While former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist hasn't officially announced he's trying to reclaim his old job, he appears to be getting very close.
In a new web video, the former Republican-turned-independent-turned Democrat says:
“When you allowed me to serve as your governor, I worked to be the people’s governor. Every day you -- the people --were in charge. I’m an optimist, but let’s face it: The past few years have been tough."
Crist's message appears to target independents, as well as important Democratic Party issues. Indeed, he notes "attacks against full-time working people and their health care, against women and their doctors, against public school teachers ... and even against the simple act of casting your vote.”
Although he never mentions incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott by name, Crist makes clear he wants to be a part of the solution to Florida's problems.
“It’s not working. Only you the people can end this nonsense and get us back to common sense. That’s the way forward. Tell me how I can help,” he says, asking people to give him feedback on his website. “I work for you the people -- always have, always will.”
Since leaving the Republican Party during the 2010 Senate race once it was clear Marco Rubio was going to win the GOP primary -- and then losing in a three-way race as an independent -- Crist has somewhat struggled as a man without a party, even though he changed his registration, endorsed President Obama, and even spoke at the Democratic National Convention last fall.
Crist may not have been some Democrats’ top choice, with former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz passing on a bid and 2010 nominee Alex Sink now looking like she’ll jump into the special election to replace the late Rep. Bill Young. But the man they once frequently attacked could very well be their best shot of taking back the governor’s mansion amid plummeting job approval ratings for Scott.
A June Quinnipiac University poll found Crist leading Scott by 10 points.
Meanwhile, Florida Republicans respond to Crist's web video by pointing out that he said in a recent interview, "I'm glad that Floridians are doing better" -- seeming to contradict his video statement that "It's not working" in Florida.