One might think that the new polls showing Marco Rubio closing the gap on Charlie Crist might have the Governor looking for ways to negate the notion that he’s an ally of Barack Obama and big-government spending. Obama himself is now under water in Florida, according to the latest Quinnipiac polling, so linking himself to Obama would seem like playing into Rubio’s hands. And yet, tying himself to Obama is apparently exactly what Crist wants to do:
Gov. Charlie Crist, who has been taking a steady pounding for his “man hug” with President Obama in Fort Myers last February, says he may be with the president again at the University of Tampa Thursday when the president may announce a major award of high-speed rail money for Florida — money that state officials say will create thousands of new jobs. …
“Currently, I have plans to be in Tampa on Thursday for the Board of Governors (meeting). We’re going to announce the new membership. If we can work it out logistically, I will be with him,” Crist said.
When reporter Steve Thomas pointed out to Crist that the “man hug” problem still hangs over his campaign, Crist insisted that he didn’t care — and that his concern was “fighting for jobs” in Florida. Of course, that was the same excuse Crist used when campaigning for Porkulus last Feburary. He tried to cast people opposed to the useless $787 billion massive pork expenditure as needlessly partisan and himself as a voice of pragmatic reason. Those opponents look a lot more pragmatic now than Crist does, and Crist looks a lot more opportunistic than principled.
Now we have Obama bringing pork to Florida again, only with his own approval numbers sinking. The high-speed rail jobs may or may not materialize, depending on whether Florida sinks billions of its own money into matching funds normally required for such projects. Floridians may prefer to spend their money on other types of transportation projects, or not spend the money at all, rather than build more subsidy-floated public transportation. In either case, Crist is going to make it all the more difficult to separate himself from Obama — and that’s exactly what Rubio wants.