…if you’re Charlie Crist.
By Chris Ingram
Once in a while a public servant comes along who surprises you. Someone who is a thinker. Someone who is sincere. Someone who is willing to take a risk in the form of bucking popular opinion in favor of what needs to be done. Someone who will get the job done.
I’ve met such a public figure in the form of Marco Rubio.
The guy is different. When I say “he gets it.” I mean the guy is for real. He recognizes problems, focuses on solutions, and works to empower people to get the job done.
I e-mailed Mr. Rubio earlier today with a few concerns about his campaign for the U.S. Senate.
I didn’t know if he or anyone from the campaign would respond or not, as we don’t have a long-term established relationship. Furthermore, I ended my e-mail with my typical bluntness by saying, “If you want to run a campaign like John McCain’s…” (suggesting that is what they were doing), “…you will lose.”
Five minutes later while I was on the phone discussing Tommy Bahama shirts with my mom in Naples, my cell phone rang and it was Marco Rubio.
We discussed my concerns, and Rubio did the total opposite of what most candidates would do. That is, instead of making excuses, dismissing the concerns, or otherwise blowing smoke, Rubio admitted to the problem, thanked me for passing it along, suggested he would use it as a motivating tool with his staff, and told me how it was going to be fixed and when. He went one step further and said his new campaign manager would call me shortly — which he did.
This may not seem like a big deal — unless you’ve ever tried to make contact with a campaign or reach a statewide candidate, you won’t understand. I’ve been on all sides of the equation and I understand all sides and don’t make excuses for any of them, but again, it says something about a candidate when he calls you personally for anything other than to grovel for campaign cash.
In short, Rubio impressed me not only with his style, but with his substance.
And if you happen to be an empty-suit of a governor running against Mr. Rubio, you better check your rearview mirror, because Marco Rubio is on your tail and getting ready to move into the fast lane.
Speaking of our empty-suited governor, TooTan Charlie is on Facebook. So last week just for laughs I took a shot in the dark and asked if I could “be his friend.” Further proving his campaign’s ineptitude, he accepted!
Hey I never said Charlie wasn’t a nice guy!
Of course some poor intern is probably managing the hopelessly shallow governor’s Facebook site. Probably the same dolt whose job it was to secure domain names for the campaign, you know, like CharlieCristforSenate.com — which I own.
Chris Ingram is CEO and partner of Strategic Solutions of Florida a political consulting company. He is also the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, Front Page Florida, and National Review online. E-mail him at: Chris@411Communications.net.