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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Poor Charlie Crist

As decent a politician as one can be in an extremist part, he was on the verge of a big endorsement by the crazy wing of the party, without whose support his already diminishing chances a Senate nomination fall to zero. Then this happened: 
Gov. Charlie Crist proudly announced the endorsement of Col. Bud Day, the Vietnam veteran beloved by conservatives for his membership in the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Then Colonel Day complicated matters.

He apparently couldn’t help but link the skin color of one foe of the right – President Obama – with that of Mr. Crist’s opponent in the Florida Senate Race, Marco Rubio, who is the son of Cuban immigrants. Here’s what Colonel Day told the Northwest Florida Daily News, his local paper in the Panhandle:

“You know, we just got through (electing) a politician who can run his mouth at Mach 1, a black one, and now we have a Hispanic who can run his mouth at Mach 1. You look at their track records and they’re both pretty gritty.”

Colonel Day continued, making clear that he didn’t think much of either man for their fast-talking or use of teleprompters. “You’ve got the black one with the reading thing,” he said. “He can go as fast as the speed of light and has no idea what he’s saying. I put Rubio in that same category.”
Day said he questions Rubio’s spending when the former state House speaker was carrying a Republican Party of Florida credit card. He said the credit card use, widely reported in South Florida, has been ignored in this region.

“His financial dealings are a major issue with me,” Day said.
It's Karl Rove's greatest legacy to American politics: take a candidate's greatest strength and turn it into his greatest liability. A well educated minority is thus called "glib" or "shady." The vast majority of Florida's Republican voters aren't Cuban but white. Crist can't get the Cubans, and he can't get the Republicans who are angry at his embrace of Obama's stimulus spending in Florida. There are only so many factions among GOP primary voters. By reminding the racist faction of the party of Rubio's ethnicity, Day may have done Crist a big favor.

UPDATE: No surprise, Bud Day is a veteran of a different kind, a true child of Rove:
Before yesterday, Day was perhaps best known for appearing in a "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" and opposing 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.).

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