Charlie's War on 'Woman'
Around the State
War on women, you say? Don't look now, Democrats, but your credibility gap is showing.
And, yes, I'm talking about Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nan Rich again.
Nowhere was the Democratic disdain for women on gaudier display than during Charlie Crist's performance Wednesday at the televised Associated Press media event in Tallahassee.
Charlie found a way of anticipating any reporter's question about Nan -- longest-running candidate in the race -- and artfully bending the subject like neon around her. He never once mentioned her name on camera. But you could see her in his eyes like an approaching freight train.
"Floridians need to be reminded who I'm running against," Crist told Florida editors, reporters and photographers.
They sure do, Charlie. It's Nan Rich.
But he wasn't talking about Nan in the primary. He was skipping straight to November, talking about the incumbent, Gov. Rick Scott. Primary? What primary?
Charlie is dripping in faux humility one minute, advancing himself to the November ballot the next. Arrogance isn't the half of it.
And here's the thing:
Nan Rich isn't some kook from West Stumblebum who woke up one day and thought it would be nice to be governor. She has influential friends within the party -- particularly among women. She's paid her dues -- been a Democrat all her life while Charlie's been a Democrat for five minutes. For heaven's sake, in 2012 when Nan opened her campaign, Charlie was still an Independent hoping to land a job in Washington.
It says something about Democrats -- the party that claims to champion women's rights -- that it took until 2010 to have a woman Dem elected minority leader in the Florida Senate. And who was it? Nan Rich.
In all the months of her gubernatorial run, she never had a lick of help from the men in her party -- even before President Obama made it clear he wanted Charlie Crist in the Florida governor's office, quid pro quo for his support in Florida during the 2012 presidential election. Nor did Nan have the help of Emily's List, the organization pledged to help Democratic women move to higher office. Mysteriously, when asked why not, the Emily's List people fell silent.
Charlie and Nan carry the same membership card in their wallets. Yet, the Democrats' treatment of Nan Rich -- with Charlie Crist delivering the latest royal snub -- is morphing into a self-inflicted wound a Band-Aid won't cover.
Democrats nationwide are hoping their focus on women’s rights can be a cure-all, the magic bullet that shields vulnerable lawmakers in Congress and in state legislatures from the fallout of a rocky Obamacare implementation. But they trip themselves up, as they have done with Nan Rich in Florida, when they can't see the nose on their face.
Unfortunately, for the first time in four years, I could only watch the AP event on The Florida Channel, I couldn't attend in person. But I was hoping someone would ask Charlie while the cameras were rolling -- not just in the hallway afterward -- "Do you think it's respectful of women to refuse to debate Nan Rich?" Nobody did.
Reach Nancy Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 228-282-2423.