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The job Scott should attempt is governor

It would seem when it comes to understanding the full range of duties associated with the job that Rick Scott entered office knowing less about the details of governor stuff than Wile E. Coyote contemplating some-assembly-required Acme nuclear missile.

Last month, Scott acknowledged he was stunned to learn one of the things governors do from time to time is sign death warrants. That revelation didn't occur to Scott until he was well into his campaign for governor.

How did Scott think these people wind up dead? Did he deduce the Black Spot Fairy suddenly shows up on death row? Did he believe the warden spins a Wheel of Misfortune to pick the unlucky inmate?

Surely at some point over the course of his 57 years at the time he launched his campaign, Rick Scott had read about a governor signing the paperwork for some miscreant that it was time to order up the last meal?

More recently, Scott noted he had only recently learned about Bob Graham's well-known workdays toiling away as a janitor, or garbage man, or waiter and the like during both his time as governor and later as U.S. senator. Did he even know who Bob Graham was? Better not to go there.

It was such a bully idea that Scott has decided to adopt Graham's workdays into his own schedule, which began this week when the governor spent time selling doughnuts to constituents in Tampa.

Next up, figuring out his own job. This might take a while.

What all this suggests is that the body politic last year elected someone to the highest office in the state who had only been a resident since 2003 and had spent precious little time educating himself about Florida and the role of governor before dropping more than $70 million of his own money to buy the title.

Since Scott is going to be around for at least another three years, unless he sells the state to Georgia, as a public service here are a few things the governor probably ought to know about Florida and his job.

Over in St. Augustine, there's a big old thing called Castillo de San Marcos. Please do not tear it down to make way for a walk-in clinic. It is the oldest masonry fortification in the United States, dating back to 1672. And, no, those people who built it were not speaking a funny language. It's called Spanish.

There is more to Florida than Naples and swooning tea party acolytes of the Villages, who regard Scott as the Lady Gaga of budget cuts. If Scott thinks high-speed rail is such a lousy idea, he should try driving himself from Orlando to Tampa. Let's throw in some whining tots in the back seat just for fun.

Those annoying creatures who show up en masse on leashes held by lobbyists in Tallahassee every year should not be confused with Pomeranians. It's the Florida Legislature, although it is hard to tell the difference. Much as you would like, you can't ignore them. But you can rent them.

A bit of political history. Claude Pepper is not the name of a soft drink. Reubin Askew is not a sandwich. LeRoy Collins is not a cocktail. And George Smathers is not a jelly.

That large wet thing in South Florida is Lake Okeechobee. And no, you can't drill for oil in it. That would interfere with all the agricultural chemical pollution.

As governor, when you sign a bill you can't treat the event as something out of a secret fellow traveler Skull and Bones Society moment. Not everybody in the state is a right-wing conspiracy theorist. Well, most everybody. Still, a governor should at least pretend that he cares what people who didn't vote for him might think.

Governors need to take in the social flavor of the state. To that end, Scott should participate in Tampa's annual randy Gasparilla festival honoring a fictional pirate who pillages and plunders. It's similar to being an executive of Columbia HCA, only without Columbia's Medicare fraud charges.

As for the next workday, can we make it happy hour?

The job Scott should attempt is governor 08/04/11 [Last modified: Thursday, August 4, 2011 5:19pm]
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