Bill McBride’s passing resets the timetable of the 2014 gubernatorial race

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Such is the cruelty and vagary of life that, only in his passing, is Bill McBride able to accomplish something he was not able to do while alive: control the pace of a Florida gubernatorial race. 

It might be macabre to say so, but that is what has happened in the wake of McBride’s death. Whereas a month ago Charlie Crist was prompting the most intense of speculation as to when — not if — he would file to run for Governor and Alex Sink was forced to adjust to whatever timetable she might have had to in order to keep up with Crist, a moment of pause has set in that may push back any announcement from Crist or Sink until the spring, if not summer.

First of all, Sink deserves as much time as she needs to make any decisions about her political future. I won’t pretend to know what’s going on in her world other than to say, obviously, McBride was more than just a husband to her. He was a political partner and de facto running mate. It goes without saying that she won’t be making any decisions in the near future, as she takes time to care for her family and settle McBride’s affairs.

As for Crist, he could benefit from this moment of pause. 

In the space of six months, Crist has spoken to DNC, helped Barack Obama win Florida, switched parties to become a Democrat and taken the lead over Sink in the latest poll of Democratic primary voters. What more does he need to accomplish before 2014? Not much. In fact, if there is a concern in Crist-world, it is that the frenetic pace and hyperventilating speculation were threatening to derail a prospective Crist comeback. Now, Crist has an extra month or two or three to burnish his Democratic credentials and flesh out his positions on progressive issues, such as gay marriage.

Keep in mind, it’s likely that Crist won’t make his move until after Sink makes hers. In the meantime, Crist can just loooooom over Florida politics, as he has for the better part of the last year.

Regardless of what they decide to do, both Sink and Crist have time on their side. After all, it’s not like Rick Scott’s getting any popular.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.