Crist “Confidantes,” “Associates,” “Backers”

As Clint noted, the political world awaits Florida Governor Charlie Crist’s press conference later today in St. Petersburg — or, “Charlie Crist makes St. Petersburg the center of the political/media universe today,” as Eric Deggans puts it, with a hint of excitement, on his The Feed blog at the St. Petersburg Times.

At this press conference, people who know have told reporters, Crist will announce he is leaving the Republican Party to run for Senate without a party affiliation.

“Confidantes: Fla. gov to run as independent,” was the AP headline yesterday afternoon. The “confidantes,” the AP explained, “spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement has not been made.” One “confidante” also added this amusing hedge: “[confidante] cautioned that Crist can be unpredictable.”

Politico, yesterday, had two nameless Crist “associates” relaying the Crist news. (Politico doesn’t explain why “associates” were anonymous; presuming, maybe, that Politico readers don’t notice or care).

From the Miami Herald: “Backers: Crist will make independent bid for Senate” (the “backers” have no names).

The New York Times quotes anonymous “longtime fund-raisers,” including “one Crist Supporter in Tallahassee,” who, the Times explains, “did not want to be quoted in advance of the official announcement.”

So, looks like The News Service of Florida was the only news outlet to get someone on the record on this? From NFS reporter John Kennedy:

Scott Peelen, who was Crist’s Central Florida finance chairman during the 2006 governor’s race, told the News Service of Florida that the governor called him Monday and solicited his help for an independent run.

Peelen showed up in today’s New York Times’s account, too (credited to News Service of Florida).

And another detail? Brought to us, again, by a Florida news outlet? This event we’re all so eagerly awaiting? Won’t happen at all unless the St. Petersburg parks and recreation director approves Crist’s event permit application. “Approval isn’t automatic because the city requires applications to be turned in 15 days before the actual event,” according to the St. Petersburg Times The Buzz blog. Crist’s permit was submitted this morning.

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.