Gubernatorial candidate Tom Gallagher trails Charlie Crist in the polls and in the coffers. The Gallagher campaign, it would seem, also lags in chutzpah.
That was apparent after a group of 10 Republican state legislators formally requested that Gallagher drop out of the race for the sake of party unity. And, no, these were no fence-sitting party loyalists, but Crist-backing partisans reprising the old “Do-the-right-thing-for-your-party” refrain.
From Gallagher’s vantage point, there’s nothing to like about neither the self-serving ditty nor the deja view.
He already took one for Team GOP in 2000. Back then he yielded to pressure from Jeb Bush and former party chairman Al Cardenas to drop out of the senate primary in favor of Bill McCollum. The then-congressman, once gift-wrapped in party unity, proceeded to unravel in a clumsy, losing race to the vulnerable Bill Nelson.
Now Gallagher is being asked again to step aside for a candidate who would ostensibly benefit enough from a unified party.
Ironically, had the request been sooner and more sincere – and had it been heeded again – it might have positioned Gallagher as the GOP U.S. Senate alternative to dead-candidate-campaigning Katherine Harris. And if poetic justice counts for anything, it could have finally matched Gallagher against Senator Nelson, comfortably awaiting re-election by default.