Opinion: Holy bipartisanship! GOP governor hugs Obama

The Miami HeraldFebruary 14, 2009 

MIAMI _ Holy bipartisanship! A Democratic president wearing a blue tie and a Republican governor in a red one locked arms in a man-hug that gave GOP hard-liners a conniption.

"This is about helping our country," Gov. Charlie Crist said, endorsing an economic turnaround plan his party leaders in Washington have denounced as a government boondoggle. "This is not about partisan politics."

Oh yeah? Tell that to Congress, where not a single Republican in the House and only three in the Senate voted for the $800 billion package. Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida went so far as to say: "I don't know that my governor understands all the details."

Details, shmeetails. I'd be surprised if Crist has read the fine print. Even some Democratic members of Congress seem bewildered. What the governor "understands" better than anyone is how to read a poll. And every single survey shows that recession-weary voters want the stimulus package.

Crist is rarely on the wrong side of a poll, even if it conflicts with Republican orthodoxy. He kept quiet while fellow Republicans tried to stop the husband of brain-damaged Terri Schiavo from ending her life. He extended early voting hours in the 2008 election, even though most people in line didn't favor his party's nominee. He's consistently backed a national insurance fund that could help Florida residents in the event of a devastating hurricane.

Read the complete story at miamiherald.com

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