Republican Senator of Florida Mel Martinez is resigning office
before the end of his term, a move sure to have implications for the
Senate and GOP. Political pundits explore what happened and what
could--or should--come next.GOP Base Takes Another Victim
Gawker's Alex Pareene, writing that Martinez "pulled a Palin," argued
that the Senator was stuck between a rock and a hard place. "Martinez
is not very popular in Florida, because he's too conservative, and he's
not very popular among Republicans in the Senate, because he's unable
to vote to kick the Mexicans out or against Wise Latinas," he wrote.
Michelle Malkin decried his immigration policies as "Shamnesty
David Weigel of the Washington Independent wrote
that Martinez "took a lot of heat from the GOP base." Weigel ran
through the cases of the Senator bucking orthodoxy, concluding, "it
seems like the problem is less Martinez's sensitivity and more the GOP
base's demand for ideological purity."Opening for Crist?
The Miami Herald's Naked Politics blog wondered
if Florida Governor Charlie Crist would copy disgraced former Illinois
Governor Rod Blagojevich's move to appoint himself to the Senate.
"Crist has a similar golden opporunity. Except this is about ambition.
He can appoint himself. Will he?" Marc Ambinder says no
Red State's Erick Erickson also speculated
that Crist, who is expected to run for Martinez's seat next year, will
exploit the opening. "What will Crist do to screw Rubio?" he asked, referring to the conservative Republican challenging Crist.
"Wouldn't put anything past him."
Ideas for Replacements
John Cole of Balloon Juice suggested
that "the honorable thing would be to appoint Marco Rubio." Ed Morrissey of Hot Air made the case
for appointing former governor Jeb Bush. The National Review's Jim Geraghty passed along rumors
that Crist may
tap George Martinez, another former governor who is not related to the
departing senator. "They'll barely have to change the office sign," he
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