Friday, January 3, 2014

Mitch Perry Report 1.3.14: The Charlie Crist apology tour begins

Posted by on Fri, Jan 3, 2014 at 8:49 AM

Charlie Crist back when he was Governor …
  • Charlie Crist back when he was Governor …
Let's stipulate that both Rick Scott and Charlie Crist, the two probable candidates to run for governor later this year, are both flawed candidates. Scott's issues are legion. He's been so far down in the polls for the first three years of his term in office that a recent uptick persuaded Adam Smith of the Tampa Bay Times to declare him Florida's Political Winner of the Year.

On the other hand, Charlie Crist is trying to pull off the incredibly difficult trick of running for governor as a Democrat after being a Republican for most of his adult life. That means backing up or "evolving" from previous positions that made him fit comfortably (until recent years) in the Florida GOP, but were anathema in the Democratic Party.

Like same-sex marriage. Though let's be fair — a lot of politicians have had sudden reversals on the issue, Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to name two. But Crist has made several remarks in support of a ban on same-sex marriage over the years, prompting him to tell LGBT news outlet Watermark Online that his previous stance was wrong.

“I made a mistake. I’m not perfect,” he said. “That‘s the journey I’m on… and I’m still on it.” He added, “As a Republican, on social issues I always felt I was a round peg in a square hole. I just didn’t fit. But I tried, until I couldn’t do it any more… until I had to say, ‘Enough is enough.’”

It's all you can ask anyone to do. The question is, how much more apologizing to his new base will he have to do before he'll earn their love?

Meanwhile in Crist's hometown yesterday they was a coronation of a new mayor. Read our report here. Also the tearful goodbye that Charlie Gerdes gave Bill Foster.

And there's some interesting stuff in CL's first edition of the new year. My contributions include looking at the high cost of cancer drugs and is diet soda truly as bad as everyone says it is?

And last but not least, the NFL Wild Card playoffs begin tomorrow afternoon, with the most enticing game set for 4:40 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, when my San Francisco 49ers head to frigid Green Bay to face Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Incredibly because the game will be in wintry Wisconsin in subzero degree temperatures, seemingly most folks like the Pack, even though the Niners won 4 more games than GB did this year. For one thing it's outrageous that Green Bay even gets to host the game (just like when a 7-9 Seattle hosted New Orleans in 2010), but them's the rules. Can Kaep, Gore and Crabtree do it in the snow? Yes they can.

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