Charlie Crist suffered a resounding defeat in Florida's 2022 gubernatorial election. Ron DeSantis outperformed him by nearly 20 percentage points, and his performance was the worst for a Democratic candidate since 1916, accentuating Florida's red trend that began in 2016 and has been expanding ever since. With about seven months to go before elections, Joe Biden now seeks to appoint him as ambassador.
According to a statement from the White House, the president wants Crist to represent the United States before the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
The ICAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations, charged to "maintain an administrative and expert Secretariat of international civil servants to support these diplomatic interactions, and to investigate new air transport policies and standardization innovations as directed and approved by governments through the ICAO Assembly, or such ICAO Council as the assembly may elect."
In addition, according to its website, it "conducts educational outreach, develops coalitions, and carries out auditing, training and capacity building activities around the world according to the needs and priorities identified and formalized by governments."
Former Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist gets a consolation prize from Biden pic.twitter.com/WBuDEdIJ5V
— John Bresnahan (@bresreports) June 7, 2023
Crist has an extensive executive career in Florida, where he first served as commissioner of education (2001-2003), attorney general (2003-2007), and governor (2007-2011), still under the Republican Party. He changed his affiliation to independent in 2012 and was defeated in the Senate election by Marco Rubio. Two years later, as a Democrat, he fell short in his bid to retake the governorship, making him the first politician in Florida history to lose statewide elections as a Republican, Independent and Democrat.
As journalist John Bresnahan commented on Twitter, Crist's new position is nothing more than a "consolation prize" from Joe Biden.
"As Governor, Crist guided the state through difficult times, such as the Great Recession and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Despite drastic budget cuts due to the economic downturn, he made public education one of his top priorities, securing federal stimulus funds to save the jobs of thousands of teachers. He is also a strong advocate for the environment, working at the federal and state levels to help secure billions in public and private aid to restore the Florida Everglades," the White House added in the letter.
His last test at the ballot box was in 2022 when he tried again to regain the state's top executive office. Unfortunately for him, he was swept away by the red wave that swept Florida in the last election. Democrats lost four seats in the House of Representatives and were run out of elected offices.
In addition, the Democratic presence in the state legislature has also been somewhat diminished. They currently have 12 senators out of 40 and 35 members of Congress out of 120. Nationally, Florida has no Democratic senators, and in the House of Representatives, they currently have 8 out of 20 current legislators.