Along for the ride on Rick Scott's campaign bus
Rick Scott's big blue campaign motor coach pulled out of a Fort Myers coffee shop Monday morning and cruised through an intersection as the left-turn arrow was turning red. It's one of the perks of having the local sheriff on your side. Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott (no relation) had his officers cordon off traffic so the entourage could get on U.S. 41, and deputies provided a motorcycle escort to Alligator Alley.
Scott's bus has a giant flat-screen TV, usually tuned to CNN or Fox, and a steady supply of bananas, energy bars and bottled water for the candidate and his fellow travelers. His mother, Esther Scott, wife, Ann, and daughters Allison and her husband, Pierre, and daughter Jordan are usually on the bus.
"They sit in the back of the bus and talk about who gets the most applause," Scott said of his daughters. "It's always my mom."
Campaign aides wear earpieces so they can stay in contact with two other Chevy Suburbans in the fleet. Scott rotates traveling reporters onto the bus, usually one at a time for 30- or 40-minute stretches.
The bus navigated a narrow street in Punta Gorda on Sunday evening. Scott stood in the front of the bus and waved to kids, then handed out Halloween candy to trick-or-treaters. A procession of young princesses, zombies, vampires and skeletons reached into a goodie bag labeled "Scott Carroll," and a mom tugged on her daughter's hand and said: "Hey, look! It's the guy from TV!"