Our first gay VP nominee?

Categories: Charlie Crist

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While Democrats have earned all the headlines this primary campaign for breaking down race and gender barriers, the Republicans might soon be making history as well. Unfortunately for the GOP, it's not the kind of trailblazing that will sit particularly well with the party's base. And no I'm not prophesying an unlikely career revival for Larry Craig or Mark Foley.

The pol in question is Charlie Crist, the popular Florida governor who is often cited as a short list-er to be John McCain's running mate. Redoubtable New Times Broward/Palm Beach scribe Bob Norman has been banging on Crist's closet door since persistent rumors of gay affairs surfaced during his successful 2006 run for governor.

Norman's latest reportage on the topic, "The Talk of the Green Iguana," focuses on Crist's frequent socializing at a popular watering hole in Tampa Bay. Here's a choice snippet:

When I got Rick Calderoni, the bar's well-known owner, on the phone, I expected him to stonewall me about it.

He didn't.

Calderoni, who is gay, confirmed that Crist came into his bar quite often and that the two of them became friends.

Getting to the point, I asked him if he knew Crist to be gay.

"Yes," he answered bluntly. "I just wish he would come out and admit it. That would be a great thing if he did."

I asked Calderoni if he was certain that Crist is gay. He told me that Crist socialized with a gay clique of friends but conceded that he'd never actually seen Crist become intimate with another man.

So how can he be sure Crist is gay?

"The way he acted," Calderoni said.

How did he act?

Calderoni laughed and said, "Very feminine."



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