Popular Republican governor Charlie Crist is set to announce whether or not he’ll try to join the federal government, but sources are already saying it’s a done deal.

From Politico:

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) will be announcing Tuesday that he will be running for the Senate, according to a source close to the governor, giving Republicans their most high-profile recruit of the 2010 election cycle.

Crist’s decision puts Republicans in strong position to hold onto the seat held by retiring Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) Crist holds high approval ratings among both Republicans and Democrats, according to statewide polling, and has forged a moderate governing style that has won him widespread support. […]

Florida Republican Party chairman Jim Greer confirmed to the Pensacola News-Journal that Crist will be making his formal announcement in Tallahassee on Tuesday at “a low-key event” and said he will draw immediate endorsements by a statewide and national Republican leaders.

For those of you who followed the 2008 campaign, you already know that Crist was on McCain’s VP short list…and I think it’s clear by now that he should have gone with the governor from Florida instead of the one from Alaska.

But that begs the question: what are Crist’s presidential aspirations?

Something tells me that, like Jindal, he understands that 2012 is not a good time to run and the field will be WAY too crowded. But 2016 will present an opportunity because there’s no way that Biden would run for POTUS. Obviously that means Obama would win in 2012, but there’s a better than even chance that’ll happen right now.

So a move to Washington for the next 6 years wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world. It would put him on the national stage, would allow him to build bridges on moderate issues and oppose the ones he feels aren’t in the best interests of Republicans.

And hey, perhaps there is no angle, but I can’t help but think Crist feels he’s well positioned as the next Reagan since there’s no way Republicans can with the White House without Florida.

Politics Crist To Run For Senate In 2010?