Friday, April 30, 2010

Charlie Crist, the Desperate Candidate

Anyone that has paid any amount of attention to the Marco Rubio / Charlie Crist race for the Republican Gubanatorial race in Florida over the past few months had to see this one coming. With Rubio pounding Crist in polls and fundraising, Crist announced that he will run as an Independent. I guess this is Crist's answer to what job or career he will consider after he loses in the primary: He has no idea.

Who wouldn't love to be a state level politician (some days)? Great benefits and free travel across your state are two good reasons. And just about how everyone thinks your important. Everyone needs something from you. But then there are the drawbacks. You have to fight for your job every two to four years. For 11 months of your last year in office, you spend more time campaigning that actually doing the job you were voted to do. Every little mispoken word or every line that could be taken out of context is taken out of context and you spend two weeks doing job-saving crisis prevention. But hey, if being a politician is something you really want to do, then go for it.

But, please keep these things in mind, because it seems that Mr. Crist has forgotten them.
1. You are elected. One day, one year, one election, you will lose. It's inevetible. Unless you are caught doing something really stupid, like, say, cheating on your wife with a call-girl or you have an Argentinian mistress. Then of course, you will be asked to leave office before the election. And politicians hate that.

2. This is not a career. I wish that every politically affiliated post in every state had term limits, but alas, they do not. When you begin feeling that the citizenry does not want you in office, but you have done a fairly good job by them, take that as a sign to leave office with your dignity intact. Right now, Crist is losing to Rubio by about 20 points in polls (here), although Rasmussen has Rubio leading a 3-way race by 7 points. When you feel yourself about to get voted out of office, leave gracefully. Maybe in 20 years, they'll name a school or library after you. If you keep trying to hold on to your job like the Japanese fighting for Iwo Jima, then people start to think of you as a big jerk that won't go away. I call it "I don't know what else to do syndrome." They have spent their whole life climbing the political peak, and they have reached the summit, and they don't want to go back down. It's similar to squatter's rights, "I've been here for so long, it's mine, and I ain't givin' it up."

With either candidate holding sizeable leads over Democratic candidate Meek, the GOP primary is the big race. Crist has been battling up hill for quite some time, and it's sad to see him continuing to cling to his job, despite the writing on the wall.

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