Hillary Clinton-Charlie Crist Ticket in 2016?
Around the State
Charlie Crist could be playing for high stakes beyond Tallahassee come 2014 as he could end up on Hillary Clinton’s short list in 2016.
Back when he was a Republican, Crist looked to play at the national level. Long before he was governor, Crist was running for the U.S. Senate against Bob Graham. Instead of running for a second term as governor, which would have been a slam dunk, Crist once again looked to move to the Senate. Back in 2008, after helping deliver the Florida primary to John McCain, Crist looked to join the Republican ticket as his running mate. Crist came close and ended up nominating Sarah Palin who ended up as the vice presidential candidate.
All of this could lead to a second opportunity for Crist to make a run at the vice presidency. Clinton is a heavy favorite to be the Democratic presidential nomination. The name most often brought up as a good running mate for Clinton is Mark Warner. Admittedly, Warner makes sense for Clinton. He comes from Virginia which should be a battleground state in 2016. With a background as governor and a U.S. senator, Warner has a wealth of experience which would qualify him to be president. Warner is also seen as a moderate Democrat, helping Clinton, who has been seen as a liberal in her more than 20 years on the national stage, winning centrist voters.
Despite his recent conversion to the Democrats, Crist has much the same credentials as Warner. As a former Republican, he would be seen as a moderate, helping win over independents and voters worried Clinton is too liberal. Crist could help reel-in moderate Republicans for Clinton. He also hails from Florida which should be a battleground state in 2016.
There are some downsides, of course, to Crist ending up on the Democratic ticket. Republicans will have a field day bashing him as a flip-flopper and liberals could slam the pick. But Crist will have some experience with that since Republicans will hammer him on this in the gubernatorial race.
Clinton probably won’t choose Crist though he could end up on her short list. Regardless, if he wins, Crist will be much more prominent on the national stage as a Democrat than he was as a Republican in the shadow of Jeb Bush.
Tallahassee political writer Jeff Henderson wrote this analysis piece exclusively for Sunshine State News.