Commentary Magazine


Re: Why There Are Primaries

A Florida columnist (h/t) Ben Smith offers an explanation for Charlie Crist’s belly flop in the senate primary:

This is a serial politician campaigning for his fifth office in less than 10 years (education commissioner, attorney general, governor, vice president, Senate).  Every one of his major initiatives in Florida – insurance reform, renewable energy, tax policy, health insurance and the Everglades – has fallen flat. Confronted with mounting challenges in Tallahassee, his response is to abandon ship for the Senate rather than deal with them. Even taking Rubio out of the equation, why in the world would anyone argue Crist has earned a spot in the Senate?

Well a lot of snooty pundits and Washington insiders thought they knew best. And they are still at it, grousing about a divisive primary and wailing that “blood will be spilled.” Puleez. If Crist actually is a crudy candidate with a record of underachievement, Republicans are fortunate to find that out in the primary. And if Crist goes bonkers with a hyper-negative campaign, the Florida voters can register their disapproval. It’s politics. It’s elections. And when Republicans pre-select a candidate with a problematic record and don’t hold primaries, as we saw in NY-23, disaster happens in the general election.