Accompanied by local Democratic leaders and an adult contemporary playlist, former Governor Charlie Crist announced this morning in St. Petersburg that he’s running for governor once again. Kathy Castor, Bob Butterworth, Dan Gelber and Rick Kriseman were among the dignitaries that flanked him as he gave a markedly left-leaning speech before a crowd of around two hundred at Albert Whitted Park.
Congresswoman Kathy Castor announced her endorsement of Crist at the podium and gave the first of several speeches — including Charlie’s — that portrayed him as a populist who, beneath the formalities of party politics, always had the interests of the majority at heart. The major themes of the rally were Crist’s record on education, voting rights and the environment. Crist borrowed from President Obama’s campaign vocabulary to blast Governor Rick Scott’s failures to invest in sustainable energy and build an economy “built to last.”
Interestingly, PolitiFact published a collection of Crist’s ratings mid-speech which paints a more ambiguous picture than the one Crist presented this morning.
All of us at the Squeeze were taken by surprise at how progressive a figure Crist cut at the podium this morning. Whether he’ll live up to it is another matter which we will continue to report on.