Saturday, August 08, 2009
Charlie Crist: Third Man in the Tub
Vote for a Supreme Court Justice one day, resign from the Senate the next. Just another day in the life of Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL).
What's up with that?
Well, what's always been up. Control of a GOP Senate seat.
I've always thought Jeb! Bush and his "shadow government" were behind the Martinez decision to retire his Senate seat in 2010. Unfortunately, once the political waters were tested, Jebbie didn't surface as quite the senatorial possibility he hoped, his association with Lehman Brothers dragging him down like a set of bailout concrete blocks.
Enter Charlie Crist. An ambitious career politician--with Jeb! sinking like a rock--many believe he's just a few crawl strokes away from Florida's next U.S. Senator. Sure, he faces Marco! Rubio! (Robin to Jeb!'s Batman) in the Republican primary, but come on, who looks better in an empty swimsuit?
Should Crist backstroke past Rubio! (and the Julia Tuttle Causeway human rights issue), with Martinez gone, he'll face not one, but two competitors. The Democratic nominee and the very Senator that Crist himself will appoint to fill the seat in the interim.
Should he tag a Republican to serve out the Martinez term, nothing keeps said Rep from seeking "reelection". Think Three Men in a Tub--Unnamed Republican, Charlie and Marco! Rubio!
Should he tag a Democrat, that alone would sink him even further than he already is within his own party, especially if the appointee happens to be a one of Florida's favorite sons and a former U.S. Senator, Bob Graham.
Guess Crist could resign Palin-style and have Frequent Flyer Lt. Gov. Jeffrey Kottkamp appoint him to the Senate. That would go over well with the people of Florida.
Or perhaps Charlie could appoint his new wife to the vacancy to keep the seat warm?
Yep, I'd say our governor has swam into a political riptide.
Whatever happens, I can't help but compare Mel's sudden rush to shore to ensnaring a dolphin in a tuna net.
Although the horizon's in sight, it's just a matter of time before somebody gets canned.