One day after announcing his endorsement for President Barack Obama's reelection, former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist was invited to speak at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, next week.
"As America prepares to pick our president for the next four years," Crist wrote in a Tampa Bay Times, op-ed, yesterday, "I'm confident that President Barack Obama is the right leader for [Florida] and the nation."
Crist, a former Republican, became an independent in 2010, after failing to garner enough votes to be his state party's nominee for U.S. Senate, losing again to the man who won the nomination, GOP darling, Sen. Marco Rubio. It was widely speculated, at the time, that Crist's failure to secure the nomination was based on a photograph of he and Obama embracing, at a time when Tea Party mania was at its peak, and there was much derision over the Affordable Care Act.
Addressing that in his endorsement, Crist explained, "I did it because uniting to recover from the worst financial crisis of our lifetimes was more important than party affiliation. I stood with our nation's leader because it was right for my state."
Crist's former party was not impressed with his backing of Obama, calling the move "political opportunism," according to the Associated Press.
But his dissatisfaction with his former party is evident in his op-ed. "I've watched the failure of those who favor extreme rhetoric over sensible compromise, and I've seen how those who never lose sight of solutions sow the greatest successes," he writes. "The truth is that the [Republican] party has failed to demonstrate the kind of leadership or seriousness voters deserve."
The AP reports, "Many speculate that he will return to politics as a Democrat and possibly challenge his Republican successor, Rick Scott."
While his slot at the DNC has not been determined, what Crist will say will probably follow along the lines of his endorsement, where he praises the president's "vision of a future built by a strong and confident middle class," and how, given the severity of the economic crisis when Obama took office, "the president served as the nation's calm through a historically turbulent storm."
"The president's response was swift, smart and farsighted," he added.