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2nd mysterious departure: Crist's new spokesman leaves


Something's weird in Charlie Crist's campaign.

His new spokesman, Eric Conrad, just left after less than a week on the job "to pursure other opportunities," said de-facto spokesman Kevin Cate. The pro-Crist Saint Petersblog noted the departure first.

Cate has said as much before when Bill Hyers, Crist's here-today-gone-tomorrow campaign manager quit before/around the time he started.

Gov. Rick Scott, too, has had his share of shakeups. So it's not as if these things don't happen. They do.

But Crist is walking a tight rope. He doesn't have the money that Scott has. Florida Democrats don't have the organization Republicans do. And for a Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat, having Democrats in good standing suddenly up and leave your campaign with no explanation looks a lot more damaging.

This is a potential leading indicator of why some establishment Democrats, namely those who wanted Sen. Bill Nelson to run, were so nervous about Crist. Like a gifted athlete, Crist relies on his own talents. But he resists coaching. He doesn't always take good advice. He acts spur of the moment. His campaign is more of a cult of personality compared to Scott's campaign, which is more like a disciplined business start up.

"Charlie thinks he can do everything on his own. For a certain type of personality, that can be frustrating," said one Democrat familiar with the campaign. "It's not really weird that this stuff happens because, if you think about it, Charlie's a weird guy."

UPDATE: The shakeup led to the inevitable smack-talk when Susan Hepworth, Republican Party of Florida spokeswoman, trolled Crist adviser Jim Messina, who was President Obama's campaign manager in 2012.

Hepworth: "Has anyone asked @Messina2012 how he thinks the @CharlieCrist campaign is shaping up?"

Messina: ‏".@shepworth I feel great about .@CharlieCrist campaign! Especially w u doing the same great work u did for Romney in FL."