Former President Clinton will head to Florida on Friday to campaign for Florida's Charlie Crist, who is looking to become the Democratic governor of the state he ran from 2007-2011 as a Republican.
Clinton campaigning for a Democratic candidate is nothing new, as he is stumping all over the country this year, particularly in places where President Obama is unpopular. And Democrats are always desperate to win in Florida, the fourth-largest state in the country and a key presidential battleground.
But this continues the complete political reinvention of Crist. Back in 1998, in an unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate, Crist, then a Republican, said Clinton had "shattered the confidence and trust" of Americans and should resign from office.
Sixteen years later, the two will stand together at Miami's Marriott Marquis.
Crist left office in 2011 after a single term and an unsuccessful U.S. Senate run, in which he left the GOP and became an independent. Democrats recruited Crist to run for governor under their banner last year, and he officially won the party's nomination a few weeks ago.
Crist's successor, Republican Rick Scott, narrowly leads in most polls of the race. And Clinton's visit is providing him another opportunity to call Crist an opportunist. "I have a major announcement. Charlie Crist is a slick politician, a smooth talker, and I'm not," Scott told a crowd of Republicans yesterday at an event at diner in Coral Springs, just outside of Miami. "He will tell you anything you want to hear. .... But nothing will happen. He will get nothing done."
- Perry Bacon