Crist was greeted by many supporters and it took him about 20 minutes to make his way to the dais, as it seemed there was no hand he wouldn’t shake. BREC Chairman Chip LaMarca gave Governor Crist an enthusiastic and thorough introduction. Crist then took approximately 20 minutes to address the crowd which must have numbered about 350 people. Charlie attempted to be forward-looking, while still pointing to his “accomplishments” as governor. He touted the State’s balanced budget, which is constitutionally mandated and which the legislature is responsible for. He also praised his appointee, Senator George Lemieux’s vote against cloture on the healthcare bill, as though his placeholder would dare to cast a vote that the governor might have to explain on the campaign trail.
While Governor Crist received a larger audience, many of whom were guests and not BREC members, and received a more enthusiastic introduction, my impression was that former-Speaker Marco Rubio’s address to BREC in October was better received. I don’t claim to be an expert on the politics of BREC, but it is my impression that Governor Crist should brace himself for yet another defeat when Broward’s REC conducts it’s straw poll.