Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: email@example.com
I thought First Read's analysis of Florida's Gov. Charlie Crist's drilling decision was on the money:
Of course, McCain's support for lifting the ban on off-shore drilling is a reversal from his stance in 2000. But the most stunning flip-flopper on this issue was Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) -- one could get a case of veepstakes whiplash with how fast he seconded McCain's call to lift the ban. Some may view Crist as pandering transparently to be on the ticket; others may view it as a profile in courage to sacrifice some of his statewide good will to help the GOP; and still others might see this decision as the first crack in what has been a meteoric rise.
One reason for Crist's success to date has been his knack for tapping into popular causes. His efforts to reduce property taxes and homeowners' insurance rates are the two most obvious examples. He now faces the stiffer test of either persuading Floridians to come to a position that many of them don't hold already or persuading them that they shouldn't hold this disagreement against him.
This drilling discussion reminds me of the last time McCain staked out a position that caused headaches for one of his leading potential running mates. McCain said that the Minneapolis bridge collapse resulted from wasteful spending, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty disagreed and, in that case, it was McCain that backed off his position.
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