Whenever a liberal columnist gives some "friendly" advice to a Republican who is running for public office, you can be sure that he almost always has an ulterior motive. Such was the case with columnist Michael Mayo of the ailing Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. Not only did Mayo urge Charlie Crist to run for the U.S. Senate as an independent, he also cynically advised Crist to open himself up for bribery ala Ben Nelson should this year's elections result in a deadlock between Republicans and Democrats:
Democrats now have a 57-41 edge over Republicans in the Senate, and there are two independents who align with the Democrats, Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
With 36 Senate seats up for grabs in November, Democrats and Republicans could end up virtually deadlocked for the majority.
Could you imagine if there was a 49-48 split and Crist were one of three independents?
Anything Florida wanted, Florida would get.
How about this idea: Our junior senator could broker a deal where all Florida homeowners get affordable windstorm coverage through national catastrophe insurance. In exchange, we allow expanded oil drilling off Florida's shores.
I say go for it, Independent Charlie.
For Floridians, it could have a nice ring — and ka-ching — to it.
You sort of have to forgive Mayo's bribery outburst. Like many other liberals, he is suddenly giddy over the prospect of Crist playing the spoiler by denying victory to the real conservative in the race...Marco Rubio. Here is Mayo in the midst of the happy fits over this thought:
At this point, I'd pretty much bet my underwater mortgage, the state's guaranteed billions from the Seminole compact and Crist's lagging campaign war chest that he goes rogue by the April 30 deadline.
It would be the best thing for him.
...If Crist ditches his party, he becomes the instant front-runner in a three-way race against Rubio and Democrat Kendrick Meek in the November general election.
Instead of falsely pandering to an audience that despises him — the conservative base that forms the bulk of Republican primary voters — Crist the Populist could directly go to work on the moderate millions that genuinely like him.
Work for Florida by opening himself up to political bribery? Ask Ben Nelson how well that worked out for him, Michael.