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Sunburn — The Morning Read Of What’s Hot In Florida Politics — 4.26.21

A SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts off at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Four astronauts will fly on the SpaceX Crew-2 mission to the International Space Station, in one of the first flights using a reused rocket. Image via AP.

By Peter Schorsch

Good Monday morning.

As Session comes to a close, here are some thoughts on who had a nice weekend — and who didn’t.

SpaceX had an astronomical weekend. Not only is it celebrating another successful blast off from the Sunshine State, but it also wasn’t the capsule’s first rodeo. The four-person SpaceX crew that docked with the International Space Station on Saturday were strapped into a … let’s say “lightly used” … Dragon. We’re not sure whether we’d rather be on the maiden voyage or fly in a proven pod, but at least the space junk bill is starting to make sense.

Faith Based Events

There were some good weekends on terra firma, too. Many of them in Delray Beach, where Gov. Ron DeSantis stopped in for the ribbon cutting on a 150,000-square-foot food hall. The Delray Beach Market even boosted buzz on the Governor’s presidential aspirations. Well, not really, but it did give him a chance to do some X-TREME pizza eating. You know what they say: “If people care how you look eating pizza, you’ve arrived.” And by “they,” we mean “nobody.”

About 300 miles up I-95, Jacksonville was having a weekend befitting of The Bold City. The city was hosting what News4Jax called “its biggest night of combat sports since 1996, and perhaps ever.” It’s a record we didn’t know existed and one that we didn’t know needed breaking, but many a celebrity was on hand to watch it happen. It was a veritable creatine convention, with Tim TebowGardner MinshewTom Brady and Myles Jack in attendance.

Even if you had a bad weekend, here’s an opportunity to pretend it was great: If you’re one of the 530K or so Floridians who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, federal officials lifted the pause, which we’re taking as a confirmation that it is indeed not styptic powder in liquid form.

On a more serious note, FSU’s weekend was bittersweet — President John Thrasher presided over the last law school commencement before hanging up his hat. We’re happy for the years he was there, and we’re happy he’s about to enjoy his retirement. No, those aren’t tears; shut up.

And now for the bad.

Japan is apparently as bad at containing the coronavirus as they’ve been at making TV’s for the past decade. For the third time since the pandemic began, the country has declared a third state of emergency in the Tokyo area. Something tells us the Olympics would have been better off coming to Florida after all.

Stateside, more than 1,000 people headed to Bradenton to humor an old man named Mike Flynn who rambled on about a second great awakening in the United States. Apparently, he spent one-and-a-half Scaramucci’s working for a frozen steak salesman and 10 times as long in prison, so it makes sense he’d get the royal treatment down there.

A major Democrat eyeing a run for Governor next year is close to making it official.

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist has opened a political committee named Friends of Charlie Crist, which would allow him to start raising money for a state-level election.

According to people close to Crist, the former Republican Governor-turned-Democratic congressman has made dozens of calls to Florida leaders — activists, donors, and local elected officials — to gauge their support for another Crist for Governor campaign.

They say the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

Up to now, Crist has kept his options open.

Charlie Crist inches closer to a third run for Governor.

He raised a decent amount of money for his congressional account in the first quarter and already has decent bankroll, should he decide to run for reelection — assuming the district he lands in is still favorable for Democrats, that is.

But Crist has also openly toyed with the idea of running for Governor a third time.

A couple of months ago, he appeared on CBS Miami’s “Facing South Florida” and told Jim DeFede he started to open his mind to a run.

“But if you ask me, have some people suggested that I should contemplate potentially running for Governor next year? Yes, they have. While it doesn’t get much of my attention in my brain right now, it is something that I would be open to,” he said.

He’s only ramped up the rhetoric since, slamming Republican Gov. DeSantis over his vaccine rollout strategy and even calling for a federal investigation into the alleged “pay for play” partnership with Publix.

If Crist does take the plunge, he’d be the first major Democratic candidate in the race, but certainly not the last.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is widely expected to run for the job, and she, too, has been upping her attacks on the incumbent over everything from vaccines to pot.

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