When Florida Gov. Charlie Crist announced that he was formally leaving the Republican Party, it was seemingly in label only. An impossible primary path to a Senate nomination compelled him to launch an Independent bid. On philosophical terms, he remained a fairly basic conservative, albeit one who backed the president's stimulus package.
Months later, it's becoming more and more difficult to label Crist's departure from the GOP as simply a superficial endeavor. Either out of electoral expedience or ideological disenchantment, the governor has spent the past few days either purging himself of his Republican roots or actively courting Democratic audiences.
Crist recently refunded the $9,600 contribution he had received from Jim Greer, the indicted former chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. On Wednesday morning, he campaigned in the Democratic-stronghold Broward County, to solid reviews. The day before, he was caught on camera mocking the GOP colleagues he left behind: "I used to be a Republican... Thank God."