Newsweek Promotes the 'Resurrection of Charlie Crist'

Since neither of the likely Democrat nominees for the Senate from Florida appear to have a chance in hell of winning the general election, Newsweek has thrown its obvious support behind the conservative Republican in the race.

Just kidding!

The likelihood of that happening ranks right around zero which is why Newsweek is promoting Florida governor Charlie Crist, running in that race as an independent, as the best person to defeat conservative Republican Marco Rubio. In fact, Newsweek is plugging Crist to the extent that they have conveniently neglected to mention how he broke his promise not to run as an independent as well as his pledge to return campaign contributions by Republicans. Here are some tidbits from the Newsweek puff piece disguised as a news story:

Crist’s resurgence also stems in part from his shift back to where he’s always seemed most comfortable: the political center. That’s where he’s largely governed as the state’s chief executive—pursuing a Republican agenda of low taxes and limited government, but also collaborating with Democrats on environmental issues and judicial appointments. The approach made him one of the most popular governors in the country. 

Along with this blatant promotion of Crist is the Newsweek effort to paint Marco Rubio as the evil conservative anti-Crist:

While Crist has incurred the wrath of the far right—particularly the Tea Partiers—such opposition could work in his favor in some ways. Conservatives are galvanized and may well turn out in force. But the way they’ve commandeered the GOP has also yielded a candidate—Rubio—who may appear too far from the center for mainstream voters. (He backs a flat tax, questions whether climate change is man-made, and supports legislation requiring doctors to perform ultrasounds before administering abortions.) “Now that [Rubio] has painted himself into that conservative corner, he’s having difficulty getting out,” says Smith. Given Rubio’s need to keep the right wing riled up, he has so far avoided tacking toward the middle in preparation for the general election. Perhaps as a result, his candidacy appears to be provoking and solidifying an anyone-but-Rubio vote behind Crist—one that could grow if Meek fails to win his primary or never becomes a serious contender.

Of course, the "hard-right" term is invoked by Newsweek to describe Rubio and other conservative candidates as somehow being dangerous extremists:

Senate candidates like Sharron Angle in Nevada, Rand Paul in Kentucky, and Ken Buck in Colorado are mounting hard-right challenges, fueled by Tea Party fervor. Yet, like Rubio, they risk alienating middle-of-the-road voters and imperiling what should be dependable GOP gains in an election cycle that favors the opposition party.

Another thing missing in the Newsweek story is any mention of Crist's most notorious supporter and campaign contributor, Scott Rothstein. However, it might be hard to get a direct quote from Rothstein since he is currently serving a 50 year stretch in the federal pen for his mini-Madoff Ponzi scheme.

p.s. Didn't Newsweek also describe Ronald Reagan in 1980 as too "hard-right" to win the general election?

2010 Congressional Newsweek Charlie Crist Marco Rubio

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