Pensacola, FL - "God bless President Clinton! And you too, Senator Dole!"
En route from Panama City to Destin, Governor Crist didn't hide his enthusiasm over Bill Clinton's last-minute foray into Florida politics.
He admits he was on the phone with Clinton, Kendrick Meek and the White House about Meek dropping out. But, as to whether Crist initiated those talks, Crist says, "I really can't remember, and it really doesn't matter - what matters is what the people of Florida want!
And so, 'the people's express' rolled on.
"Government's supposed to be of the people, by the people, and for the people!"
The governor's main problem? Meek and Marco Rubio zeroing in on Crist's shifting positions. What they call flip-flopping, the governor calls wisdom.
Crist says, "I've used the analogy, Troy, that you know, I used to play quarterback, and sometimes you'll call a play in the huddle and literally be walking up to the line of scrimmage and realize that the defense has changed, the linebackers may have moved, you may be anticipating a blitz, and you call an audible, change the play, to do what's best for your team - or in my case, my state."
"Fresh from Florida!"
Crist did have one brief run-in with a tea partier at a stop on Navarre Beach.
"I'm kinda upset 'cause you left my party."
Crist: Oh, that's all right, you have a right to do that,
James: Oh, I know, but it's because you were losing to Marco, that's why you switched, and then...
Crist: No, James, you have a right to your opinion and so do I."
An opinion he's hoping can carry him to victory on Tuesday.
As for right now, Crist cut day one of his bus tour short because of a Pensacola shooting that wounded three sheriff's deputies.
The governor sped off to the hospital, where it turns out the deputies are alright.
"After all, we're Americans - it's how we roll."
If there's a benefit to the sudden change in schedule, the governor had a chance to look gubernatorial. It's unfortunate what happened, but he took charge.