Florida Gov. Charlie Crist announced this afternoon he will run for the Senate as an independent, breaking with the Republican party and setting up a three-way battle in the fall fraught with national political implications.This is great news. I hope this sends a message to the rest of the party. I find it interesting that the Tea Party allegedly is separate from the GOP, claiming to supporting both parties out of Washington, but as soon as a Republican decided to run in the interests of his constituents, the Tea Party candidate and the teabag party of choice, the GOP, turn their backs in disgust.
"Our political system is broken," said Crist at a rally in St. Petersburg. "I believe in democracy and the right to choose."
Crist, who will remain a registered Republican, repeatedly cast his decision as in the best interests of Floridians, saying at one point that the easiest course for him would be to run for re-election as governor but that people across the state had urged him to pursue an independent Senate bid.
"I was never one who sought to hold elective office to demagogue or point fingers," said Crist. "For me, for me, public service has always been about putting the needs of our state and our people first; and every single day, as your servant, I have tried to do exactly that."
Crist is the logical choice for the GOP, but the GOP doesn't realize that. He can get moderates and independents - something Rubio will have a hard time doing considering he has made a name for himself as the hard-right candidate. Crist also has some cred with the Democrats for supporting the stimulus and being involved in popular environmental policies, such as his support of buying out United States Sugar and his recent shift supporting a moratorium on drilling. Rubio brings with him the far right's baggage...
Come time for the election, Crist will be able to do better then Rubio. Sure, there will be those straight-ticket voters who only pick Republican, and the same goes for the Democrats, but what about those left in the middle? The Tea Party claims to be independent, but there is just no proof. They are marching lockstep with the GOP. The true moderates and independents don't seem to get any coverage these days, and they will be the ones to decide this election.