Nickens: Charlie Crist is off his game
From Tampa Bay Times Editor of Editorials Tim Nickens:
Rick Scott has done more damage to this state than any modern governor.
The Republican has starved public schools and higher education, disregarded voting rights and privacy rights, and dismantled environmental protections. He has little feel for Florida and sides with electric utilities, property insurers, developers and the National Rifle Association over the concerns of families struggling to pay bills, afford health insurance, find quality public schools for their kids and keep their neighborhoods safe.
Yet Scott could win re-election in November.
As we head into July, the race appears essentially tied and Charlie Crist is not maximizing his greatest assets as the likeable guy who understands Floridians and their priorities. Instead, the Republican-turned-Democrat is uncharacteristically committing too many unforced errors.
The newcomer to the Democratic Party won't debate lifelong Democrat Nan Rich, his primary opponent. The former governor who embraced openness won't release his wife's individual tax returns. The former supporter of the Cuba embargo now opposes it and suggested he would visit Cuba this summer, then flipped around and said last week he is too busy to go.
This is not a good way to start the summer.
In fact, it all feeds into the narrative that the Crist campaign is misfiring. His natural political instincts are failing him. The fundraising should be more vigorous. The ground effort should be in higher gear. The enthusiasm for defeating an unpopular opponent should be louder.