Crist’s Right Hand Man a Future Candidate?

“The Maestro”, as the Governor dubbed him, is leaving state government. George Lemieux, Charlie Crist’s chief of staff in the Governor’s office and, before that, the Attorney General’s office, is going back to private practice of law.
Just after reading about it on-line, some “snail mail” arrived that made me think– George Lemieux may want to get elected to something, himself. On a notecard embossed with a golden state seal, George Lemieux had sent me a two-sentence handwritten note, thanking me for the “nice piece” I had done on him– a profile of arguably the state’s most-powerful unelected official I had done a few weeks back (at the bottom of the note, it said “Not Printed at Government Expense”)
Reading it made me flash back to another “out of the blue” note I received a few years ago– from Charlie Crist. The then-Atty. Genl. had come to NBC 6 to do an interview with Willard Shepard. I chatted with him while cameras were being set up. If doubt we’d ever exchanged more than two words before, and our chat, while pleasant, was brief and insubstantial. Yet, weeks later, here’s my new-old friend Charlie saying how swell it was, palavering with me.
It was my first glimpse of the relentless, tireless politician that is Charlie Crist— a man who really puts the “glad” in “glad-handing“.
George Lemieux lacks the tan, the silver mane, and the preternatural ease with the public that Crist has at his command. But his acumen is well-regarded by folks on both sides of the aisle in Tallahassee (“good on politics and good on policy” is one prominent Democrat’s assessment), and I haven’t met anyone yet who doesn’t think he’s a “mensch”. A former Broward Republican chair, Lemieux could be a formidable future candidate for something (he did run once, unsuccessfully, for a state House seat). That note suggests he’s thinking the same thing.
Meanwhile, his soon-to-be ex-boss got lots of VP mentions, after sitting in the front row of the CNN/YouTube debate in St. Pete. Now, he’s in New York, doing a grip & grin with Donald Trump, apparently to raise money for ads supporting the property tax amendment. His national profile, sure to rise some more, given what I see on his schedule for today– 8:30 AM, interview at the New Yorker Magazine. After a tour of financial giant Goldman Sachs, the Gov is due to drop by for another interview with Time magazine. I’m sure he’ll send them a thank-you note later.


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