In second year, Gov. Rick Scott turns into insider
Rick Scott, the tea party government-cutting conservative, stormed into office as an outsider and once boasted the "deal-makers are crying in their cocktails."
Now the insiders are toasting Scott in the halls of the state Capitol at the close of the second lawmaking session of his first term.
Scott racked up a string of wins with a modest poll-tested agenda and an approach that meshed with the Capitol culture instead of antagonizing it. He glad-handed lawmakers more. He gave lobbyists more access. And he chose a consummate insider to be his staff chief.
Delivering relatively small tax and budget cuts, Scott successfully pushed the Legislature to revamp personal injury protection to the liking of the auto-insurance industry, where one player cut Scott's political committee a $100,000 check just days before session ended.
The governor's relatively low-key approach was a clear indicator that the political newcomer and former hospital-chain CEO is retooling his approach to government, which doesn't always run like a business.
"It's not so much change as just the people you meet and then you figure out how to work through a system," Scott said. "Because it's a system up here."