If you’re going to become a Democrat, is there a better place to make the long-awaited shift final than at the White House? That’s exactly what former Republican Florida governor Charlie Crist did Friday night when he signed the papers to change his party affiliation from independent to Democrat at a Christmas reception held at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And he got a celebratory fist bump from President Obama himself, reports the Tampa Bay Times. “What changed is the leadership of the Republican party,” Crist said Friday night. “As I said at the convention, I didn’t leave the Republican party, it left me. Whether the issue was immigration, or education, or you name it—the environment. I feel at home now.”
Crist announced his decision on Twitter, writing he was “Proud and honored to join the Democratic Party in the home of President @BarackObama!” along with a photograph of Crist holding a Florida voter registration application alongside his wife, Carole, who had already switched her party affiliation. Crist has been an independent since 2010, when he tried to challenge Marco Rubio in the Republican Senate primary. The switch is hardly surprising. He received a plum speaking spot at the Democratic National Convention as a thank you for his help in Obama’s re-election campaign. Now everyone expects Crist will try to get his old governor job back as a Democrat.