Lately, reading John Romano’s political editorials in the Tampa Bay Times is more painful than someone with receding gums chewing wasps. Romano has seemed despondent since March when Republican David Jolly knocked off Alex Sink by a couple of points to capture former Rep. Bill Young’s covenanted seat in Congress.
However, Monday's column hit a low-water mark. One sentence summary: Former Gov. Charlie Crist’s chances of beating Rick Scott are about as good as Karl Rove receiving an invitation to Chelsea Clinton’s baby shower - and since the Democrats have no candidate - we’re stuck with those dastardly Republicans.
Quite a turnaround for the same columnist who opined about Rick Scott getting his clock cleaned because the voters "know him" now.
While the political writer’s disaffection for Crist is as inconspicuous as a black widow spider crawling over a slice of white bread, his rabid contempt for Republicans at large always shines through.
Truth be known, it’s the absence of a true-blue Democratic gubernatorial candidate to blush over that’s tooting his flute. Romano laments in Monday’s column that the gubernatorial contest “isn’t about policies, and it isn't about philosophies. It isn't about liberals, and it isn't about conservatives. It's about believability. And trust.”
Really, Mr. Romano? Is that what you think..now. What about the column you wrote in March in which you slayed Rick Scott? Suddenly Rick Scott is more trustworthy than Charlie Crist, who represents your political party?
Speaking of Crist, Romano said Monday, “he can justify his new position on same-sex marriages — a good portion of America has evolved on that issue. And he can justify his newfound support for in-state tuition for the children of illegal immigrants — even Republicans are embracing that one.” Romano clinches his sarcastic, condescension by saying it won’t work because the people don’t believe him (Crist).
To that end, Mr. Romano might want to check his and the Tampa Bay Times editorial board’s records of endorsements to see how much credibility Florida voters have afforded them in recent decades.
The rest of his column pretty much paints Crist as a quick-change artist. Republicans he indicates are deeply flawed in all things not Democrat party sponsored - but somewhat earnest in their primal instincts. Heck, he even threw Republicans a tainted bone, saying they have “evolved” on a few of the Democratic Party talking points.
Nevertheless, in Monday’s vent, Romano manages to slap Republicans with his left hand while dismissing Chain Gang Charlie’s new-found leftist ideology as so much political spam. Crist, who was a Republican before he was an Independent before he evolved into a left-of-center Democrat, has a severe credibility issue, according to Romano. “Voters don’t trust him.”
Who knew, Mr. Romano? At this point, Charlie Crist couldn’t walk into a Seminole Casino without setting off security alarms. He’s got more stolen ideologies than Starbucks has coffee flavors and plastering his face on ambulance-chasing Morgan and Morgan commercials sealed his legacy as a political chameleon.
While Crist may or may not emerge as the Houdini of politics, Romano’s left-leaning editorial background hardly qualifies him as the Judge Judy of political pundits. Still, it is understandable how Romano might exhibit jealousy over Crist’s tryst with the Democratic Party given his own rigid partisanship.
After all, Crist has already made it to second base with Democrats and winning in November would be the equivalent of Crist and the Democratic Party going all the way.