Sarah Palin could learn a thing from Charlie Crist during the Republican Governors Association meeting in Miami this week.
It's not just good policy that makes good politics. It's also good press, and Crist is a master at public relations. Poor Palin became a victim of bad press, much of it generated by insiders in her own party and by her handlers' attempts to keep her away from reporters.
Charlie hasn't met a reporter he didn't like. Well, at least not one he will admit publicly he doesn't like. He's the consummate pol, whether he's preaching to the GOP choir or working on restoring the legacy of a black civil-rights hero or having a cafecito in Little Havana and chanting,"Viva Cuba libre."
You don't hear Charlie saying small-town Florida is the real Florida. Or that Tampa or Miami are the real Florida. Instead, his style is 1960s hand-holding and kumbaya-singing – with GOP promises of "Won't tax you, bro!"
On Tuesday, Charlie, the self-proclaimed green governor, was set to hold a news conference with environmentalists and water managers to unveil a scaled-down version of his Big Sugar buyout plan. The new deal was to be unveiled at the Coconut Grove home of the late Marjory Stoneman Douglas, whose love for the river of grass helped garner generations of support for protecting the Everglades.
But when the governor's plane was delayed, Charlie called the whole thing off until Wednesday – just in time for the start of the GOP governors' pow wow. It's all about timing.
The governors are in town to talk up their successes in the wake of the Barack attack. Palin already is jockeying for 2012.
To read the complete column, visit The Miami Herald.