Last week, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee unveiled its strategy for 2010 in a leaked memo: try to force Republicans to take on-the-record stances on issues that divide conservatives and the mainstream. Use those issues to sow discord on the right, and you'll damage the center-right frontrunners in the eyes of either conservatives or the general electorate.
That's what the DSCC is doing in Florida. It sent out a press release this morning asking centrist Gov. Charlie Crist--long considered the frontrunner, who now trails conservative upstart Marco Rubio--to take a position on new financial regulations, highlighting the fact that Rubio has come out against Obama's bank tax.
"Charlie Crist's silence regarding the President's proposed financial regulatory reforms says all you need to know about his candidacy," DSCC Press Secretary Deirdre Murphy wrote in the release. "While Floridians want their leaders to take tough action against Wall Street, Crist is refusing to take a position and Rubio wants to make life easier for his corporate special interest campaign donors."
There's something in that statement for everybody.
The Florida Senate race was previously thought to be a lock for the GOP, conventional wisdom being: Crist will win the primary, and he has vastly greater name recognition, fundraising ties, and statewide popularity than the Democratic candidate, Rep. Kendrick Meek. But with Rubio's surge, Democrats have an opportunity to level the playing field a bit if Crist loses in the primary, and while Crist is clearly the lesser of two evils from the Dem perspective, the DSCC is applying the newly articulated strategy, in the hopes that Rubio will win, or at least that Crist will lose any shred of mojo with the right.