Miffed at Crist

Awaiting the candidate’s arrival at the 11th-hour salsa-thon rally in Coral Gables, the long-time John McCain supporter was very bitter about Charlie Crist.

“If we lose Florida, it will be because of early voting and felons voting”, the McCainer said.  Crist has worked to expedite the process for convicted felons to regain their voting rights, and last week expanded early-voting hours to ease long lines.

A number of Republicans are frank in their disgust about the early-voting expansion, as long as their names aren’t attached to it.  “There was no emergency” said one GOP poll-watching lawyer flatly.  The McCain supporter at the rally– a veteran of many GOP campaigns– pointed out that Jeb Bush had extrended voting hours during real emergencies like in 2002, when elections workers had trouble firing up touch-screen computers, and election-day polling didn’t start at 7 AM in many precincts.

And the way Crist reached his decision was equally galling to this McCainite– consulting with Democratic State Rep. Dan Gelber (an Obama supporter), but not with the McCain campaign. 

Crist defends his decision to expand early-vote hours as simply the right thing to do to ensure maximum participation.  The McCainer in Coral Gables theory: “Charlie must have already decided that McCain’s going to lose Florida.”  The first clue for this person that the Gov wasn’t fully on board the “Straight Talk Express”– “When I heard him off message on ACORN.  Everyone else was saying it was real, and there he was, saying it was no big deal.”

Crist– who still has hefty approval ratings, despite hard times in FL– has travelled the state at McCain’s side in recent days (he’s at this morning’s Tampa rally), and has cut a TV spot extolling the Arizona Senator. But that’s not what’s on TV’s in south Florida as the campaign winds down.  What I’m seeing is former Gov. Jeb Bush, standing in front of an American flag, urging Floridians to vote McCain in English and Spanish.  Though Jeb left office in pretty good odor with his constituents, it still feels like a bit of a risk that your FL closer is named Bush.


One Response

  1. It is interesting that Republicans are so vehement against allowing everyone to vote. I thought that was a hallmark of our democracy. It just shows how out of touch the Republican party has become in their hatreds and divisions. Thank God Barack Obama’s clear message of finding common ground and working together is resonating in the nation.

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