Charlie Crist now begging for endorsement of ... AFL-CIO

They’re as amused as you are.

Crist, an independent candidate, made an unusual appearance before the union’s leaders. The union traditionally supports Democratic candidates and Crist, a lifelong Republican until this month, had never sought their help.

“I’m here for several reasons. I am hear to learn, I am hear to listen and I am here to show respect. There’s not enough of that happening right now in government and politics,” Crist said in a soft, humble tone. “I want your help, I want your vote, I want your support, I want your endorsement and I am asking for it.”

There were moments when it seemed the audience didn’t know what to think of the appearance. The union’s Florida president, Mike Williams, admitted when he introduced Crist that he thought someone was playing a joke on him when the governor asked to appear before the group as it decided on endorsements. Williams said the agenda had already been set…

“When I was a Republican governor, when the Democratic president of the United States of America came to Fort Myers, Florida, I went down to be with him,” Crist said before he was interrupted by applause. “And I took a lot of grief from the Republicans just for me being decent to the president of the United States of America, who was bringing us a lot of money!”

One union member shouted, “Yeah!”

This is Sunshine Charlie’s second union pander, of course. He vetoed that education reform bill a few weeks ago to kiss the ass of the teachers union in hopes that they’ll canvass for him this fall. He’s going to govern as a center-left Democrat for the rest of the year, knowing that he needs to knock Meek out as quickly as possible to clear the way for endorsements like this. As long as Meek’s still around, the AFL-CIO is probably a lost cause. Convince people that he can’t win, though, and it’s game on.

Speaking of repulsive panders, here’s the video of Crist admitting that he, um, can’t remember why he opposed Sotomayor last summer. The answer, of course, is that he needed to pander to conservatives to fend off Rubio in the GOP primary; Crist will say whatever he has to say to maximize his electoral chances, which is why he expressly framed his opposition in terms of a red meat issue like guns. But when you lie as much, and to as many different constituencies, as this guy does, some details are bound to slip through the cracks. So he’s a little hazy on just what it is about Sotomayor’s Second Amendment rulings that are so unforgivable. And no wonder: The statement he put out last year offered no explanation.

“While I have not had the opportunity to meet personally with Judge Sotomayor–a crucial step in the selection process — I have reviewed and reflected upon her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and come to the conclusion that I cannot support her appointment to the United States Supreme Court,” Crist said. “Judge Sotomayor is worthy of respect for her many accomplishments and her remarkable story of success. However, I have strong concerns that Judge Sotomayor would not strictly and objectively construe the constitution and lacks respect for the fundamental right to keep and bear arms. For these reasons, I cannot support her appointment to the highest court in the land.”

He was probably referring to the fact that she joined an appellate opinion that held the Second Amendment doesn’t apply to the states, but that’s not really controversial. The Seventh Circuit, a conservative court, held the same way on grounds that they simply don’t have the authority to overturn old Supreme Court cases that had settled the issue. In fact, I believe the issue is pending right now before SCOTUS and that they’re due to address their old precedents in a decision sometime soon. So that was Crist’s big, supposedly principled objection to Sotomayor, who actually had a hell of a lot more experience than Kagan does. Can you guess how Crist feels about her? I bet you can.