As long as I live, I don't think Florida will see a more chaotic election cycle than 2010. Now, Mel Martinez has thrown in another twist by resigning early, leaving the decision to pick his appointment to Gov. Charlie Crist, who is running to replace Martinez himself. Let's take a look at some of the names being floated around complete with our odds, which we calculated through the magic of "picking numbers at random that sounded sensible."
Himself: I'm sure Crist has though to himself "I can parachute me there," (as Rod Blagojevich would put it). For one thing, it would give him a huge advantage in seniority, but it makes him look a bit arrogant and all too eager to leave Florida's problems behind. Plus it would leave Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp in charge, which might not be the greatest idea. Besides, Kottkamp is running for Attorney General, and with current Attorney General Bill McCollum running for Governor it would illustrate a weird game of political musical chairs. Whatever, Crist has already said today that he won't, so enough of that. Chances: 1/100
Jim Smith: The former Florida secretary of state and current FSU chairman seems to be the early front runner. You might remember all the way back in May, A St. Pete Times journalist twittered rumors that Martinez would resign and Smith would be appointed caretaker. The thing with Smith is he's a moderate, which might further hurt Crist's standing with the conservative wing of his party. In fact, Smith used to be a democrat before switching parties in the late '80s. He ran as a moderate alternative to Jeb Bush in the '94 GOP governors primary, and Human Events says he's pro-choice. Still though, with Crist's money machine he might not need to worry about pleasing the conservatives. Chances: 40/100
Sen. Connie Mack: Former Senate experience is a good thing to have on your resume when you're looking to hire a Senator. Besides 84 year-old Pual Frolick (remember her?), Mack is the only Republican in Florida with such experience. There'd be little time learning the job, and he might prove to be the most effective senator during the short time. He's more of a Moderate, but a proven party elder who left office with popularity intact so he's more immune to attacks from the Rubio-crew. Chances: 20/100
State. Sen. Dan Webster:
Webster already said
he'd take the job, because "it would be prety cool." Webster is a lion in the state party, becoming the first Republican Speaker of the House in 122 years(!). He's a staunch conservative, but not above working with the other party. Plus, he's only 60. Chances: 10/100
Gov. Bob Martinez: Replacing a Martinez with a Martinez is neat, and Crist and the former Gov are on good terms. Problem is, Martinez was the least popular governor in the last two decades, and was the only one in that time who's bid for re-election was unsuccessful. Besides, Martinez hasn't been in Politics since early 1993 when he served as George Bush's drug czar. Chances: 5/100
Gov. Jeb Bush: No, just no. If Bush wanted to be a Senator he would have ran himself. Besides, I think in his heart of hearts Bush would like to see Rubio beat Crist in the primary, so he's been quiet on the matter. There's no way Crist would appoint Bush with out the implied promise that Bush would endorse him. Furthermore, if there's one person who could say, "You know, I rather like this senator business, maybe I'll run for it myself," and get away with it, it would be Bush. On the other hand, if Crist pulled this off Rubio's campaign would be dead. Well, more dead that it already is. Chances: 1/100
Katherine Harris: God, this would be hilarious. The downside is that I'm sure she'd do a horrible job. The upside for Crist is that she'd make the conservative wing look even more ridiculous. Chances: 0/100
Former Reps. Tim Feeney, E. Clay Jr., or Ric Keller: ah, the victims of the Democratic manslaughter in the last two elections. These guys aren't doing much, and it might please the Republican base. At the same time, who wants to appoint some losers. Chances: 1/100 for each.
Someone Else Entirely: Charlie likes being a wild card, plus there's literally millions of other people to choose from. Chances: 20/100