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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Charlie Crist has "no-holds-barred" book coming out

Charlie Crist is taking his message of political redemption and evolution from the Democratic club circuit to your local book store.

Florida’s former Republican governor-turned-independent-U.S.-Senate candidate-turned-Democratic-potential-gubernatorial-candidate has a book coming out this winter: “THE PARTY’S OVER: How the Extreme Right Hijacked the GOP and I Became a Democrat.”

Published by Dutton, the book promises to be “a no-holds-barred memoir of his journey from Republican to Democrat. He will name names and offer a frank indictment of the failings of the Republican Party,” according to the publisher.

Crist, 56, is widely expected to run for governor as a Democrat in 2014. It’s a remarkable journey for a self-described “Ronald Reagan Republican” and serious contender for John McCain’s running mate in 2008 to speaker at the 2012 Democratic National Convention who campaigned harder in Florida for Barack Obama than any other politician.

“I have now seen both these parties at the highest levels from the inside,” Crist said in a statement Dutton prepared. “In the book, I’ll share my very strong feelings about what’s happened to the Republicans, how the party I grew up in has been hijacked by extremists, losing its compassion and common sense. I’ll describe exactly what I saw and what it made me realize. I have been a Democrat for seven months now. I have found a wonderful new home.”

Helping Crist write the book is Newsday columnist Ellis Henican, whose other books include accounts of the New Orleans Saints’ post-Katrina Super Bowl championship and the death of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhart.
Crist tends to becivil when talking about anybody else, but the book’s publicity material hints at juicier offerings in store from the ever-sunny ex-governor:

“Among other things, THE PARTY’S OVER will reveal: the inside story of Crist’s 2010 Senate primary campaign against Marco Rubio; his journey from inner circle to persona non grata, thanks to his literal embrace of President Obama; his very frank opinions on Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, and other top-tier Republicans; why he announced his party switch at the White House Christmas party; what he’s learned as a member of both parties; and why he remains convinced that the two-party system can still work—with the right leadership.”

We haven't received a reaction comment yet from the Florida GOP, but it's safe to assume it will be along the lines of: "BARF."

UPDATE: Statement from Florida GOP Chairman Lenny Curry:

"We didn’t know that Charlie Crist was launching a new career as a fiction writer. But we do want to thank him for the hundreds of pages of rhetorical ammunition he will be giving to us and his primary opponents.

"It’s a sign of weakness that someone who for years described himself as a conservative is writing a book out of desperation to distance himself from his life-long positions, especially facing a committed champion of liberal ideology like Nan Rich.

"We’re in a position of strength because Governor Rick Scott’s achievements for Florida speak for themselves; no book is necessary."

[Last modified: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 8:53pm]


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