Charlie Crist campaigns for Democrat Al Lawson

By on March 31, 2012

‘Will he or won’t he?’

The whispers continue, like talk of seasons to come.  Will Charlie Crist run for Governor in 2014? As a Democrat?

A year ago, I swore Charlie would run.  Then, recently, I began thinking otherwise.  Yet, if Crist does not intend to run, why would he travel to North Florida to campaign for former Senator Al Lawson?

On Thursday, Crist lent a hand of support to Lawson’s bid for Congress, appearing at a fundraiser at uber lobbyist Sean Pittman’s office.

“Big Al” said he is going to make another stab at the Congressional seat now held by U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, a tea party Republican who ousted long-time Democratic Congressman Allen Boyd in 2010, reported Dara Kam.

After being termed out of the Senate in 2010, Lawson lost in a brutal primary by about 2,000 votes to Boyd, who held the seat for 16 years before losing to Southerland.

Lawson is the fourth Democrat, at least by my count, that Crist has come out for — publicly — in the 2011-12 election cycle. The former Republican turned Independent has already donated twice to congressional candidate Patrick Murphy and appeared at kick-off events for Leon County’s Jackie Pons and Pinellas County’s Ken Welch.

These moves play into the widely-held narrative that Crist is gearing up for a 2014 run.

But is it more than that?

The Florida Democratic Party is, at the statewide level, broken.  But to paraphrase Hemingway, stength grows from the broken places.

As blogger Kartik Krishnaiyer writes, with the Florida Democrats suffering from a lack of a cohesive message for over many years, perhaps Crist can help define an ideology.

Or maybe Charlie’s just helping a few of his friends.

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