Green Room

Sorry Charlie

posted at 4:19 pm on April 24, 2009 by

I found this little nugget at the bottom of Ed’s piece on Pawlenty and tax hikes:

 Most states have hit the panic button, including Florida, where Republicans have cut the budget but also imposed highly regressive “sin taxes,” including cigarette and tobacco sales.  They’re now worrying about the state’s bond rating in the Sunshine State.

The Sunshine State has no income tax, and requires a stronger-than-most hand on the till…particularly during times like these.  So how is Chaingang Charlie handling Florida’s business?  Apparently, he isn’t

Before last fall’s election, Crist took time out of his work schedule to campaign for McCain, appearing at rallies, raising money for him in Texas and California and visiting the GOP candidate at his ranch in Sedona, Ariz.

“He was with him so many times I thought he was an adopted member of the family,” said Mitch Ceasar, Democratic chairman of Broward County.

Back home, Florida’s economic crisis was deepening. But Crist did not step up his workload, according to his schedule.

Since August, his calendar shows 23 weekdays with no appointments or work time, and a partial schedule on 30 other days.

Crist as governor is the antithesis of the hands-on Jeb Bush.  Like Barack Obama, he ran on flowery prose and promises of post-partisanship; he has a fondness for skipping town when things get hot, and his approval ratings far exceed his actual performance.  Crist’s best national moment came when he played kingmaker in Florida and caught a little VP buzz.  Beyond that, I can’t see this lightweight anywhere near the 2012 GOP ticket.  With even crazier budget fights looming in the next couple of years, Mel Martinez’ seat is looking better and better…

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As a current resident of Florida I have found Gov. Crist’s management style maddening. His cheerleading for the Stimulus Bill was a huge embarassment. But he retains his popularity and is supposedly a cinch if he should decide to run for the Senate. Perplexing to say the least. At least Martinez voted against TARP.

Cindy Munford on April 24, 2009 at 8:25 PM