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Monday, Sep 01, 2014
Douglas MacKinnon Columns

Clinton, Obama are no life lines for Crist

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Published:   |   Updated: July 15, 2014 at 09:56 AM

Most voters who are paying attention know Charlie Crist has a Barack Obama problem. What they may not realize is that he has an emerging Hillary Clinton problem, too.

For politically aware voters, Crist is no man of mystery. Most who are honest with themselves know he will say about anything, morph into anything and transparently attack his own previously sacrosanct and “principled” positions to get elected.

Crist is refreshingly self-absorbed and desperate to get back into the governor’s office.

Many Democrats in Florida who are going to vote for Crist are only doing so because he’s the candidate the Democratic establishment dumped on them. They know he’s only using their political party as a means to an end. They get it, and for them it’s “any port in a storm.”

That said, less than four months from the election, the S.S. Hedonism with Crist lashed firmly to the mast is taking on water. The majority of the problem for the “Democrat” is self-inflicted.

Most of the vote for governor is set in cement. For a variety of reasons that often have nothing to do with the candidate, Scott has most of his votes locked up, as does Crist. Both sides are fighting for the independents or those working so hard to support their families they don’t have the luxury of caring at the moment.

The problem for Crist is that the more voters learn about him, the less they like him.

Part of Crist’s strategy has been to have the national Democratic Party come to his rescue either monetarily or in person.

Like many Florida Democrats, most of the national Democratic Party could not care less about Crist. Just like the Florida Democrats, they are stuck with him. For them, it all comes down to the presidential election in 2016 and the critical and growing importance of the Sunshine State. To help keep the state in their column, they need Crist to win.

Unfortunately for them and for Crist, the national Democratic Party is imploding. Obama has become toxic to many Democratic candidates. The administration’s foreign policy failures combined with the growing IRS, Obamacare and Veterans Affairs scandals continue to dominate even the left-leaning media.

Because of that and Crist’s literal and self-serving hug of Obama and his policies, the president become a liability.

Knowing that, next on the wish list for Crist was Clinton running from one end of the state to the other campaigning for him. But right now, it’s going to be harder for Crist to improve his tan by basking in the former first lady’s glow as her judgment and reputation have taken a bit of a hit.

Almost a year ago, I wrote of my doubts regarding Clinton running for president in 2016. Her own recent misstatements and tone-deafness with regard to the plight of the average American has made her run even more problematic. While her sizable ego feels the gravitational pull of history to be the first female president, she does not want to suffer the embarrassment of a second presidential primary loss.

Can she recover? Sure. Is she the “inevitable?” Far from it. In December 2007, she was up 26 points in the Democratic primary and lost to an unknown Obama. Politics is a blood sport and neither Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley nor any other Democratic candidate is going to roll over for Clinton. Especially now.

Because of her falling book sales, which continue to shock her publisher and supporters, her let-them-eat-cake comments about her wealth and the growing calls from some Democrats for ultraliberal Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren to enter the race, Clinton is taking a needed break from the national stage.

While it may prove invigorating for her in the long run, it’s bad news for Crist and his chances of winning in the short run.

Without Obama and Clinton to carry him across the finish line, Crist’s options are stark. He can accentuate the positive or go completely negative.

It should be a really ugly September and October on the Florida airwaves.

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