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The politics of Charlie Crist debate-dodging Nan Rich


Charlie Crist never leaves a TV camera without a comment or campaign talk unspoken.

Except when it comes to Nan Rich.

If you don’t know who that is, it’s evidence of the effectiveness of Crist’s tactic of cold-shouldering the former Weston state Senator, a fellow Democrat he refuses to debate or really acknowledge.

Crist’s debate dodge is also a sign of the ineffectiveness of Rich’s campaign, which hasn’t done enough to force Crist to need to debate her.

Rich officially announced in April 2012 but has only raised $540,000. Crist officially announced 19 months later, and has raised more than 14 times Rich’s amount, about $7.7 million.

Money talks, folks.

It’s a leading indicator of a campaign’s viability. And it’s a lagging indicator of support. Campaigns without lots of money aren’t taken seriously.

Still, since Crist has so much more support (the former governor has universal statewide name ID, Rich is barely known), why not throw her a bone and debate the long-time Democrat, who once led her party in the state Senate?

“No,” Crist said tersely Saturday at a Plantation field office opening, where about 300 people showed in a sign of his groundswell of support in Rich’s home county.

Column here