First read of the day is the wonderful profile of Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio at NRO; then we get word that Mel Martinez is to resign today. Martinez had already announced, of course, that he would not run for re-election, thus setting up the race for Senate between current Governor Charlie Crist and conservative Marco Rubio.
In addition, Charlie Crist is now changing his tune on global warming and Cap and Tax. Feeling the heat much, Governor Crist? Oh, Crist is outpolling and out fund-raising Rubio handily, but much of that can be attributed to name recognition and is likely to change. Rubio is actually the only conservative in that race.
Possibly feeling the heat from conservatives, Crist is altering his position on the issues. From the Miami Herald: "Under mounting criticism from fellow Republicans, Crist looks ready to cancel his climate-change summit and is backing away from advocating a 'cap-and-trade' energy policy."
Crist is apparently feeling the need to do whatever is politically expedient as opposed to Rubio who sticks to his principles and values. Crist concedes that cap 'n tax may in fact be a tax but then declines to say whether he still backs it or not. That makes it pretty clear to me that he does.
Crist could be feeling some pressure as Volusia County Republicans recently censured him for his support of Obama's stimulus plan, for his support of amnesy for illegals and for his failure to support Republican congressional candidates. The censure resolution can be read here. Palm Beach Republicans are considering a censure also. This follows a string of losses to Rubio in various straw polls.
As far as Martinez and his resignation, the Miami Herald has this:
'"It's a deeply personal decision that he will expand on later today. He decided it's time to move to another stage of his life,' said a source familiar with the situation. In an extraordinary turn of events, Gov. Charlie Crist, the leading Republican to replace Martinez in the U.S. Senate, will have the power to appoint someone to fill the remainder of his term. Sources say Crist won't appoint himself."How will this affect the Senate race? Will those that bashed Palin for "quitting" say the same about Martinez? Stay tuned.
(Cross Posted at So it Goes in Shreveport)