Gov. Crist Gets Engaged

Flablog has the rundown on Florida Governor Charlie Crist's engagement to one Carole Rome, described as an MBA, with experience working as an auditor and as a realtor, at Shall I never see a bachelor of threescore again? including many people asking the obvious question.

It's hard not to be cynical about the sudden engagement of a man whose primary obstacle to the Republican Vice-Presidential nomination are the rumors that he's gay. It seems not everyone has been able to control their snark and just wish our Governor joy in his engagement, no doubt in large part to his unbroken series of convenient publicized serious girlfriends before each of his recent election campaigns.

Actually, what struck me most about this story was that the Governor wasn't, as I though, a life-long bachelor. Our “bachelor Governor” is actually a divorcee!

Sayth the Herald [which oddly didn't even put the story on it's front page, what's with that?],

It will be the second marriage for Crist and Rome. Crist was married for six months after college to Amanda Morrow and then divorced in 1980.

Rome was married to Todd Rome of New York, CEO of Blue Star Jets, until 2006.

As far as I can tell, no reporter seems to have spoken to Ms. Morrow in any of Crist's recent campaigns. (Although one very unpleasant blogger did track down a recent picture of her.)

All I could find was a dubious web page with this, sourced to Adam C. Smith and Joni James, St. Petersburg Times (June 21, 2006),

While in law school, Crist married Amanda Morrow in Delray Beach. The 1979 marriage lasted a little more than six months. They divorced in January 1980. “We dated at Florida State for a couple of years, got married. I was pretty young. It just didn't work out,'' said Crist, who has never talked much about the marriage and had little to say about it.

The brevity of his marriage, and the fact that Crist has never had kids, has prompted whispers about his sexuality and questions about his ability to relate to most voters.

“I don't like to argue and we did some of that. But that's really all I have to say,'' said Crist, who has not kept in touch with his former wife.

Although he displayed relatively few signs of humanity in public life during his pre-Gubernatorial career as “Chain Gang Charlie” Crist (and even looking beyond his about-face on offshore drilling), Crist has been a more reasonable and centrist Governor than I would have expected.

Admittedly, expectations were low for a man who promised to be a Jeb Bush clone. But it was a promise he didn't keep. And in public appearances Crist acts like a likable human being in ways that if they are scripted would suggest a super-human acting ability, one so great as to suggest a certain fitness for higher office.

Yes, the state budget is going to hell in hand basket, and Crist's future may be going with it, so he has to be praying for national recognition now, before it's too late. But even so.

Maybe, even despite the campaign history, even despite the promise of a Fall (campaign season?) wedding, we should give the Governor the benefit of the doubt on this one until and unless there's an actual fact to point to?

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