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Charlie Crist's campaign looks like a one-man Oz operation

It's starting to look like there's just one Wizard-of-Oz-like man behind the curtain of Charlie Crist's campaign. Adam C. Smith from the Tampa Bay Times explains:

It may not be readily apparent if you follow the Florida media that constantly notes Charlie Crist's campaign for governor or the Washington pundits who describe Charlie Crist vs. Rick Scott as THE race to watch in 2014. But here's the reality: There is no real Crist campaign for governor.

Sure, he announced a couple days ago that Barack Obama campaign manager Jim Messina is on board, and Obama's digital director, Teddy Goff, has signed on too. Obamaworld has opened up a bunch of Democratic fundraising doors from Hollywood and beyond.

But it's been nearly three months since Crist officially announced his candidacy and at least 10 since everyone knew he was preparing to do just that. Where the rubber meets the road: there is for all purposes no Charlie Crist campaign except for a fundraising operation that so far appears fine but hardly daunting.

Crist Campaign headquarters? Coming soon. Campaign manager?  Coming soon. Halfway decent Web site? Coming soon. Press operation? Coming soon. Grass roots organizing? Who knows. Weekly announcements of Florida County leadership teams? Dream on.

It seems Team Crist, which largely consists of Charlie and Carole Crist, John Morgan, and a maybe a few Obama campaign alums, pressed the re-set button soon after his so-so campaign kickoff in downtown St Petersburg.

The fellow who had been leading the campaign, veteran Democratic strategist Steve Schale, appears to have been nudged aside, though he insists he never wanted a big, daily role in the campaign and is still helping Crist on "special projects" such as his book roll out.

Team Crist jetissoned their campaign manager, Bill Hyers, just before he formally started, as well as Crist's "body man" and deputy fundraising chief, Michael Hoffman. Crist has long been known to rely mainly on his own political gut and a skeleton crew of paid staff. But that political gut has been suspect at best since he decided to give up the governor's mansion in 2010 and run for U.S. Senate in the 2010 tea party wave.

Now, Charlie Crist is a Democrat, and his state party shows nearly as little pulse as his own campaign. State Party Chairwoman Allison Tant, who campaigned for the post promising to be a terrific money-raiser, so far appears to be a lousy fundraiser. If she and the state party are effective at much else, such as registering voters or an effectove communications shop, we haven't seen it yet.

It's only January! That's what team Crist says, and it's true. But let's face it: Most everybody in Florida politics expected Charlie Crist to run for governor as a Democrat at least six months ago. It's hard to explain how at this point he could still be putting together a campaign staff.

Comments

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ed jenkins

As has been noted the democrat primary voters are very disappointed that this is the choice of the party as the scumbag crist is a most hated former governor for the disastrous state he left the state in. This article describes a person with no management capability trying to do the minimal amount necessary and leaving messes for others to clean up while he spends time on his image and marketing trying to distract from his messes. It is time to pull the plug before this scumbag's campaign implodes and it is too late. We thought we had a good candidate in the nancy lady until her highly offensive comments to the values of the citizens of florida yesterday.

Robert

Even if what you say is true Ed; how could this "race" even be close? Regardless of what Charlie calls himself now; what party was in control of both houses when he was Governor? The only surprise with this upcoming election to me will be; if Scott wins.

Hmmmm

The first paragraph had one word too many... it should have read:

It's starting to look like there's just one Wizard-of-Oz-like man behind the curtain of Charlie Crist's campaign - Adam C. Smith from the Tampa Bay Times.

Hmmmm

All joking aside, the Scott campaign will have five responses ready for any attack or positive piece Crist puts out, so why waste any of the money now?

While strategy needs to be discussed and be put down on paper, statewide structure needs to be created, he still has time if that has started with the support of the party. Not that it will be top rate, but...

Strategist

Keep the powder dry now. Hoard the money. The Democrastic party will rally behind the primary winner.

The campaign will heat in the summer just before and after the primary. The post primary debates will prove telling.

ed jenkins

Some wonder how the "race" can be so close even with the scumbag crist running but this has been answered many times as the public initially doubted the political novice scott but he has been winning them over with his exemplary fiscal stewardship which has impressed this democrat primary voter.

Robert Jenkins

We shall soon see. I hnestydoubt hat Govrnor Scott can win. t's stll very early; yet if the election were held today... To many things that will hold sway with the general public, these include; but not limited to: The number of uninsured pepole here. Leading the Country in foreclosures. The lack of State infrastructure building or repairing roads and bridges.The educational structure always changing to appear to be improving; while it's not.The extremely poor roll out of the unemployment website.While demanding that the Federall governmennt provide funnds for this websites failure.To many people around Scott either forced to resign, and/or failure to keep top notch people in place.The failing Court system and prison systems.Under Scott, terrible failures iin elderlyccare and caring for abusedChildren. Florida is a Mecca,for Dead Beat Parents; that this Governor acknowledges is wrong and won't act.I think Scott can't win, Charlie might win; but I think a Dark Horse, well funded candidate may surprise not only this State; but the Country.We are referred to as "Floriduh" for a reason.

Bill McCollum

Robert & Ed are brothers from a different mother!

Jack Stewart

Scott's own polls show him trailing Crist. Scott's polling show high negatives for him, outweighing the positives. After 3 years of him, people know what he is.

Richard Paul Dembinksy

Wow, most of the posted words are correct, but I am hoping someone donates or suggests that someone challenge Charlie Crist in addition to Nan Rich.

Come on some democrat make August a hot democratic month.

William Rankin for $100 more YOU could run for Governor and finally have YOUR own house address in Tallahassee.

Will there be any new democratic candidates on June 1, 2014? I keep hoping but with my 10 years of run for various offices I find little or NO reason to go to the polls.

If we just let Rick Scott drive Florida into the Sea, we would save so much printing costs, gasoline attempting to change things to the democratic way, all those wanting med POT could be flown to Colorado.

Enough is Enough where are all the brave democrats?

onballot.com

386 788 3885

Richard Paul Dembinksy

Good Morning January 26, 2014.

Charlie Crist does have problem but potential, while I am not happy with Charlie Crist, the more people put Honorable Scott so far ahead of Charlie Crist the more democrats will vote for Charlie Crist.

I personally believe while I dislike him for someone to continuously call him "a scumbag" is enough to make me want to campaign for Charlie Crist, come on don't you have a better English word to define Charlie Crist.

'He is Pennsylvania Like" Being from Altoona Pennsylvania Charlie Crist is confused 1/2 republican and 1/2 democrat.

His only really problem is the support he has from President Obama, now no words define Obama.

WE have 98,000,000 barrels of oil in a old salt mine in La. and yet Obama refuses to release oil to fight the high cost and oil shortage. Obama is supporting his roots England and the queen.

It is now time for some other democrat with money to challenge Obama; Enough is Enough.

Charlie Crist please start campaigning or get out of the way.

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