Won't ever happen
The Charlie Crist for Vice-President rumor millis at work again
ST. PETERSBURG -- In its 162-year history, Florida has never had one of its own on a presidential ticket.First of all, Florida has been a state Presidential candidates couldn't afford to ignore since the 1970's. The state which in the 1940's or 1950's had exactly seven electoral votes, had grown to 17 by that time. Its rumored then Governor Reuben Askew was one of many democrats to turn down a chance at being George McGovern's running mate in 1972.
Could Gov. Charlie Crist be the first? Crist, who sat in the front row at Wednesday's Republican presidential debate, is the subject of growing speculation that he will be considered as a vice presidential pick in 2008.
Such speculation reflects not only Crist's popularity but also Florida's emergence as a political force.
Al Cardenas, a former Florida GOP chairman who now works for Mitt Romney's campaign, said Crist is probably on every candidate's wish list.Crist is genuinely popular in this state, and he's done a better job as Governor than I was suspecting. However I don't think he'll ever be a VP nominee. Why do I say that? The rumors that Crist is gay.
"Gov. Crist is a young, attractive, popular governor in the largest purple state," Cardenas said. "There's no doubt that Governor Romney and certainly others will have him as a candidate for the job."
Florida is the fourth-most-populous state, behind California, Texas and New York. Among those Big Four, Florida is expected to be the most closely contested in 2008. And no candidate needs reminding of 2000, when Florida's disputed result decided the election.
"In the case of Charlie Crist, the big benefit there that I would see is not so much him, but his ability to deliver a pivotal state with a lot of electoral votes," said Kathryn Dunn Tenpas of the Brookings Institution.
This South Florida blogger whom I've happened to meet, believes Crist is gay and wrote on the topic in this newspaper article. Crist's sexual orientation doesn't affect how I vote. I wouldn't hold it against Crist, the same could have been said for Mark Foley till last year's scandal unfolded. However the rumor, true or not, would almost certainly scare off any GOP Presidential candidate. Some of you may say, how did Crist get elected Governor then? You'd have a point, but Presidential and VP candidates are put under an even greater microscope. The rumors will certainly come to the surface, and this would nix any chance of Crist being chosen VP.
For much of the state's history, the words "Florida" and "presidential" or "vice presidential" candidate rarely appeared in the same sentence. It was not until 1960 that John F. Kennedy became the first presidential candidate to consider a Floridian as a running mate, said Gary Mormino, a history professor at the University of South Florida.I'm pretty sure Mormino is naming the wrong Florida Democrat in 1960. For I recall reading in one of Arthur Schlessinger's books on JFK, that it was then Florida Senator George Smathers Sr. who was under consideration for VP.
Kennedy passed over Florida Gov. LeRoy Collins for Lyndon B. Johnson and the Texas vote. But a succession of near-miss vice presidential overtures followed.
That's ancient history. So will the talk of Crist for Vice-President become after next year's GOP convention.
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