The two faces of Charlie Crist

Tis the season for endorsements, and in the key swing state of Florida, former Governor Charlie Crist has found the horse he wants to back in this race: President Barack Obama. So strongly does he feel about it that he took to the editorial pages to recite this paean of love.

As America prepares to pick our president for the next four years — and as Florida prepares once again to play a decisive role — I’m confident that President Barack Obama is the right leader for our state and the nation. I applaud and share his vision of a future built by a strong and confident middle class in an economy that gives us the opportunity to reap prosperity through hard work and personal responsibility…

President Obama has a strong record of doing what is best for America and Florida, and he built it by spending more time worrying about what his decisions would mean for the people than for his political fortunes. That’s what makes him the right leader for our times, and that’s why I’m proud to stand with him today.

My, my, that’s certainly a glowing endorsement, and Crist is well within his rights to choose for himself and speak up. But there are some other folks who have expressed less confidence in Obama and his future fit for the nation.

“I think the people wanted a change,” the Florida Republican said, speaking of the election of Obama in November while drawing similarities to events decades earlier.

“They wanted a change back in 1976. You remember? Richard Nixon had been president. That ended. Gerald Ford took over. The people decided they wanted a change. They got one-Jimmy Carter. Four years later, they took care of business-Ronald Reagan.”

“It may happen again… I believe that the people have seen that they wanted a change but not this much. Not this kind, and not this way. America is awake and we’re coming back.”

Who would say such a thing? Why, none other than Charlie Crist. (Crist predicts Carter-esque loss for Obama) Oh what a difference a couple of years makes. What could account for such a change of heart? I suppose it must be how spectacularly well things are going in the country, proving Crist’s original misgivings over the President’s policies false. (Excuse me… I have to wipe the coffee off my monitor.)

Or could it be instead that a bitter, sore loser from some brutal in-party fighting has a political ax to grind? And he’s now going to try to stick it to his old party in a fit of pique?

Naw… couldn’t be. I’m probably just being overly cynical as usual. Your Sunday bonus video: Crist discusses his deep Republican roots and his pride in being part of the party of Reagan.