Catching up with Robert Wexler
Beth Reinhard of National Journal catches up with former Florida Rep. Robert Wexler, who retired in 2010 after seven terms to become president of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace.
NJ Do you miss Congress?
I miss the many friends that I had both in Congress and among my constituents, but the act of being a member of Congress—I don’t miss it. I had been in elected office for 19 years, and I had run for office every two years for 21 years, starting when I was in my 20s. It was my time to do something different.
NJ What do you think about the level of partisanship in Congress?
Sometimes people romanticize the [low] level of partisanship in the past. My first term was the impeachment of Bill Clinton, so it’s hard to imagine a more partisan time than that. And then there was the election of 2000. Maybe the difference is that the politics of the two parties, but particularly the politics of the Republican Party, have become more extreme, so the ability to compromise has been significantly lessened.
NJ What do you think about the possibility of Charlie Crist running again for Florida governor, this time as a Democrat?
He would be a very strong candidate. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the evolution of warmth by many partisan Democrats for Charlie. While he was the Republican governor, he took on voting-rights issues and voting rights for felons. He didn’t do it because he calculated a political advantage. He did it because he thought it was the right thing to do. If I can help him, I’d be more than happy to.
Full story here.