Well, maybe not the weirdest debate ever. That Idaho gubernatorial debate from May will be tough to beat. Certainly the weirdest debate opening ever, though, right? Just watch. The clip is self-explanatory.
Three points here. One: Leon Wolf is right. Charlie Crist is a troll. Either that or he desperately needed the fan for cosmetic reasons, to keep all that bronzer from melting off under the lights. Two: Even if Crist weren’t a troll, given his history of shameless, almost sociopathic careerism, no one should be voting for him. Rick Scott could have walked out, copped a squat onstage, and then walked off and he’d still be preferable on “Anybody But Crist” grounds to a guy whose only political principle is his own advancement. Three: It was stupid of Scott to boycott over a fan, even for a few minutes. Crist was the petty one, as Wolf points out, posturing as though he was hellbent on debating serious issues but not quite so hellbent that he’d turn off his fan, which was in fact in violation of the rules, to do it. But Scott played into his hands by handing Crist that photo op of him alone at his podium, ready to engage while his opponent hid. (Scott claimed later that he wasn’t refusing to take the stage, just waiting while Crist debated the rules on the fan with debate organizers.) Hopefully Floridians won’t care, but it’s a silly error in a race that’s not trending the GOP’s way:
The latest poll: Crist 40, Scott 40. If Crist pulls it out, he’d be back on top of Florida politics and well positioned to give the Senate another try if Bill Nelson retires in 2018. Given that Marco Rubio’s potentially facing a tough challenge in 2016 (and might not run again for Senate at all if he ends up running for president), it’s entirely possible that the outcome of the 2010 Florida Senate race will be reversed 10 years later, with Charlie Crist a senator and Rubio back in the private sector. How’s that as a commentary on American politics for you? That asteroid strike can’t come soon enough.