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Crist's Chances Dropping?

The St. Petersburg Times' Steve Bousquet takes a look at the falling VP stock of Charlie Crist today:

Crist has slipped from the top of media lists in recent weeks. At the same time, in a subtle but revealing shift, Crist now veers away from showing any interest in McCain's ticket and pledges love for his current job. For most of this summer, Crist did little to tamp down the speculation surrounding his name.

Asked Wednesday about his veep prospects, Crist said: "I have no idea. I'm just so pleased to be the governor of Florida."

On Fox's Hannity & Colmes show Monday, Crist said: "I can't discuss the process. I'm enjoying being governor of Florida." When questions persisted, Crist said: "I'd rather not get into that."

George LeMieux, a former chief of staff for Crist who remains close to the governor, said: "If I knew, I couldn't tell you." Asked if he had been contacted by McCain's vetting team, LeMieux repeated the same answer.

Crist could be having it both ways: enjoying the exposure that goes with being on McCain's short list without the stress of an intrusive inquiry into his personal and financial life.

All of this is of course wild speculation. Crist could have quieted about being VP precisely because he is on the short list. What might hurt Crist in the end is that he is very similar to John McCain on the issues, which might not be a good thing when McCain wants to pick someone who can fire up the base.