Rumors: Martinez Might Not Keep Charlie Crist's Senate Seat Warm Until 2010

Let's skip through the 2010 Senate rumor mill, shall we?

Mel Martinez does not know exactly how he got into this horrible Senate job, and he allegedly wants to leave it as soon as possible. Roll Call reports Martinez is considering bowing out early -- and that Charlie Crist is seriously considering running.

Of course, if Martinez drops out, Crist appoints his replacement, so does he just appoint himself? A little "I can parachute me there" sort of action?

It should be noted that Martinez has numerous times flat-out denied he will retire early, and has already denied this latest round of rumors. Crist hasn't stated his Senate intentions, but what he has said amounts to: "Probably not, but who knows? Whatever, I'm Charlie Crist, baby!"

I'd be surprised if both of these things happen. If Crist runs for Senate without Martinez retiring, he probably wins. If Martinez retires, Crist appoints his favorite middle-of-the-road Republican to the seat to serve out the remainder of the term, who then has a huge advantage in 2010. But knowing "People's Governor" Crist, I think he could appoint someone who promises to not seek election in 2010 regardless of his own intentions, especially after this Blagojevich crap.

Keep in mind, though, if somehow Martinez retires and Crist appoints himself, Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp's mustache will then run the entire state.

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