'You sound like Lawton Chiles!'
The Capital Tiger Bay Club in Tallahassee is a politically astute, fun-loving group. It's also overwhelmingly Democratic. But Republican Gov. Charlie Crist pretty much had the lunchtime crowd at the Silver Slipper restaurant eating out of his hand Wednesday.
Crist gave much of the credit for the insurance fix to Democratic legislators. He spoke with pride at some of his new appointees -- and named only Democrats, such as child welfare secretary Bob Butterworth. He gave his usual populist speech with its "you're the boss" and "I work for you" lines.
The hour-long talk ended with Dexter Douglass, a Democrat, standing and telling Crist: "You sound like Lawton Chiles!" The crowd roared its approval.
Said Douglass, who was Chiles' general counsel and one of many lawyers for Al Gore during the 2000 recount: "I want to apologize for all the unkind things I've said about you." He said people are lucky to have "another Floridian" as governor.
Asked what he meant by sounding like Chiles, Douglass told reporters: "The same philosophy and everything. He read the Constitution, and the Constitution says all power vests in the people -- not in the governor or anybody else."