From NBC's Ali Weinberg
Both the liberal and conservative blogospheres have plenty to say about continued rumors that Gov. Charlie Crist will eventually run as an independent against Republican Marco Rubio, fueled most recently by Crist's decision to pull his TV ads, which First Read reported on this morning. The consensus on both sides of the aisle seems to be that no one can predict Crist's next move, but smart money would be on a shift.
Jim Geraghty, writing at conservative National Review Online, also used his headline to pose a question: "What is Crist doing?" He suggests that the campaign's actions today reflect an absence in direction: " No independent bid? Pulling ads? The Crist campaign is Lost. I don't mean that they can't win or that they don't know what they're doing; I mean that they're in a tropical location, nobody can follow their story lines, the little bit that we know gets ever more complicated and contradictory, and whenever we think we've figured something out, that bit of information gets eaten by a smoke monster."
And GOP 12's Christian Heinze wrote that a press release from the Crist campaign, attempting to divert attention away from his will-he-won't-he Independent shift "seems to talk." The release touted Crist's "long record of transparency" in releasing his 2009 tax return, while his campaign spokeswoman criticized Rubio's "unethical spending habits," a charge which has not stuck to Rubio despite the Crist campaign's efforts.
Liberal blogger Steve Benen of the Washington Independent commented on NRSC executive director Rob Jesmer's claim that there is "zero chance" that Crist continues to run as a Republican. Benen writes of Crist's enigmatic strategy: "Crist's next move is anybody's guess," adding, "I'm especially interested to see how Crist responds to the NRSC's Jesmer email -- I wouldn't be too surprised if the message pushes Crist closer to a third-party run, since he'll no doubt be annoyed by the disrespect."
Daily Kos's Markos Moulitsas reflected the uncertainty pervading the blogosphere on the Florida governor, asking, "What will Crist do?" Assuming Crist switches to an Independent affiliation, Moulitsas wrote, "a three-way race with Rubio, [Kendrick] Meek and Crist makes this a real crapshoot of a race. And with Rubio the presumptive nominee, it'd be good to see both Crist and Meek pounding away at the Republican. And while we'd root for Meek, a Crist victory (presuming he caucuses with Democrats, which is what the rumors suggest), would be nice consolation. So keep your fingers crossed for an independent bid."