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Dan Gelber a Natural to Invite Charlie Crist, 'Silly Putty of Florida Politics,' to Be a Dem

August 5, 2012 - 6:00pm

This weekend Dan Gelber, former state senator and failed candidate in 2010 for attorney general, wrote to invite Charlie Crist to become aDemocrat. It is very fitting.

Who better than Gelber, someone whopersonifies the failures of Florida's Democrats, to reach out to therudderless vessel that is our former governor?

Of course, Gelber's invitation has its origins in the Democrats' resistance to coalesce behind one of their own for a 2014gubernatorial run. I have pointed out to reporters that Sen. NanRich should be considered a viable candidate for three reasons: 1) sheis actually a Democrat; 2) she has actually declared herself acandidate for governor; and 3) she is a loyal soldier for herprogressive, South Florida politics -- a strong region for Democrats.

Rich is certainly not alone. It seems that Rod Smith, the Democrat chairman, and defeated gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink could both beup for a run in 2014. Smith has been a champion for the leftist causesof the partys base, and Sink has found herself a think tank perchfrom which to crow.

Gelber, though, all but willing to express the liberal politics towhich he and this potential field subscribe, will offer very weakoptions for Florida voters. So Gelber, like Crist, stands ready tothrow principles to the wind and replace them with a perennial losershope for some way to reinvent what it is that Florida voters careabout.

How else can Gelber, or any longtime Democratic Party official,explain to rank-and-file members the embrace of a politician whoopposed abortion, gun control, and gay marriage while he was anelected official?

Should Democrats resort to an obvious choice of political deal-makingover a principled campaign behind one of their stalwarts, Crist is theperfect vehicle. He is the silly putty of Florida politics, hell bendwhatever direction you want and if you smash him against the newspaperhell offer you a poll-tested, mirror version.

Really, the only question for Democrats is, are they ready to letCrist take a position where he can influence how their party is run?

Dont forget, it was Charlie Crist who plucked Jim Greer up andinstalled him to manage the books for Republicans. We all know howthat turned out.

Brian Hughes is a Republican media consultant based in Tallahassee. He is the president and CEO of Meteoric Media Strategies, a publicrelations, strategic communications and media production company.

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