The Washington Times - September 8, 2012, 01:31PM

Bloggers are having a little fun with Saturday morning’s handshake-and-hearty-hug greeting between former Republican Charlie Crist and President Barack Obama, who kicked off a two-day bus tour in Florida on Saturday.

“The Hug 2.0” reads the headline on the Tampa Bay Times website, above a photo of the president locked in a bearhug from the former governor.


Mr. Crist, the one-time Senate candidate who blames a well-publicized hug he gave Mr. Obama in 2009 for contributing to the end of his political career as a Republican, had a warm embrace for the president he endorsed with a Thursday night speech at the Democratic National Convention.

The president appeared before an estimated 11,000 people at St. Petersburg College in Seminole, the first stop of a busy 48-hour swing through the Sunshine State.

“When I served as a Republican governor — you know, I’m not in that party any more, they left me — even though I was still a Republican … President Barack Obama was there for us,” Mr. Crist said.

Mr. Crist, who had sought the Florida Republican Party’s Senate nomination in 2010 that eventually was won by Marco Rubio, left the party and launched an unsuccessful bid as an independent for the Senate seat in the general election.