Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"Citizen Crist" says he'll make decision about 2014 after the holidays

Posted By on Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Charlie Crist says he did not date Jill Kelleys sister
  • Charlie Crist said he did not date Jill Kelley's sister
After the last questions had been asked at a news conference regarding St. Petersburg Democrat Darryl Rouson's bill to reform the election process in Florida, reporters quickly descended in front of Charlie Crist to ask the burning question of the day.

Had he, in fact, once dated Natalie Khawam? Khawam's identical twin, Jill Kelley, has become one of the most famous people on the planet in the past 72 hours based on her involvement in the downfall of CIA Director David Petraeus.

"No," he replied softly to the question. (The Daily Telegraph of London alleged that he had.)

When asked if he knew the Kelley family, Crist said, "Not well, but I know them."

WTVT Fox-13 reporter Lloyd Sowers then asked about a dinner at Bern's Steak House with the Kelleys and the Petraeus. What was that like?

"I was meeting the general and his wife, and Jill and Scott Kelley. They were lovely people. The general was as impressive as you would think he would be and his wife couldn't be nicer."

Did he say anything to the Petraeus about the Kelleys?

"No, not really. Just an opportunity to welcome him to the Tampa Bay area," Crist answered.

Crist didn't seem bothered by the questions, perhaps because he knew they would be coming after the London newspaper report. Since Sunday, the whole Jill Kelley "thing" has blown up all over the country. Kelley was outed as the "other, other woman" in the saga that led to General Petraeus' stunning retirement announcement last Friday, revealing that he had had a sexual affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell.

Kelley, as you have heard, received threatening emails from Broadwell and well, you know the rest.

For Crist, it's another moment in the media spotlight as his political resurgence seems to grow by the day.

But that resurgence needs to lead to something concrete, and many political observers believe Crist will announce that he's going to run as a Democrat, challenging Rick Scott for governor in 2014.

That speculation has only grown louder with Crist's very successful role as an opener for the many Florida rallies that the Obama campaign held in September and October, following Crist's prime-time address endorsing the president at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

When asked what he's doing next, Crist said it was to enjoy Thanksgiving. And after that? Christmas and New Years, he said.

Okay. But after that? Will you declare your candidacy as a Democrat for governor, he was explicitly asked.

"I don't know if I'm going to do that or not," he responded. "I'm going to enjoy the holidays and then we'll see after the first of the year what the future holds. I'm 'Citizen Crist.' I'm like all of you. I'm active and honored to be able to voice an opinion ... I think it's important that we're all active."

In other words? Check back in January. We will, Charlie. We will.

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