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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Can Eric Eikenberg right the Charlie Crist campaign?



Steve Bousquet: Eric Eikenberg is wise beyond his 33 years. So why did he just trade a high-stress job for Eikenberg a very high-stress job? The old job was chief of staff to Gov. Charlie Crist, a punishing grind of 14-hour days and an endlessly chirping cell phone.

That job came with a nice, likable boss, but a guy so obsessed with raising money for a U.S. Senate race he may not have noticed his administration was going off track. As his state sank deeper into a morass of record housing foreclosures and 11 percent unemployment, Crist cheerfully hosted events touting "Hispanic Heritage Month" or "Small Business Month."

The new job: campaign manager for Crist's U.S. Senate race.

Crist has somehow managed to turn a cakewalk into a competitive race against the insurgent Miami Republican, former House Speaker Marco Rubio, who is now at least respectable in polls against a governor who should be ahead by 50 points. The conventional wisdom in Tallahassee is that all Rubio needs to turn Crist into toast is an effusive endorsement from former Gov. Jeb Bush.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 2:24pm]


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