Just to be clear, Charlie Crist did not endorse the stimulus, okay?
Sure, our governor took the stimulus dough. But it was an accident. He thought it was a campaign contribution.
He hugged the president back in February, too. But he didn't even know he was hugging the president.
He was being sociable.
"I just thought it was some friendly fellow," you can almost hear him explaining. "What was the man's name, did you say? Obana? Omaha?"
When reminded it was the president, the governor would ask: "President of what?"
So, knock any silly ideas right out of your head. Charlie Crist did not endorse the stimulus. He did not knowingly hug the president. He doesn't even know the president's name, for goodness' sake.
That is why the governor also didn't know it when the president was back in Florida the other day.
It was a complete surprise to him. Had he known the president was back in Florida, that might be a liberal thing to know. So he did not know it.
I know what you are thinking. You are starting to think that you might love Marco Rubio better than Charlie to be the next Republican candidate for U.S. senator.
That is exactly what is worrying the governor. That is why the governor has become weirdly untethered, like a breakaway balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving parade. The governor's people are chasing him from below, trying to grab the ropes.
Everybody loves Marco.
Where Marco goes, people adore him. They put him on the cover of magazines. They interview him on Fox. They hold straw polls in his honor. They laud him in the Panhandle, as long as he doesn't get all South Florida-y.
They love him because Marco is conservative. Conservative, conservative. He wants to cut our taxes. In fact, he does not think we should have to pay any taxes at all. He is in favor of growth. He is in favor of the opposite of whatever the president is doing. He is a real conservative.
Charlie is nervous. He wants to be a real conservative too. So he reminds everybody, hey, I cut taxes, didn't I? They dropped like a rock!
Secretly, Charlie is thinking: Darn that Marco! How did he get to be more conservative than I am? How did I get a job approval rating of 42 percent? I invented cheap populism and poll ratings! People have loved me better than the other candidate my whole career!
Last week in Virginia and New Jersey, they elected Republican governors. The official explanation favored by conservatives is that conservatives are good and Obama is bad. On the other hand, the Republicans lost a race for Congress in New York, where the conservatives made a big deal out of driving a Crist-type candidate out of the race so a "real" conservative could run. But you should just forget that loss. Remember the main point: conservatives, good, Obama (and non-conservative Republicans) bad.
A level-headed person, not made giddy by Marco-mania, might remember that Charlie has $1 zillion in the bank and is trouncing Marco in the election polls and it will still take a miracle, or at least a nuclear intervention by Jeb Bush, for that to change.
Nonetheless, the current story line is that Marco has the big mo. So Charlie is off his game. He is acting goofy and saying pants-on-fire things.
He is trying to out-Marco Marco. But really, all he has to do is out-Charlie Marco.