Charlie Crist: Dark clouds over Gov. Sunshine this year
"You all are going to Israel? Oy vey!'' Crist gushed last week at Tampa International Airport to a church group heading overseas. "You're going to be back before the election, right?" he added, handing out campaign cards.
With his stark white hair, ever-golden tan, and impeccable salmon-colored tie, Crist didn't just greet voters; He enveloped them in warmth and happiness.
"Your name is Margaret? I have a sister named Margaret!'' he howled to one beaming traveler, as if it were the greatest coincidence.To a Hispanic TSA agent checking the governor's briefcase: "Thanks for what you do for our country. … I would appreciate your vote — por favor."
If this were another politician, people would call him obsequious. But this is Gov. Charlie Crist, who emanates cheer and humility.
The perma-cheer is even more remarkable considering Crist, 54, is on the verge of being cast into political oblivion after nearly two decades in office. This former superstar — on the vice presidential short list just two years ago — is a man without a party, shunned by longtime friends and badly trailing Republican Marco Rubio in the U.S. Senate race.