Uh, der: Obama endorses Crist

Share on Nextdoor

When the contest for Florida's 13th Congressional District was shaping up to be a two-Dem race that'd essentially be decided at the August primary (which former Governor Charlie Crist would likely win against newcomer Eric Lynn), President Obama stayed out. It was pretty obvious how the thing was going to turn out.

But then 2016 struck.

The glorious political domino effect set off with the hilarious yet terrifying ascension of Donald Trump hit Pinellas County hard with the likelihood that Sen. Marco Rubio, in the wake of his failed presidential bid, will try to keep his seat after all (yeah, good luck with that, bro).

Now that Lynn is running for State House and Crist faces a potentially tough race against Congressman David Jolly, R-Indian Shores, the president has apparently decided to weigh in.

"Governor Charlie Crist has always put people above politics – and we need more of that in Washington," Obama said in a written statement. "As Governor, in the face of partisan attacks, he had the courage to save jobs and lead his state into economic recovery. He had the wisdom to recognize that climate change is real and act to fight it. And he had the decency to expand, not restrict, our right to vote. I know he'll bring the people's voice to Congress, and I've got his back."

His statement went on to point out all of the ways in which Crist, even when he identified as a Republican, defied his party when he was governor—by accepting stimulus dollars during the recession, by vetoing batshit legislation on women's health (and, we might add, teachers) and, despite being a not-scientist, listening to not-not-scientists on climate change.

Thus marks the start of the Great 2016 Clash of the Moderates.

It'll probably be unlike any other race in the country in that both candidates will stress how much they want to reach across the aisle to find solutions, etc.

When Jolly announced Friday he was dropping his U.S. Senate bid to instead try to keep his U.S. House seat, his own messaging centered on the center; he focused on his positions on climate change (i.e. recognizing it exists and perhaps we might should do something about it) and LGBT equality.

What's also different about this race is that outside spending will be lopsided, or so we read Friday. That the National Republican Congressional Committee's likely won't spend gobs of money helping Jolly has got to suck.

They were pretty active during the run-up to the 2014 special election he won against Democrat Alex Sink (as was the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, their Dem counterpart), funding ads and sending out trolling emails trashing Sink. But Jolly has been a vocal critic of the amount of fundraising lawmakers are asked to do when they could be doing actual work.

Meanwhile, the DCCC will probably dust off its own emails from 2014 in going after Jolly. Since he worked under the much-maligned title of lobbyist, they'll surely go after him on it.

Eh, someone else'll probably step in with a few million. This is Florida and he's a Republican. Republicans hate Crist more than Jolly, and it's a hate that goes way back to 2010, when he left the party unsuccessfully run against Rubio for his U.S. Senate seat. So there's that.


Scroll to read more Columns articles

Newsletters

Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.