I have a soft spot for bluntly transactional politicians. I like Mitt Romney because, even though he pretends to hold principles,the pretense is so transparent it's barely different than simply admitting he'll say anything to get elected. Charlie Crist, who's veering sharply leftward in an attempt to win a Senate election, is becoming another favorite:
Mr. Crist has made other policy shifts. Despite pledging as a Republican to help repeal President Obama's health-care overhaul, Mr. Crist now says he does not support such a move. He has long called himself "pro-life," doing so even in the interview last week. He is now quick to add that while he personally opposes abortion, he would not seek to overturn Roe v. Wade and supports abortion rights.
He came out last year in opposition to the Supreme Court nomination of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, but now says that he "probably" took that position because he felt pressure from the GOP primary. Asked if he felt differently now, he said: "Perhaps."
"I want to do what is in my heart," Mr. Crist said last week. "But other influences have some effect, to a degree."
I think it actually takes real guts to admit something like this. There's no such thing is a non-opportunistic politician. Even a genuine ideological fanatic like Rand Paul is feverishly trimming his sails. For a pol to just come out and admit the obvious is refreshing.