From The Washington Post:
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Gov. Charlie Crist became the first sitting Florida governor to wed in nearly 42 years, exchanging vows Friday at a ceremony attended by some 200 relatives, friends and celebrities.
The 52-year-old governor wed his 39-year-old bride, New York socialite Carole Rome, at First United Methodist Church, a short walk from Crist’s rented condo in St. Petersburg. They met at a dinner in New York City in September 2007 and Crist proposed less than 10 months later with a sapphire engagement ring.
Crist kissed Rome briefly at the end of the ceremony–perhaps too briefly. She put her hands on his face and kissed him again.
Original DVD cover.
Both had been married before, Crist to a college sweetheart in 1980, a marriage that ended less than a year later. Rome was separated from Blue Star Jets president Todd Rome when she met Crist and finalized her divorce earlier this year. She has two daughters from that marriage.
Rome joined the governor as he campaigned around the country for John McCain, on a state trade mission to Europe and at sporting events. She also joined the governor backstage at a Jimmy Buffett concert in Tampa a little more than a month after they met.
From The Huffington Post (July 4, 2008):
Florida’s bachelor Governor Charlie Crist is getting married, and to a woman, too. That’s how badly he wants to be vice president. I hope John McCain is happy now.
Of course, the human heart is curved like a road through the mountains, so what do I know? Maybe it’s love. And maybe it’s just a joyous coincidence that Crist has found it at exactly the same time that McCain is looking for a running mate.
Sometimes things just work out.
It’s like that federal ban on off shore drilling. When Crist ran for governor in 2006, he supported it. Now John McCain wants it repealed and (weird!) two weeks ago, Crist realized that he did too.
Florida is a swing state — Haha! Get it? — and Crist has a popularity rating of something like 70%. He also gets a lot of the credit for delivering the state to McCain in the primaries. There’s only one nagging thing keeping him from being the obvious choice for the vice presidency: He comes off kinda gay.
But then, suddenly last Thursday, after thirty years of the single life, Crist discovered that he couldn’t live without a woman named Carole Rome, a divorced mother of two.
Maybe it’s not all politics of the most ghastly, obvious, self-hating, the fix-is-in, trick-the-rubes kind. Maybe I’m too cynical. Maybe love is real and coincidence is an illusion.
Here’s the part that Tennessee Williams would have really liked: Gov. Crist’s intended, Carole Rome, inherited – and runs — one of America’s oldest Halloween costume companies. The woman marrying the gayish governor from the sultry southern state actually makes beards.
From the St. Petersburg Times:
About 200 people showed up in Williams Park to protest outside of the nuptials of Gov. Charlie Crist and Carole Rome.
The majority were from Impact Florida, a local grass-roots organization supporting marital rights for gay couples.
“This is why we’re out here — marriage is a civil contract, not a religious contract,” said John Newharth, 65, who drove from Palm Beach to attend the event. “We have to do something.”
The gay protesters wore pink shirts and held signs that read “Best Wishes: Why Can’t I?” and “Congrats Charlie From 2nd class Floridian.”
Group members hoped to highlight what they consider the hypocrisy of Crist’s marriage a month after the governor voted yes on Amendment 2, which changed the state’s Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.
Anti-gay protester Larry Keffer marched throughout the crowd holding a sign that read “Homo Sex is Sin” and yelled to protesters, “You must repent, Jesus Christ is the only way.”