Charlie Crist Runs as an Independent: The Live Blog
Any moment now Florida Governor Charlie Crist is expected to announce that he's running as an independent for Senate. A crowd full of reporters and supporters have gathered at Straub Park in St. Pete, Fl to hear his announcement. We're watching CNN where Wolf Blitzer says they'll be covering it live, with immediate reaction from Kendrick Meek and Marco Rubio. If you're not infront of a TV right now, it's live streaming here.
5:52 - According to this tweet, there's a lot of people holding "Democrats 4 Crist" signs in the audience. That's not good news for Kendrick Meek.
What makes the Floridian appealing is not so much his moderation as his relative sanity.
Crist has refused to go off the ideological deep end that has claimed so many formerly mainstream conservative Republicans -- making the party's U.S. House and Senate caucuses over as "party of no" preserves of reaction rather than functional engagement with the governing process.
6:13 - Jeb Bush has spoken out and it's not nice: : "I am not surprised. This decision is not about policy or principles. It is about what he believes is in his political self-interest." We expect his official endorsement of Rubio any day now.
Given the acrimony, some speculate an independent Crist might consider a flirtation with Democrats who would welcome a convert, especially one representing a key presidential battleground state.
"They could offer him not only decent committee assignments but real power," said Will Marshall, president of the Progressive Policy Institute.
Cook Political Report senior editor Jennifer Duffy notes Crist would be "smart to leave open the question of who he would caucus with. It gives him leverage."
6:28 - Kendrick Meek is on CNN. He's saying Rubio is out of touch with Florida, and "very far right." He refuses to say who he's more concerned with, and says he's "running against two republicans" and says Crist is still "The Republican Governor of Florida" with a night job as an independent senate candidate.
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