Daniel Ruth

Scott doesn't need to get to work — he needs a tutor

It's merely an idle guess, but it could have happened this way.

Not all that long ago bazillionare Rick Scott was lingering over his perfect manhattan at the swanky Daddy Warbucks Golf and Tennis and Bath and Coupon-Clipping Country Club down in Naples, watching the Perrier ice cubes swirl around his crystal goblet and wondering to himself what other great enterprise awaited him in life to royally screw up.

"Maybe I'll run for governor," Scott casually mused to his close friend John Beresford Tipton the XXI, scion to the blowout oil preventer fortune.

"Bully! What a bully idea," his pal responded, as he perused a prospectus for a company that produces accelerator systems for Toyota. "Run, Stretch, run!"

"But wait," Scott said in a rare of moment of hesitation for a man who is often wrong but never in doubt. "I don't know anything about running a state government. I'm just filthy rich."

"Tut-tut and tut-tut some more," replied Beresford Tipton the XXI, who was now looking over an opportunity to invest in Lindsay Lohan's next movie project, a biography of the women's temperance movement's Carry Nation. "When has not knowing anything ever stopped you from tumbling from the top?"

And so it might have come about that Rick Scott, a man more indifferent to the affairs of state than Groucho Marx's Rufus T. Firefly, has found himself on the potential precipice of becoming the Republican Party's nominee for governor, if only he can sue his rival, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, out of the race. Bully.

And it hasn't always been an easy ride for Scott, R-I Was Never Indicted. Say, there's a resume builder for you.

Over the past few months, the gazillionare has called upon his fellow travelers to "Get to work." But it would seem the candidate himself has put less time into educating himself about the job he wants than Maynard G. Krebs.

"This is hard," whined Scott not too long ago while out and about on the hustings.

What Scott found so hard, so difficult, so daunting was having to answer questions from those pesky, annoying, irritating reporters who keep asking him stuff. Really hard stuff, too.

There have been all sorts of trick questions, clearly designed by those lefty, commie, pinko, Kremlin-agenda driven infamous scribblers to lure Scott into a damaging gaffe, inquiries such as what would Scott do about various issues affecting the state. Oh the unfairness of it all!

Instead, all these ink-stained wretches want to know about is Scott's stewardship of mega-sawbones mill Columbia/HCA, when it was charged with the biggest Medicare fraud in American history, paying a record $1.7 billion fine.

And now this chap wants to be governor? Wouldn't that be a bit like Charles Manson applying to become a Hollywood homes of the stars tour guide?

Little wonder then that Scott, R-And I Wasn't Interviewed By the Feds, Either!, has tried to avoid getting within a pica ruler of anyone carrying a notepad, or a microphone, unless they happen to be wearing a Sarah Palin for Queen in 2012 button.

Some of the issues that have bumfuzzled Scott, R-And I Never Even Had To Take The Fifth, So There!, are items such as an amendment to kill public campaign finance, growth management laws and the state's proposed $536 million deal to buy 73,000 acres of U.S. Sugar Corp.'s Everglades holdings.

And the candidate had only the barest passing knowledge of Florida's Bright Futures Scholarship program.

What the rookie pol has learned — or perhaps not — is that running for office is more than simply dropping gobs of money on television commercials, running around blah-blah-blahing about illegal immigrants in Arizona and telling people they need to get to work (if only they could actually find employment), when the candidate doesn't seem so inclined himself.

Indeed, Scott has even quipped that he hoped by the end of his campaign he might someday know the names of Florida's 67 counties. Why, the man is a pillar of ambition. Imagine how comforting that is to someone living in, say, Escambia County, to have a candidate for the highest office in the state who in all likelihood has no clue where you live asking you to vote for him.

At least he probably knows three counties — Collier, Sarasota and Palm Beach.

Rick Scott doesn't need to get to work. He needs to get a tutor. It is not an unreasonable expectation that anyone who wants to be governor ought to know something about the job or the state they claim they want to lead.

If Scott can even find it, sitting up in Tallahassee (which is in Leon County by the way) involves more than mouthing tea party bromides about Mexican tomato pickers. It involves actually caring about the people of the state, who are more than simply nearly 19 million potential Medicare billing statements.

Let's get back to … school?

Scott doesn't need to get to work — he needs a tutor 07/08/10 [Last modified: Thursday, July 8, 2010 9:29pm]

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