FL-Sen: Crist Goes To Crazy Base Land
Charlie Crist grabbed the endorsement of the NRSC, and this incensed the insaneosphere on the right, with RedState calling for a boycott of the Senate Republican campaign arm. If the NRSC had any clout over the poltical establishment in Florida, it might be a serious endorsement. But clearly, Crist doesn't think their money and influence will be enough to help him win the primary, because he just went out and signed the Grover Norquist pledge.
In the latest development in the 2010 Florida Senate race, where moderate Republican Gov. Charlie Crist is facing a more conservative opponent in the GOP primary, former state House Speaker Marco Rubio, both candidates have signed the anti-tax pledge of Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform.
In a possible move by Crist to appeal to right-wing voters and activists -- a demographic that might oppose him because of his support for the stimulus bill -- his campaign announced yesterday that he was the first candidate to sign the pledge. Rubio then signed up hours later.
He only needs to do this because Rubio would otherwise attack him hard from the right. But clearly, Crist's willingness to go as far right as possible to win the primary will only hurt him, in the same way that it hurt John McCain, in a general election in Florida. State lawmaker Dan Gelber is the progressive alternative here, and he has a primary of his own against Rep. Kendrick Meek. I'm sure both of them love watching Crist turn into a fundie neocon economic royalist right before their eyes.
Meanwhile, as Howie Klein notes, the NRSC didn't bother to offer the same support for Missouri's Roy Blunt, a member of the House leadership, declining to choose him over his primary opponents. Maybe that's because Robin Carnahan looks ready to beat all comers, and Blunt has enough corruption problems of his own to spook the national GOP.