Can George LeMieux shake Charlie Crist? Some say yes
George LeMieux would not have made it to the U.S. Senate in 2009 but for his long friendship with Charlie Crist, the governor who appointed him to the job after Mel Martinez resigned. Now that LeMieux is running for the Republican Senate nomination in 2012, that long friendship looks like his biggest liability.
Crist, the moderate Republican-turned independent, is reviled by much of the conservative base, and there are few people more closely associated with him than LeMieux, his former chief of staff and so-called "maestro."
"It's like the Titanic as far as the albatross that will be hung around George LeMieux's neck,'' said Mike Hanna, a Republican strategist in Tallahassee. "When it was cool to be a populist, George LeMieux had no problem supporting Charlie Crist and all that he did. As soon as the political winds changed, George became a conservative."