Charlie Christ Flip-Flop is a Bad Idea
by Carl Hiaasen
It would be a flaky thing to do, but that's Charlie. He thinks the trip will win him votes.
His sunny optimism is based on polls showing that most Floridians want an end to the U.S. trade embargo and travel ban against
Crist declared the same thing publicly in February at
A newly minted Democrat, Crist says it's time for a new strategy toward
He's actually talking about futility, not insanity, but we get the point. The embargo has been a costly, colossal failure, a propaganda gift to the very regime it was meant to topple. This is not what you call breaking news.
Nor, for that matter, is it shocking to see a headline reporting that Crist has switched positions on a major issue. As I've said before, you'll get whiplash trying to keep track of all his flip-flopping.
Still, based on the polls, it's probably safe for a politician running statewide in
Crist, who has already applied to the
At the same time he conceded that his itinerary on the island would likely be controlled by officials.
So it would basically be a government guided tour. Charlie won't be strolling unescorted down the Malecon to chat with food vendors and fishermen, who in any event would be cautious about what they said to him.
The potential for looking like a chump seems high, so why go? And why now, stirring up an increasingly close and nasty gubernatorial race?
I can't imagine a particular photograph or video clip of Crist tooling around
Another good reason for Crist to stay here is that his trip would give loads of ammo to Gov.
Back in 2006, during his successful first run for governor, Crist blistered his opponent for visiting
Said Crist: "I understand that it's important not to go to
Two years later, as governor, Crist signed a law aimed at discouraging charter flights to the island.
It required travel companies that organized
During his failed bid for the
Today, he says his thinking changed after talking to many Cuban Americans, young and old.
Oh, and then there's the politics:
"As a Republican, it is expected and anticipated you'll be for the embargo. And, of course, back in the day I was trying to be a good team player and being a round peg trying to fit into a square hole, as awkward as that was for me many times."
Classic Charlie. He doesn't duck from the flip-flopping accusations. He just smiles and admits he goes with the flow.
He hopes to be accompanied to
But there's nothing he can personally do to make that happen.
Lots of prominent people have toured
Pope Benedict XVI even stood for a photograph with
Earth to Charlie: Don't even think about it.
Available at Amazon.com: The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap
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"Charlie Christ Flip-Flop is a Bad Idea "