There were a number of interesting comments on yesterday's post about Marco Rubio and my assertion that The New York Times made a significant error in quoting The American Spectator, that Rubio was pushed away by party insiders from running for the US Senate in 2010.
I will say it again: Charlie Crist never represented the inside of the Florida GOP. His original sin, as he stepped into the Governor's Mansion, was his blithe refusal to acknowledge his predecessor, Jeb Bush, or any of Bush's claimed achievements. Some of the commentators, yesterday, point out the fact that the humiliated state GOP chairman Jim Greer was a Crist appointee. That may be true, but in the pay-to-play political culture, the insiders were also strung along until the moment arose when they could knock down Crist. The Greer scandal gave an opening. I will concede the point about the national GOP quickly endorsing Crist. But here, too, there is detectable tension between who really controls state GOP politics and who controls national Republican money. Rubio was always the insider and not the "outsider". He is now being tended for the national stage as carefully as a prize, hothouse rose.
Charlie Crist was a strange character in the modern history of Florida politics, kept aloft by a public persona that was pleasing and sunny as it was shallow. He navigated the economic currents well enough but had nothing to do with altering or improving government to serve people. In his own way, Rick Scott is comparably strange. Unlike Crist, Scott has accumulated a group of managers who owe their allegiance to Jeb Bush, the same way Rubio does. These are the key insiders key to the state GOP fortunes: their ambitions are not just Tallahassee but for the nation. They needed Crist out of the way, and by golly, out of the way he is.