More Good Senate News

After Charlie Crist vetoed an teacher merit pay bill that both school administrators and unions opposed, his campaign chair, Connie Mack, announced that he’s quitting.

Crist apparently just couldn’t stomach the prospect of his state’s bottom quartile schools continuing their downward spiral. His veto confirms a primary loss to teabagger Rubio, and sets him up for a run as an independent or simply gets him out of the race. An indy run would be put that seat in the “gettable” category for Democrats.

Kirsten Gillibrand has a new Republican opponent with a sterling resume: Chief Economist at Bear-Stearns from 2001-2008. I guess Cardinal Law decided that he wasn’t willing to move to New York from Vatican City, so Republicans picked the second-best choice.

I have no doubt that Democrats are going to lose seats in the Senate, but a “wave” requires bad circumstances for the other party and good candidates. So far, I’m not seeing it.






19 replies
  1. 1
    Lee says:

    I guess Cardinal Law decided that he wasn’t willing to move to New York from Vatican City, so Republicans picked the second-best choice.

    Awesome line.

  2. 2
    Fencedude says:

    Good for Crist!

    I generally don’t give one whit about him (other than that he’s better than JEB!), but I’ve always felt that he at least sorta wanted to actually make this state a bit better. Even if I’d rather he not be up there in Tallahassee.

    It must really suck to be a non-insane Republican now.

  3. 3
    Ash Can says:

    I read somewhere — at the GOS, I believe — that Charlie Crist is from a family of educators, which would make his veto even more understandable (and welcome). It looks like this is a case of him simply doing the right thing. How ironic that this might turn out to be one of his last acts as a nominal Republican. That says a lot about him and his character, but it might say even more about the GOP and its lack of character.

  4. 4
    atlliberal says:

    It seems Florida might need Charlie to stay where he is to protect the state from the crazy Republicans.

  5. 5
    Brian J says:

    While it may be certain that we will lose at least a couple of seats in the House, I don’t think it’s an absolute certainty we will lose seats in the Senate. The exact composition may be different–North Dakota for Florida, for instance–but the overall number could stay thesameor even go higher. The Democrats need a little luck bit more than that need to just run candidates hard from now until election day.

  6. 6
    Syphon says:

    Actually, this doesn’t necessarily foretell Crist’s doom to Marco Rubio. That bill was intensely unpopular on all fronts, liberals and teabaggers alike (some polls showing a 90% disapproval rate for it!).

    Now, this may – and probably does – signal his intent to run screaming from the establishment Florida GOP, but probably doesn’t mean much for his prospects of his national bid; if anything, due to the wide unpopularity of this particular bill, it probably makes his chances stronger. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a small uptick in Crist’s favorables this week.

  7. 7
    Redshirt says:

    This is some real exciting politics down there. I suspect Crist, being a politician, will find he has no choice but to go (I) at this point. Then in a 3 way race in Nov., he splits the (R) vote with Rubio and Democrat du Jour waltzes in.

    More interesting, long term perhaps, is if Crist wins the Senate seat: How does he behave once seated? Aligns back up with the Wingnuts? Plays a constant game of “get my vote”? Or aligns reliably with Obama, which I get the sense is closer to his actual politics, if he was only permitted to say so.

  8. 8
    geg6 says:

    I saw a poll the other day (I think it was on GOS) that showed Crist with a small lead over Rubio and the invisible Dem (can’t think of his name) if he chose to run as an Independent.

    I feel somewhat sorry for Crist (not too much, but a little). He really is one of the last sane Republicans. Unfortunately, his party has decided that the looney bin is preferable to not batshit insane people.

  9. 9

    Basically, Rubio had the wingnut vote locked up anyway, so there was no upside for Crist in signing the bill. He’s way to the left of our state legislature (when they’re sober), but George Wallace would be, too.
    Kendrick Meek (the Dem) has a small war chest and no credible opponent in the primary, so it makes sense for him to stand back and let the ‘pubs shoot it out at each other– there’s a lot of dirt on Rubio, and it’s a lot better to let Crist point it out.

  10. 10
    Mike in NC says:

    I have no doubt that Democrats are going to lose seats in the Senate, but a “wave” requires bad circumstances for the other party and good candidates.

    Good candidates? The GOP is desperately trying to clone Tom Coburn and Jim Demint.

  11. 11
    snarkitron3k says:

    Kudos for Crist vetoing this, but I’d still prefer a populist Dem. or progressive in the Gov mansion or the Senate seat. Christ’s overall tenure in FL politics has been unremarkable, mostly just acting hist part of the FL GOP machine.

    Given who was going to profit most from this abomination ( further enshrining standardized test prep, look up Neil and NCLB), we may have some brief fireworks in the FL GOP.

    The state’s legislative districts are very gerrymandered, having been flipped from mostly Dem seats -> GOP seats in the 2000 redistricting efforts, with only the Gov. mansion and US Senate seats (and electoral college allocation) competitive on basis of straight up popular vote, I don’t see anything here actually upsetting the balance of power.

  12. 12
    BruinKid says:

    @Mike in NC: Unfortunately, they’re “good” enough to win in cakewalks in their respective states. And several of their clones would also be able to win in cakewalks in certain other states.

    BTW, as for the original post, it should be pointed out (if it wasn’t clear) that Marco Rubio was indeed on record as being in FAVOR of this widely-despised Senate Bill 6.

  13. 13
    David Brooks says:

    his campaign chair, Connie Mack, announced that he’s quitting.

    Had me confused about the antecedent there for a moment, and had me rushing off to find the news about Crist quitting. But, seriously:

    He really is one of the last sane Republicans.

    He’s a governor, so he has to be saner than the rest of them. Think Arnie.

  14. 14
    dj spellchecka says:

    in other senate news, former new york gov. george pataki has decided not to run for senate against kirstan gillibrand, and former wi gov. tommy thompson won’t challenge sen. russ feingold in wisconsin.

    the dems will certainly lose the seat in nd, but i think the gop will have its hands full keeping the seats they hold in oh and/or nh, both open races..i’m fairly confident that once the word gets out here in ohio that candidate portman is an ardent free-trader he’ll be badly wounded, if not dead

  15. 15
    Alex S. says:

    This veto is a direct attack at the Bush machine in Florida. The Bush family has always been very interested in education, in pay-for-performance and privatization of education. It’s an issue that Obama and Bush can actually agree upon, at least a little. Marco Rubio is a protegé of Jeb Bush and Crist had to fight against this camp for a while now. Unfortunately, Crist made a few unholy alliances himself, like Jim Greer. Crist has got to go independent now, he has got no chance of winning the primary.

    Looking at the elections as a whole, I’d say that, at least as I see it now, the Dems get the seats in New Hampshire, Missouri, Ohio and North Carolina – and they lose the seats in Delaware, North Dakota and Arkansas. They’ll have a tough fight in Indiana, but the republican candidates are not that good. And Harry Reid will have to spend/bribe his way through, but I think he’ll manage.

  16. 16
    clay says:

    I’m a teacher in Florida. I’m also a full-blown Democrat-never voted for a Republican in my life. And I’m at least considering voting for Crist for Senate (assuming he survives the primary). And some of my liberal teacher colleagues have said the same thing.

    That is indicative of how hated this bill was down here. (Not just among teachers, by the way.) Even the Republican teachers on staff (and there are many, believe me) hated this bill. (It sure was fun pointing out to them who was responsible for the whole thing).

    We all assumed that Crist would sign it to try to try to beat Rubio, but he really surprised me here, in a good way.

  17. 17
    Sasha says:

    Crist apparently just couldn’t stomach the prospect of his state’s bottom quartile schools continuing their downward spiral. His veto confirms a primary loss to teabagger Rubio, and sets him up for a run as an independent or simply gets him out of the race. An indy run would be put that seat in the “gettable” category for Democrats.

    All things equal, assuming that Rubio would definitely not win, I’d vote for Crist.

    I may be a registered Democrat, but Crist has been a decent governator who hasn’t been a knee-jerk idealogue and who actually does seem to believe in bipartisanship. Good behavior should be rewarded.

  18. 18
    rikyrah says:

    Crist keeps on doing things that forces me to put ‘ decent’ before the word Republican.

  19. 19
    Ohio Mom says:

    Good for him for vetoing that sadistic legislation. I kept imagining what being in a school where the teachers’ entire economic future was up to the kids’ performance on ONE SINGLE test.

    Too bad if the kid is having an off day, has a loose tooth that just calls to be pushed back and forth all day (and so hasn’t enough attention for the test), or has special needs and just isn’t ever going to score well.

    So much pressure, so much stress. Imagine how much teachers would get to resent the kids who they know aren’t going to score well, imagine that some of the teachers would sabotage each other (better she gets fired than me).

    That bill would have turned schools into hells. But don’t think similar efforts aren’t in process all over the place. The war against public schools is under the radar but that doesn’t mean it’s not being waged.

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