Crist keeps it cool, without fan
Much has been made about "the fan." There's even a fake Twitter account dedicated to mocking former governor Charlie Crist's reliance on circulated air during speeches, debates and other public appearances.
The fan drew national attention during Crist's 2014 run against Gov. Rick Scott.
Crist is running for Congress these days, readying to take on the likely winner of the Aug. 30 GOP 13th District primary--- incumbent David Jolly.
That means getting out in the August heat. And, on Tuesday, a planned event at a new veteran's housing complex near St. Petersburg was scheduled for the artic chill of the clubhouse at Duval Park Veterans Complex.
On the agenda: a tour to learn about a cooperative attempt to provide affordable housing to disabled veterans and their families, most of whom had been homeless, and a roundtable discussion.
Standard campaign fare.
But after a short walk to visit one of the complex's 88 units, a 58-year-old disabled U.S. Army vet, Paul Mabry called an audible.
"Do you want to see Joe's Creek?" Mabry asked Crist. "It's not that far."
"Let's go," said Crist without missing a beat.
And out they went into the beating sun, political operatives, housing officials and the press in tow. Needless to say, there was no fan.
The walk wasn't long. But it wasn't short. And a balky gate to the county green space added some time.
"It's pretty hot out here, Paul," said Grant Collins, a supportive housing and employment specialist at the complex, in an unsuccessful attempt to redirect.
A leisurely walk ensued, complete with a prolonged stop at a viewing station looking over the watershed. Mabry hoped for gators on the bank. Or the dozens of turtles and birds he sees on his daily walk. Crist gazed out over the green space.
While shirts dampened and foreheads began to glisten, Crist gave Mabry laser-like attention, broken up by two quick dabs to his forehead with a folded handkerchief.
No visible sweat was wiped away.
And, somewhere, manufacturers of small portable fans may have felt a shiver.
Back at the cluhouse, as bottled water was gulped and sweat dried, Mabry pledged his support to Crist for November's election.
"I don't give it lightly," Mabry said.
"You shouldn't," Crist replied.