Endorsements generally work best when a better-known figure endorses a less well-known one, so that the one can serve as a proxy for the other. I think even in Florida, everyone already knows who Obama is, so I’m not sure it will be much help.
Rick Scott endorsing Romney probably helps Obama in Florida more then Crist endorsing Obama does.
If Crist wanted to work as an Obama campaign proxy, I could see him helping, as he’s a good example of “GOP moderate driven out of party by tea-partiers”. But I don’t think just an endorsement in a letter to the editor does much.
The evidence for his homosexuality seems to be pretty thin on the ground. He’s on his second marriage (to a woman). Some random gay guy claimed to have slept with him, but you can find a random gay guy that claims to have slept with just about every semi-attractive male political figure or celebrity.
He broke with GOP because they more or less kicked him out. He lost a primary for the FL senate seat in 2010, then tried to run as an independent and lost in the general campaign as well.
Crist’s party change ended up making him look bad. Crist as a fairly popular moderate Republican governor and his endorsement of John McCain proved to be very helpful to propelling McCain to the nomination. But then he wanted to run for Senate against Marco Rubio, and knew he’d have a tough time beating Rubio in a primary. So he went independent when it was clear he would lose. But that wasn’t what damned him. When he went independent, he started to intimate that only now could he say the things he truly believed. Which tells voters that before you said things you didn’t believe for the sake of the party. So what does that say about his endorsement of Obama? Is it because he genuinely supports him, or because he’s still bitter?
Who cares? If the issue is hypocrisy, bending to the political winds, then the question is why such hypocrisy is necessary. When a moderate Republican starts mouthing Tea Party drivel, there’s an obvious reason why he must.
If Crist had just left the party because he was too moderate, that would have been one thing, but when he ran as an independent he shifted all the way into moderate Democrat territory. Either because that’s what he truly believed all along, or because that’s the positioning he needed to win, since Democrats chose to back him over Meek.
Joe Lieberman, by contrast, is no different as an independent than he was as a Democrat.
We’re supposed to condemn Crist for having no core principles because he made a mid-career move to the left. But we’re supposed to admire Lieberman and Romney for standing up for what they truly believed in because they made a mid-career move to the right.
Not when it counted, not on health care. He’s why we don’t have a public option, and the whole system is a feast for Big Insurance. Before that, it was “I’m with you on everything but the war.” The other issue during his time that counted most.
Lieberman only became more of a smarmy, sanctimonious little prick after his primary defeat, no doubt inspired by all his Fox appearances as their token “responsible Democrat” despite being neither.
I think, in general, a Democrat (or former Democrat) endorsing a Republican affects voters a lot more than a Republican (or former Republican) endorsing a Democrat. With the adage “Democrats fall in love; Republicans fall in line” as my evidence, a former Republican is just a fallen outcast to an average Republican voter.