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In praising Rubio, Giuliani exacts revenge on Crist

Back in 2007 and early 2008, Rudy Giuliani spent so much time campaigning for president in Florida he was like a houseguest who wouldn't leave. And a big part of Giuliani's Florida-is-everything strategy was the expectation that super popular Gov. Charlie Crist would endorse him.

That never happened, of course, as Crist not only pulled the endorsement Giuliani had banked on, but threw his support to John McCain just before Florida's crucial GOP presidential primary.

Now it's payback time. Giuliani on Monday is expected to campaign in Miami with Crist's U.S. Senate rival, Marco Rubio.

"Marco Rubio is one of the Republican Party's true rising stars," Giuliani said. "He's a bold leader who will bring common sense to Washington where it's badly needed."

Five questions

Five questions about the widening state GOP scandals:

1. If Charlie Crist heard "rumors" that ousted GOP chairman Jim Greer, his close friend, had a piece of a lucrative and possibly illegal, secret contract with the state GOP, what did he do about it?

2. If state party chairman John Thrasher, House Speaker-designate Dean Cannon and Senate President-designate Mike Haridopolos really wanted to clean up a party beset by allegations of financial irregularities, why wouldn't they come clean weeks ago about having at least started to execute a severance agreement with Greer?

3. Is Thrasher remarkably arrogant or remarkably boneheaded to sign a severance agreement for Greer more than a month before Thrasher was even elected party chairman?

4. How many current and former legislators with state GOP credit cards are consulting with accountants and/or lawyers about amending their tax returns?

5. Will Democrats be able to exploit the turmoil in the GOP to avoid a drubbing in November?

'Political Connections'

Check out the two Democrats running for attorney general, state Sens. Dave Aronberg and Dan Gelber, today on Political Connections on Bay News 9. The show airs at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Heroes can be jerks

Crist last week happily rolled out the endorsement of Fort Walton Beach lawyer Col. Bud Day, a former prisoner of war and a Medal of Honor winner, and active member of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth that attacked John Kerry.

But Day, 85, quickly veered off the talking points in talking about Rubio.

"You know, we just got through (electing) a politician who can run his mouth at Mach 1, a black one, and now we have a Hispanic who can run his mouth at Mach 1," Day said of Rubio to the Northwest Florida Daily News.

Crist's reaction?: "Everyone has a right to their analysis and how they think somebody performs in office."

Gloria Estefan hosts Barack Obama

Barack Obama is set to raise money April 15 for the Democratic National Committee in Miami.

The main event will be at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts; and a smaller, higher-priced reception will be at the Miami Beach home of Gloria Estefan and her husband, Emilio.

Metrosexual Meek

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Kendrick Meek touts his everyman credentials and his background as a state trooper. So it was a little disconcerting to read in Roll Call last week that the Miami congressman was spotted getting a pedicure.

Adam Smith can be reached at asmith@sptimes.com.

Winner
of the week

Jim Greer. Ridiculed as a blustery buffoon by critics, the former state GOP chairman managed to outsmart a former House speaker, John Thrasher, and two incoming legislative leaders, Dean Cannon and Mike Haridopolos, and persuade them to sign a potentially illegal severance package.

Loser
of the week

Charlie Crist. First he failed to knock down Marco Rubio in a televised debate, and then he stood by a supporter's bigoted comments about Rubio. Finally, the governor lost his anti-corruption cred with revelations his handpicked party chairman and close adviser, Jim Greer, is facing a criminal inquiry into his actions at the GOP.

In praising Rubio, Giuliani exacts revenge on Crist 04/03/10 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 3:43pm]

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