The Florida Republican Party is simply not representative of the full Florida electorate, and neither is Crist representative of the Florida Republican Party. I don't think he's great and I don't think he's emotionally capable of leaving his Party but he could definitely succeed as a Republican's Lieberman.
It was only in the last Administration that the Republican Party switched over from cynically manipulating the crazies to really being owned by them. Even now, there's still a recognizable gap between the Republicans and the Tea Party. In the absence of the current economic disaster, the way the Republicans are behaving now would totally alienate the bipartisan-fetishist center, ruining them electorally; but everyone in the Administration has a job so the economic downturn is a thing on paper, a factor perhaps in polling but not in everyday reality, and therefore it's not surprising that they don't grasp that the Republicans don't need to act civilized people.
Which is not to say that I think the Republicans could ever act civilized, but I knew Obama thought they could when I voted for him.
I tend to favor optimism, at least contrarian optimism, both because I believe pessimists are easily tempted into exaggerating for effect and because electoral pessimism fulfills itself by dampening enthusiasm. Even so, things rarely go as Republicans predict...
I don't think this angle is really a winner, and I hope it doesn't go much further. Renters are a largely Democratic constituency; a one-off slap is fine, but a campaign that played identity politics 'Renters vs. Real Indianans' would have collateral damage.
It's nice to see Biden putting so much effort into what he says. The way he practically chokes himself to keep from putting the word 'progress' after the word 'making,' the way he avoids saying he'll keep his mouth shut after he's out of office; these are signs that the man cares beyond himself, especially considering how easy it seems to be for Biden to say something he shouldn't.
Remember, this is a man who got married in order to pass a Republican base litmus test; like too many codependent's marriages, it was the desperate move of a man in love with something that no longer loves him. The Republican Party may reject Crist over and over but it won't matter, he can't move on he can never move on.