Crist’s new shadow
Generally speaking, in politics you don’t control the news cycle so much as it makes a blurry spin cycle out of you (except on Friday afternoons!). So it was with much anticipation that People’s Pigment Factory Charlie Crist press-released a “major announcement” coming on July 17. Everyone was so excited for about 30 seconds, until everyone figured out that it would likely just be Crist announcing his running mate in the lieutenant governor position, and how boring would that be?
OK, it wasn’t super-boring, especially when you consider that some were shortlisting incredible disappearing act Val Demings (she of the leap from the Orange County mayor’s race). And though it was never going to be Val, chirped many insiders, it gave those of us with juiced-up Twitter feeds something to scroll about. In the end, it was Annette Taddeo – a Hispanic Democratic fundraising wunderkind from South Florida who “checks all the boxes” (according to everyone) – who took the honor, as newspapers embarrassingly tried to make “Annette for Charlie”/“Annette Funicello” headline puns. Ugh.
Somewhere in the background, nascent opponent Nan Rich was muttering things about how it was “presumptuous” of Crist to pick a running mate this early, how Rich was totally nipping at Crist’s heels, and why won’t Charlie debate her and give her free advertising? Nobody listened.
But, it turns out, not many listened to Crist, either. Planes being shot out of the sky notwithstanding, Crist’s moment of middling media glory had the shelf life of a long lunch. Sometime around 1:30 p.m., Tallahassee reporter (and old friend of this guy) Gary Fineout tweeted this: “Ah, the news cycle. Looks like @CharlieCrist LG pick is about to get overwhelmed by other events in the Sunshine State.” What could he possibly have been predicting? Oh, yeah. The marriage equality decision out of Monroe County. With relative haste, and before trying to reclaim the spotlight with about nine Annette press releases, Crist issued a statement on the ruling.
“Today was a great step toward equality in Florida,” he wrote. “It is my hope that Governor Scott and Attorney General Bondi will accept the decision of the judge and allow all Florida adults to marry the person they love.”
That didn’t happen either! Sorry, Charlie.