Armstrong Williams

The Charles Dickens' reference to brighter days is clear. With each passing week, its candidate pool enriches and grows. Despite the best efforts of party Chairman Michael S. Steele to the contrary, the party's fundraising is ramping up and messages are resonating.

The once-faithful masses are returning again to Republican ranks. Of course, this surge in the polls is in no small part due to the clumsy mistakes, missteps and misguided policies of Republican opponents - the Democrats. But the perils of a two-party system will be argued in future essays.

Michelle Malkin

In the case of moderate-Republican turned right-leaning independent Gov. Charlie Crist, I sense his move is a microcosm of the worst of times to come for the party if current courses are unaltered.

Governor Crist has had a rough few months. Campaigning for his party's nod to run for a seat vacated by Sen. Mel Martinez, Mr. Crist has been overtaken by an anti-Obama backlash that has propelled his opponent, Marco Rubio, squarely to front-runner status and a rock star to many tea party activists. Adding insult to injury, party luminaries such as former Gov. Mitt Romney and former Vice President Dick Cheney heartily endorsed Mr. Rubio, in what could only have been interpreted as a rebuke to Mr. Crist's moderate (read: squishy) policy stances.

Yet even given these circumstances, I believe Mr. Crist should have quietly dropped from the race and remained a Republican for four reasons.

First, the good governor needs to come to grips with why the party faithful stood against him. He committed a cardinal sin of not only embracing a Democrat, but embracing some of the policies of an individual who is single-handedly trying to unravel our economy, thread by thread. Floridians of all stripes can't get that image out of their heads.

Neither should Charlie Crist. He made a mistake. He should probably admit that in some Republican forum (yes, even in private is suitable), and move on from there. Heck, even wise men make mistakes. They just don't make them twice. So no matter what label Mr. Crist posts after his name, I believe he's damaged goods today.

Armstrong Williams

Armstrong Williams is a widely-syndicated columnist, CEO of the Graham Williams Group, and hosts the Armstrong Williams Show. He is the author of Reawakening Virtues.
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