"They're certainly entitled to express their opinions on this Senate seat and participate in the democratic process just like anyone else," said NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh. "But that also includes Sen. Cornyn and the other Senate Republican leaders who have expressed their support for Gov. Crist. They've endorsed the governor because he's not only a proven leader but he's also the candidate to ensure that this seat stays Republican in a very competitive election cycle. So while it's healthy to have a debate, at the end of the day it's even more important for all Republicans to keep their eye on the ultimate goal, which is regaining the majority in the Senate."It's probably not Brian Walsh's fault that this statement is so pathetically lame. There are simply no good arguments for the national committee endorsing a candidate for an open seat, 15 months before the primary.
As for Crist being a "proven leader," Jimmie Bise dismantles it pretty thoroughly, and you could ask Larry Thornberry of Tampa:
These guys clearly miss Arlen Specter already, and are searching for his replacement.Yeah, it's going to be really easy winning in "a very competitive election cycle" with a worthless hack like that on the ticket. Maybe the NRSC should reconsider its Crist endorsement. Instead, encourage Lincoln Chafee to move to Florida and run Chafee for the seat. Six of one, half a dozen of the other, right?
They think they've found him in moderate-to-liberal Florida governor, Charlie Crist, who campaigned in his own state for our rookie president's bank-busting goodie package, aka the stimulus bill. Crist has tried to get the Florida Legislature to adopt a carbon cap and trade program and to force Florida utilities into generating an unreasonable percentage of their electricity using "renewable fuels," the kind that excite environmentalists' erogenous zones but exist in but trifling amounts and are bloody expensive. He also wants California-like auto emissions standards that would cost a packet but provide a negligible improvement in Florida's air.
You'll never hear an encouraging word from Crist on any conservative social issue. He's pro-abortion and thinks marriage-like legal arrangements between homosexuals are fine. He recently put a liberal Democrat on the Florida Supreme Court.
In Crist's speeches, conservatives will wait in vain to hear any of their principles promoted. What they hear are endless lullabies about "bipartisanship," "diversity," and other warm-sounding, non-sequiturs from the Democratic hymn book. These are just the most actionable of Crist's sins against conservative principles.
But this isn't about Charlie Crist, it's about the NRSC's attempt to subvert the legitimacy of the GOP primary process. Why should any Republican voter in Florida bother showing up for the primary, if the outcome has already been decided by "experts" in Washington more than a year ahead of time? Florida state Republican chairman Jim Greer has already been forced to back down from his endorsement, and this grassroots brushfire has only been burning for 10 days.
Has Cornyn bothered talking to any Texas Republicans about this idea of having Senate candidates handpicked by the national committee? Sooner or later, Texas GOP Chairwoman Tina Benkiser is going to have to say something about this, and she'll have a mutiny on her hands if she doesn't defend the right of Texas Republicans to choose their own candidates.
Someone asked me Thursday about the polls showing Crist a shoo-in, and you know what my answer was? What did the polls say about Hillary Clinton 15 months before the Iowa caucus?
In addition to being "young, hip, Hispanic, and magnetic," Marco Rubio is not stupid. He's hired the David All Group to handle his online strategy, he's got Club For Growth on his side, and his tough line on immigration hits Crist in a vulnerable place, since Mel Martinez's open-borders stance was hugely unpopular with Florida Republicans.
Once the Memorial Day weekend is over, you're going to see a lot more action on this. In the meantime, as Richard McEnroe says, Charlie and his friends can enjoy their pleasure with the porcupine.