When Governor Charlie Crist hugged President Obama and supported the federal stimulus plan, Florida politics changed forever. In his US Senate run, Republican Crist had to turn Independent, and proceeded to lose big Tuesday to a rising GOP star. Today's New York Times quotes a supporter calling Marco Rubio, "our Cuban Barack Obama." As the first Cuban-American Speaker of the state's lower house, he was early to recognize the power of Tea Party sentiment. Gary Fineout is Capitol Bureau Chief for the Herald-Tribune in Sarasota.