Behind the Ad: Charlie Crist used to be a Republican – Whaaaat? (#FLGov)
Who: The Florida Republican Party
What: Former Florida Republican Governor Charlie Crist (2007-2011) has switched parties and is now running for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination to unseat Republican Governor Rick Scott. This is a fact about as well know as that 15 minutes can save you 15 percent or more on car insurance at Geico. I mean, everybody knows that. Why then has the Florida Republican Party put out an ad reminding people that Charlie Crist, when he was a Republican, called for Bill Clinton’s resignation over the Monica Lewinsky affair back in the day?
As the Daily Kos suggests, it might to “ratfuck” the Democratic nomination or in the hope of causing Democratic voters to lose interest in showing up on voting day in the primary. In either case, it’s a little silly. Politicians changing parties is not that unusual, and when it happens there is always enough old footage in the film vault showing them shitting all over their new friends. Voters get that and don’t pay a lot of attention.
The truth is that campaign insiders never get enough of this stuff and fool themselves into thinking that voters care as much as they do that a Democrat in a race used to be a Republican or visa versa.
The bottom line is that Crist versus Scott will be a very ugly and very competitive race. There is little doubt about that. And it’s just getting started.
Grade: As for ad, as noted, campaign insiders love this stuff. It’s intended to make the switching candidate seem dishonest, or fickle, or disloyal. Whatever happens in Florida, it won’t happen because Floridians needed to be reminded that Crist crossed the floor. D
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