With all the negative campaign ads for governor this election season, you might find it hard to believe that the candidates have any fans at all.
Surprisingly, there is one fan. It’s Charlie Crist’s. And it was sitting under his podium at the gubernatorial debate on Wednesday, Oct. 14.
Let’s set the scene: As the debate began to air on time, the stage idled in awkward silence as the moderator, Elliot Rodriguez, tried to make sense of why the governors were not stepping out to the podiums.
Just then, Crist steps out onto the stage to the panel’s relief and the crowd claps. But where was the current governor? Could he be off signing an emergency bill or fighting some political crisis?
Governor Scott was pouting offstage about how Crist had a fan under his podium.
A simple electric fan held up the debate for nearly five minutes as Scott refused to take the stage. Perhaps he was nervous that Crist might keep his cool and was jealous of the luxury. Or maybe he just wanted to make it a political issue. I believe it was both.
There is a rule against bringing electronics into the debate that Crist wasn’t aware of, but honestly a small fan is much less distracting than the alternative: a cabana boy waving a palm frond at Crist.
As the debate rolled on, it was clear that Crist had the upper hand. He tackled issues relevant to Florida such as the economy, solar energy and gay marriage head on while Scott danced around the questions with anecdotes about his single mother and directing the viewers at home to his website.
Seriously. There was not a single counter argument made by Scott that was absent of his mentioning the fact that his father left him or that his website had the answers he couldn’t really provide in the debate.
Crist was like a Beyoncé music video and Scott was the pop-up ad you couldn’t exit out of.
The two candidates had different views on both gay marriage and Florida’s Stand Your Ground law and it seemed that the only thing they did agree on was their religion.
Scott continually fired shots at Crist, blaming 832,000 job losses on the former governor, but Crist fired back.
“Rick, there you go again, trying to blame the global economic meltdown on me. It is unbelievable that he would continue to say that, but he says it,” Crist said, “and he also says he created all these new jobs all by himself.”
To be fair, Crist wasn’t exactly killing it on the runway. His history of flip-flopping sides in his campaign was a definitive issue brought up in and outside of the debate. But when Crist hit the fan, Scott didn’t keep his cool.
At the end of the debate, when the smoke cleared (thanks to the fan) and the governors were at their last remarks something came over Scott as he began to speak in a foreign language that sounded like a first year Spanish student trying to ask his Latina girlfriend to homecoming. I applaud his attempt at connecting to his Hispanic voters at least.
For those who are unsure about whom to vote for as governor in the upcoming election, there are a few things to consider:
• Crist supports allowing gay marriage in Florida, while Scott does not.
• Scott does not support equal pay for women.
• Crist believes in utilizing the Sunshine State for sustainable energy like solar, while Scott does not believe climate change is an issue.
There are some clear advantages to both candidates as well as some major faults.
Make sure to get out there and vote; listen to your heart and pick the candidate you feel will benefit not only you, but your fellow Floridians the most.