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1270628 2038-01-18 05:00:00.0 UTC 2038-01-18T00:00:00.000-05:00 2013-01-15 21:33:34.0 UTC 2013-01-15T16:33:34.000-05:00 what-reagan-the-dog-says-about-gov-scott published 2013-01-16 00:03:26.0 UTC 2013-01-15T19:03:26.000-05:00 news/politics DTI 102011381 Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in. — Mark Twain We may disagree on debt ceilings and fiscal cliffs, abortion rights and gay marriage, but here in America, we tend to hold our dogs dear. Even when dogs and politics mix. History can debate what lost Mitt Romney his presidential bid, but I will always believe it was in some small part an Irish setter named Seamus. Seamus got famous for being taken on a Romney family vacation strapped atop the station wagon for hours, an act seen as cruel. This is not helpful when you are a candidate who is very rich and hoping to win over the Average Joe who can read much into how a man treats his dog. Okay, so anti-Romneyites sometimes left out the part about Seamus being in a dog crate, a minor mitigator to many of us dog enthusiasts. "MITT IS MEAN!" bumper stickers proclaimed, and columnists, cartoonists and late night comics took their shots. If Romney was dogged by the shame of Seamus, Rick Scott has now wrought the fate of Reagan. Back in 2010 when he was running to be Florida's governor, Scott made the naming of his cute new rescue dog, a doe-eyed yellow Labrador, a "fun contest" on Facebook. And yes, that's Reagan as in the Republican president, since dogs adopt the politics of whoever fills the dish with kibble. And good for Scott. I was disappointed back when President Barack Obama opted for a purebred over a shelter pooch and all the good it could have done doomed dogs. Today, Scott is one unpopular, awkward politician struggling to soften his image in hopes of another term. You would think cynical PR types would eagerly trot out Reagan the family rescue, since some of us are willing to forgive a man a lot given evidence that at least his dog likes him. But as the Times' Lucy Morgan reported this week, Reagan is gone. Current and former Scott spokespeople (who apparently learned little from those "Mutts Against Mitt" T-shirts) stonewalled, one of them even mocking questions about Reagan's fate. Finally, Scott said the rescue dog "couldn't be around anybody that was carrying anything" and this scared people. Soon after the Scotts got to Tallahassee, he said he gave Reagan back to his prior owner. A spokeswoman later said the dog was returned to a Naples grooming and boarding business. We later learned he is reportedly living on a ranch. And is anyone but me puzzled that a canine candidate to live in the governor's mansion wasn't vetted for suitability like a Supreme Court nominee? All of which might have been a teachable moment about a tough situation, had Scott's people not been busy doing this dance that made you wonder if the dog had outlived his usefulness or just no longer matched the furniture. (The family now has a rescue Lab called Tallee, we are told.) So we are left with a sense of a lack of forthrightness. You do not improve your image nor build trust when your people blow off questions about the family dog you took public in the first place. No, this one's not about fixing Florida's voting problems, creating jobs or other critical issues of the day. It's just the for-now governor and his former dog, and what voters decide it says about him. By Sue Carlton, Times Columnist News, Politics, metro-columnist, Breaking news What Reagan the dog says about Gov. Scott SCARLTON 4STB Main djj2v5nqnbr3 djj2v Hed for columnist goes here four lines Tampa Bay 1 carlton011613.4st Hed for columnist goes here four lines 2013-01-16 05:00:00.0 UTC 2013-01-16T00:00:00.000-05:00 false templatedata/tampabaytimes/StaffArticle/data/2013/01/15/102011381-sue-carlton-of-dogs-and-politics-kibble-and-candor StaffArticle news,politicsPoliticsHeaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.— Mark TwainNews, Politics, metro-columnist, Breaking newsNews, Politics, metro-columnist, Breaking newsSue Carlton 383053 2038-01-18 05:00:00.0 UTC 2038-01-18T00:00:00.000-05:00 2012-10-25 12:46:22.0 UTC 2012-10-25T08:46:22.000-04:00 sue-carlton published Sue Carlton <p>Sue Carlton is a native Floridian from a longtime Southern family that her father always said consisted of thieves and cattle rustlers run out of Georgia. She grew up in Miami and joined the <i>Tampa Bay Times </i>in 1988. Over the years she has covered community news, politics, cops, government, and her all-time favorite, criminal courts. For nearly nine years she wrote about the kind of strange cases that only seem to happen here, about intriguing legal issues and courthouse politics. On that beat, she authored a lengthy narrative series on a trooper who killed his wife and co-authored a series on a suburban mother murdered by her teenage daughter and her friends. Sue was the deputy editor of the features section and was the Tampa city editor before she became a columnist in 2005. Three times a week, she writes about politics, outrages, observations, court cases of the day and whatever else comes up. She lives in Tampa with her husband and their very good dog.</p> Times Columnist writers DTI 35038163 Sue Carlton is a native Floridian from a longtime Southern family that her father always said consisted of thieves and cattle rustlers run out of Georgia. She grew up in Miami and joined the Tampa Bay Times in 1988. Over the years she has covered community news, politics, cops, government, and her all-time favorite, criminal courts. For nearly nine years she wrote about the kind of strange cases that only seem to happen here, about intriguing legal issues and courthouse politics. On that beat, she authored a lengthy narrative series on a trooper who killed his wife and co-authored a series on a suburban mother murdered by her teenage daughter and her friends. Sue was the deputy editor of the features section and was the Tampa city editor before she became a columnist in 2005. Three times a week, she writes about politics, outrages, observations, court cases of the day and whatever else comes up. She lives in Tampa with her husband and their very good dog. <p>Phone: (813) 226-3376 or toll-free 1-800-333-7505, ext. 3376</p><p>Email: <a href="mailto:carlton@tampabay.com">carlton@tampabay.com</a></p> 1 resources/images/dti/2012/10/Carlton_Sue_wp.jpg true templatedata/tampabaytimes/AuthorProfile/data/35038163-sue-carlton AuthorProfile 2012-10-25 12:46:22.0 UTC 2012-10-25T08:46:22.000-04:00 <span style="display:none;" class="author vcard"><span class="fn">SUE CARLTON</span></span><span style="display:none;" class="source-org vcard"><span class="org fn">Tampa Bay Times</span></span><a rel="item-license" href="/universal/user_agreement.shtml">&#169; 2016 Tampa Bay Times</a><br /><br />Times Columnist 2270877 2016-03-26 16:13:29.0 UTC 5 Months Ago its-been-eight-years-since-the-recession-torpedoed-floridas-state-budget news/politics/stateroundup What the 8 years since the recession torpedoed Florida’s state budget tell us about Gov. Rick Scott’s priorities StaffArticle 2280321 2016-06-04 23:56:25.0 UTC 3 Months Ago gov-rick-scott-for-vp-toxic-poll-says news/politics/stateroundup Gov. Rick Scott for VP? 'Toxic,' poll says StaffArticle 2264581 2016-02-08 20:27:53.0 UTC 7 Months Ago romano-why-gov-rick-scott-never-talks-about-obamacare-anymore news/politics Romano: Why Gov. Rick Scott never talks about Obamacare anymore StaffArticle <p><i>Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.</i></p> <p><i>— </i>Mark Twain</p> <p></p> <p>We may disagree on debt ceilings and fiscal cliffs, abortion rights and gay marriage, but here in America, we tend to hold our dogs dear.</p> <p>Even when dogs and politics mix.</p> <p>History can debate what lost Mitt Romney his presidential bid, but I will always believe it was in some small part an Irish setter named Seamus. Seamus got famous for being taken on a Romney family vacation strapped atop the station wagon for hours, an act seen as cruel. This is not helpful when you are a candidate who is very rich and hoping to win over the Average Joe who can read much into how a man treats his dog. Okay, so anti-Romneyites sometimes left out the part about Seamus being in a dog crate, a minor mitigator to many of us dog enthusiasts. &quot;MITT IS MEAN!&quot; bumper stickers proclaimed, and columnists, cartoonists and late night comics took their shots.</p> <p>If Romney was dogged by the shame of Seamus, Rick Scott has now wrought the fate of Reagan.</p> <p>Back in 2010 when he was running to be Florida's governor, Scott made the naming of his cute new rescue dog, a doe-eyed yellow Labrador, a &quot;fun contest&quot; on Facebook. And yes, that's Reagan as in the Republican president, since dogs adopt the politics of whoever fills the dish with kibble. And good for Scott. I was disappointed back when President Barack Obama opted for a purebred over a shelter pooch and all the good it could have done doomed dogs.</p> <p>Today, Scott is one unpopular, awkward politician struggling to soften his image in hopes of another term. You would think cynical PR types would eagerly trot out Reagan the family rescue, since some of us are willing to forgive a man a lot given evidence that at least his dog likes him.</p> <p>But as the <i>Times</i>' Lucy Morgan reported this week, Reagan is gone. Current and former Scott spokespeople (who apparently learned little from those &quot;Mutts Against Mitt&quot; T-shirts) stonewalled, one of them even mocking questions about Reagan's fate.</p> <p>Finally, Scott said the rescue dog &quot;couldn't be around anybody that was carrying anything&quot; and this scared people. Soon after the Scotts got to Tallahassee, he said he gave Reagan back to his prior owner. A spokeswoman later said the dog was returned to a Naples grooming and boarding business. We later learned he is reportedly living on a ranch.</p> <p>And is anyone but me puzzled that a canine candidate to live in the governor's mansion wasn't vetted for suitability like a Supreme Court nominee? All of which might have been a teachable moment about a tough situation, had Scott's people not been busy doing this dance that made you wonder if the dog had outlived his usefulness or just no longer matched the furniture. (The family now has a rescue Lab called Tallee, we are told.)</p> <p>So we are left with a sense of a lack of forthrightness. You do not improve your image nor build trust when your people blow off questions about the family dog you took public in the first place.</p> <p>No, this one's not about fixing Florida's voting problems, creating jobs or other critical issues of the day. It's just the for-now governor and his former dog, and what voters decide it says about him.</p>trueruntime2016-08-30 05:36:23