Daniel Doherty
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Apparently, former Florida Republican Governor Charlie Crist is taking the term “political opportunist” to a whole new level by endorsing President Barack Obama for re-election. Here’s an excerpt from the editorial he penned in the Tampa Bay Times:

I’ve studied, admired and gotten to know a lot of leaders in my life. Across Florida, in Washington and around the country, I've watched the failure of those who favor extreme rhetoric over sensible compromise, and I've seen how those who never lose sight of solutions sow the greatest successes.

As America prepares to pick our president for the next four years — and as Florida prepares once again to play a decisive role — I'm confident that President Barack Obama is the right leader for our state and the nation. I applaud and share his vision of a future built by a strong and confident middle class in an economy that gives us the opportunity to reap prosperity through hard work and personal responsibility. It is a vision of the future proven right by our history.

We often remind ourselves to learn the lessons of the past, lest we risk repeating its mistakes. Yet nearly as often, our short-term memory fails us. Many have already forgotten how deep and daunting our shared crisis was in the winter of 2009, as President Obama was inaugurated. It was no ordinary challenge, and the president served as the nation's calm through a historically turbulent storm.

The president's response was swift, smart and farsighted. He kept his compass pointed due north and relentlessly focused on saving jobs, creating more and helping the many who felt trapped beneath the house of cards that had collapsed upon them.

He knew we had to get people back to work as quickly as possible — but he also knew that the value of a recovery lies in its durability. Short-term healing had to be paired with an economy that would stay healthy over the long run. And he knew that happens best by investing in the right places.

That last line captured my attention. If by “investing in the right places,” the former governor is referring to the president’s “investment” in Solyndra, for example, then he is sadly and grossly mistaken. In any case, Republicans in Florida seem to be utterly shocked by the timing of Governor Crist’s endorsement, especially Republican Party Chairman Lenny Curry who released the following press release Sunday morning:

Today we have seen a repugnant display from a self-centered, career politician. While the people of Florida, and thousands of visitors who’ve traveled here, are facing an emergency, Charlie Crist has demonstrated, yet again, that his political ambition will always come first.

Beyond the appalling timing of this move, Crist now professes his support for Barack Obama despite spending his entire political career bashing the political agenda that Obama advances. Crist in 2010 said ‘I don’t agree with the guy on hardly anything he does.’

Crist, who declared himself a ‘pro-life’ ‘Ronald Reagan Republican,’ is on the record opposing the national healthcare mandate of ObamaCare. On another signature issue for Democrats, gay marriage, Charlie Crist ‘cheerfully’ supported the Christian Coalition’s petition calling for an amendment to Florida’s Constitution banning gay marriage and civil unions.

For Crist to pull this Obama stunt while the Florida faces a hurricane only proves Charlie Crist cares about just one thing: Charlie Crist.”

For what it’s worth, let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we? In 2009, Mr. Crist predicted that President Obama was (already!) headed for a dramatic electoral defeat in 2012. He even compared him to -- gasp -- Jimmy Carter.

People decided they wanted a change. They got one...Jimmy Carter. Four years later they took care of business. Ronald Reagan. It may happen again.

Now he's endorsed him. How pathetic. No wonder Americans have a dim view of politics.

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Daniel Doherty

Daniel Doherty is Townhall's Deputy News Editor. Follow him on Twitter @danpdoherty.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography