Via RCP, a clever (and usefully low-budget) spot. The pure, crystalline phoniness makes me quaver with rage, but even so — clever.
Maybe too clever under the circumstances?
Crist’s bipartisan style has always drawn charges of opportunism. But in the past two weeks his flip-flopping has felt more conspicuous than Florida sun glare, especially on federal health care reform, which he not long ago opposed (when he needed GOP primary votes) but recently said he would have voted for (now that he needs Democratic general election votes) then again said he opposed. Palm Beach Post columnist Frank Cerabino even suggested last week that Crist’s stances on issues from offshore oil drilling to gay adoption seem as varied as the answers you get from one of those Magic 8 Balls…
To be fair, Meek and Rubio — who said that he too would have taken Obama’s stimulus money before he condemned Crist for taking it — have their own inconsistencies to answer for. But if Crist keeps this up, he could not only lose the election but discredit the moderate and independent cause he stands for by making it look like a refuge for the position-challenged — as Obama himself is so often accused of doing. A big part of Crist’s appeal is his insistence that the best policy convictions aren’t shackled to myopic ideology. But even dogma-free politicians, like Lincoln, eventually have to take a stand and lead. Because you can’t please all the people all the time.
He doesn’t “stand for” anything, least of all independence. If he thought he could get elected by becoming an out-and-proud Democrat indistinguishable on policy from, say, Russ Feingold, there’s no earthly reason to believe he wouldn’t do it. In fact, the one potentially problematic aspect of this ad for him is that it locks him into a bipartisan image, which will complicate things later if/when he decides to declare that he’ll caucus with the Democrats. Although, as the excerpt above reminds us, the guy has no shame and doesn’t care about consistency except to the extent it might cost him votes, so why should this prove any impediment to joining hands with Harry Reid et al. later on? Too bad there’s only one “I” in “Democrats” and “Republicans” or else he could have been honest here and spelled “Ambition” instead.
Now that I’ve given you a sharp dose of insincerity, I’m going to give you a sharp dose of the opposite. Go read this. You won’t be sorry.