ITEM: The Brody FIle's David Brody writes today about conservatives who worry that John McCain will put Charlie Crist, the popular, pro-life-but-not-doctrinaire Republican governor of Florida on the ticket.

ANALYSIS: Citing Crist's reluctance to intervene in the Terri Schiavo case, mainly, Brody's unnamed respondents skirt over another real reason why so many social conservatives think they have a problem with Crist. It's that they believe the gay rumors -- rumors that Crist publicly acknowledged and publicly denied, apparently to the satisfaction of real voters, during the 2006 election campaign. (Ooh, but he's soft-spoken and supports civil unions... well, so is -- and does -- President Bush.) Crist's office doesn't like when reporters bring up the gay rumors, and that's understandable; they were, after all, litigated in the past. But reality is reality -- many alpha dog social conservatives don't trust Crist because they don't believe him.

I don't think that McCain will choose Crist, although, really, I have nothing but a few, non-recent, off-hand conversations with McCain's friends and advisers to base that on.

The possibility that McCain will choose Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania is greater. If social conservatives want to worry about a pro-choicer on the ticket, they should worry about McCain-Ridge, not McCain-Crist.

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