters,
your voting base,and throw everything that you once stood
for,under da bus,don`t give a rats *ss what anyone thinks
or tells you,then the Liberal Party is for you!!

At least till after the November election,when the Left,try
to bamboozle the electorate,that they were running for your
best interests,Jane and Joe average American!!

And,then,win or lose,they will go right back to,’screw you’
politics!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

canopfor on September 3, 2010 at 8:32 PM

In the end it won’t matter. Crist is toast.

Guardian on September 3, 2010 at 8:09 PM

Guardian: Yup!!

canopfor on September 3, 2010 at 8:36 PM

Marcus on September 3, 2010 at 8:19 PM

The “Meet the Press” debate between Marco Rubio and Kendrick Meek has been postponed.

Marco Rubio’s Father is extremely ill.

Nelsa on September 3, 2010 at 8:39 PM

Crist doesn’t have a chance. I’m in Florida, and… yeah, Rubio has this.

Not that that will keep me home on Election Day.

Scott H on September 3, 2010 at 8:42 PM

This is going to be so great watching all the mavens of tolerance and inclusion kicking the brother in favor of Mr WhiteOrangebread Republipendent.

TugboatPhil on September 3, 2010 at 8:43 PM

Intrade has Rubio at $64, Crist $32.

Jon0815 on September 3, 2010 at 8:45 PM

I’ve lived in Florida for twenty-three years. I’ve never heard of Al Lawson, the “Dean of the Legislature”. I find it hard to believe that an old Panhandle Dem, even if he is the “Dean of the Legislature” carries much sway in South Florida.

Anyway, Meek’s radio ads against Crist are pretty devastating. They’re all Crist’s own words.

SlaveDog on September 3, 2010 at 8:46 PM

I wonder, who could endorse Charlie and render him toxic to all democrats? Dubya, Sarah, oh wait I got it Glenn Beck.

meci on September 3, 2010 at 8:47 PM

Isn’t it more likely than ever that Crist and Meek will divide the Dem vote?

Rubio has 80% of the Rep vote (Who are more enthusiastic about voting) while Crist and Meek are fighting over Indys and Dems.

Slam dunk for Rubio!

Nelsa on September 3, 2010 at 8:18 PM

You betcha! I think Rubio was going to win regardless, but this sealed the deal.

Oink on September 3, 2010 at 8:48 PM

Nail meet hammer…because sickly Crist will offer to clean Obama’s anus, in any which form, in order to win.

Schadenfreude on September 3, 2010 at 8:19 PM

Why not, he’s already polishing his helmet, what’s a salad toss here and there.

PakviRoti on September 3, 2010 at 8:50 PM

obviously the Florida Democrat Party is racist.

frankly, their abandoning Meek could EASILY be read that way. in this case…it just might be true

Justrand on September 3, 2010 at 8:55 PM

Wow Charlie Crist and the Obama administration undermining Meek’s campaign…that’s like Racist or something SNARK.

Dr Evil on September 3, 2010 at 8:58 PM

Nail meet hammer…because sickly Crist will offer to clean Obama’s anus, in any which form, in order to win.

Schadenfreude on September 3, 2010 at 8:19 PM

Charlie comes off as the sort who works the front side exclusively.

SuperCool on September 3, 2010 at 9:00 PM

This latest episode convinces me that we must keep running the RINOs out of our camp! I don’t care that they vote with the republicans 50%, 60% or 80% of the time. They are dangerous because you can’t trust them to not pull a Spector or a Crist at any time the going gets rough for them. They’ll do anything to retain their power. We’ve already let McCain slip through. We’ll be paying heavily for that I’m sure. Now, the establishment wants Castle over O’Donnell. Can we afford to have another RINO backstabbing us in congress? If we keep putting these losers back in office we’ll end up in the same fix we found ourselves in after the 2008 election cycle – on our backs like dead, dying inverted turtles.

KickandSwimMom on September 3, 2010 at 9:00 PM

What? What? What? Obama dumb Meek? he can’t do that as the only black senate candidate. Democrats will rally around Meek and Crist is toast. Meek is the true Democrat and they will stick with him. Wasn’t that the thinking?

What a load of garbage. I said Meek wouldn’t survive the first debate and he’s already weakening. Now he will have no support and no cash except a token donation from the DNC.

Then again if Greene had won he would have hammered Crist with a million dollars of his own money in advertising week in and week out till election day. Greene would have pulled 20% of the vote easily and take Crist down with him.

Rocks on September 3, 2010 at 9:07 PM

Why is Obama such a racist? Why doesn’t he support black democrats? He won’t campaign with Alvin Greene, he’s dumping Kendrick Meek in support of the orangest white guy out there, Charlie Crist, and he’s recommending that Charlie Rangel retire? What does he have against black democrats?

PatMac on September 3, 2010 at 9:12 PM

I am literally stunned that anyone of either party would trust Crist at this point. My gut tells me the Obama endorsement is the death knell for Crist – I say bring it.

msmveritas on September 3, 2010 at 9:16 PM

I hope that the DNC pours tons of cash into Crist. I really, really, really do. He’s going to lose in a landslide so I’d like to see as much DNC cash burned in a bonfire somewhere on St. Pete Beach. We can roast marshmallows and drink Orange Julius drinks. It’ll be awesome!

Key West Reader on September 3, 2010 at 9:34 PM

I am literally stunned that anyone of either party would trust Crist at this point. My gut tells me the Obama endorsement is the death knell for Crist – I say bring it.

msmveritas on September 3, 2010 at 9:16 PM

It was… “The Hug” that did Crist in. He lost all credibility and will never gain it back. National polls can do whatever they want, but Crist is finished. No integrity, no principles, no ethics… just your standard every day opportunist politician. Good riddance.

Key West Reader on September 3, 2010 at 9:36 PM

Amazingly, Meek lives up to his name and is “meek” on this important point, instead preferring to grovel and be grateful for crumbs tossed his way by Establishment Democrats, pretending that President Obama is right there by his side.

And the left tries to call black Republicans, “Uncle Toms.” Unless the party bigwigs are holding some serious dirt on Kendrick, or they’re threatening his family, that’s one sorry excuse for a man.

notropis on September 3, 2010 at 9:40 PM

And as for the CBC?

They’re in the process of being de-fanged. They’ve outlived their usefulness. Does anyone imagine that all of the investigations and leaks don’t have the implicit blessing of Establishment Democrats?

Don’t forget that Obama originally had the audacity to challenge Bobby Rush, and then mugged Alice Palmer to get his State Senat seat. It’s not for nothing that many old-time black Democrats were very wary of Obama to begin with.

notropis on September 3, 2010 at 9:47 PM

It sounds like he’s picking up 1 Democrat vote for every 2 GOP voter he loses.

Asher on September 3, 2010 at 9:47 PM

You know what’s funny? Crist is probably staying away from the “Meet the Press” debate this Sunday beween Marco Rubio and Meek because he knows it’s going to be Einstein vs. Mortimer Schnerd and Charlie thinks “out of sight out of mind” I guess.

Marcus on September 3, 2010 at 8:19 PM

Rubio should go up to Meek and say to him. “Since your about to thrown under the bus by your own people for Crist. Let’s both gang up on him and rip him a new one. When they ask us a question, instead of tearing into each other, we’ll rag on him.”

BruceB on September 3, 2010 at 10:02 PM

This latest episode convinces me that we must keep running the RINOs out of our camp! I don’t care that they vote with the republicans 50%, 60% or 80% of the time. They are dangerous because you can’t trust them to not pull a Spector or a Crist at any time the going gets rough for them. They’ll do anything to retain their power. We’ve already let McCain slip through. We’ll be paying heavily for that I’m sure. Now, the establishment wants Castle over O’Donnell. Can we afford to have another RINO backstabbing us in congress? If we keep putting these losers back in office we’ll end up in the same fix we found ourselves in after the 2008 election cycle – on our backs like dead, dying inverted turtles.

KickandSwimMom on September 3, 2010 at 9:00 PM

No, you can’t chase the RINOs out unless you want Democrats in power for the next century. I’m a RINO and proud of it. Unfortunately, we RINOs don’t tend to be loud mouths, but for rare exceptions like me.

One reason you can’t chase the RINOs out is that we love politicians who articulate economic issues well, like Rubio does. I love Rubio. He explains economics better than anyone I’ve ever heard, and I hang around with economics professors. (I have even hung around with Alan Meltzer. You can Google him.) The right thing to do about some of Snowe and Collins bad votes on economic issues is to have someone like Rubio explain economics to them. Snowe and Collins aren’t unreachable on economics or they wouldn’t have cast the many good votes that they have.

thuja on September 3, 2010 at 11:03 PM

Al Lawson? I am impressed. Does this make Charlie the Democrats’ Establishment-backed candidate? Al is Florida Democrat Establishment. Are black and/or Establishment Dems really ready to publicly abandon their party’s nominee?

This is a strange election cycle.

obladioblada on September 3, 2010 at 11:08 PM

i still dont understand the bizarre black support of democrats. it seems to be this sheepish mindset that, “well, democrats are for blacks, i dont care what he stands for, end of story.” surely, it’s not that cut and dry, but that honestly seems to be a big part of it…how else do you explain the fact that blacks tend to be more religious than the avg american, they tend to be more socially conservative, and they poll well on lowering their taxes?

the only democratic party ideals black americans seem to go with in large part is the idea that the govt should act as a welfare state in order to progress things along. outside of that, polls rarely show liberal policies and black americans mixing too much.

which is why i see a lot of this as purely racial politics based on very little good information and, sadly, probably a lot of basic ignorance among far too many voters.

TheBlueSite on September 3, 2010 at 11:32 PM

No taxes on Tanning Salons says Crist.

Hummer53 on September 3, 2010 at 11:43 PM

Exit question: Time to start a pool on when Obama dumps Meek officially? I’ll take October 20.

Too late for maximum effect, make it a week or two earlier.

jnelchef on September 4, 2010 at 1:38 PM