Crist for Senate?
Why are no top-tier candidates jumping into the Senate scramble? Part of it is the giant shadow looming over the race: Charlie Crist. Barely a day has gone by in recent weeks that some prominent Republican or Democrat hasn't asked: "You hearing anything about Crist jumping in?"
In a word, no. The governor has expressed zero interest in running for Senate, his political advisers haven't given the slightest hint that he is looking at it, and even Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp told a group in Bonita Springs the other day that he expected he and Crist would run for re-election.
"Everyone on the Republican side that's talking about running would step aside and acknowledge that Charlie Crist would be the best candidate,'' said Republican former state House Speaker Marco Rubio of Miami, one of those talking about running.
Of course, a Crist for Senate campaign would face that little question of switching jobs while Florida is in the toilet, mired in an economic meltdown and property insurance crisis.
"If you can name a worse time in the history of Florida in the memory of living men when the best and brightest were needed here to help us rather than skedaddle off, please tell me when that was,'' said Republican strategist J.M. "Mac" Stipanovich, of Tallahassee. "Were he to ask my advice, which he has not, I would say, 'Before you move to another battlefield, win a fight in the battlefield where you are general now.' "