Adrian Wyllie walks into a bar…

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Does Adrian Wyllie understand how this campaign tour thing works?

On the heels of a few recent polls showing that about one in ten voters are happy to choose someone – anyone – other than Rick Scott or Charlie Crist, Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie is now getting his fifteen minutes.  So this week he announced his own variation of the Lawton Chiles walk across Florida.

And if his choice of venues is any indication, he will have to walk because he is doing a statewide tour of craft breweries.

Cheers!  Salud! Prost! L’chaim!

So why did he choose craft breweries?

Presumably he likes beer.  But, in addition to that, he feels that by touring craft beer makers, he can point out how the overly burdensome government has stifled business growth in Florida.

Ok, lets set aside some of the obvious problems with a candidate taking his campaign from bar to bar.  (Cue the Christian right.)  And let’s set aside the fact that he is also visiting a bunch of restaurants – not just craft breweries – that just happen to sell beer.  (He can ‘t be expected after all to know how beverage licensing law works seeing how he is an anti-government Libertarian.)

I can set those things aside.

But here’s what I’m not willing to set aside.

For over 20 years, the less-government party has run Florida. Even Walkin’ Lawton was bound and determined to tear the rulebooks in half. (Recall his “cook shack” speech.) During that time, this state has had a steady parade of leaders, for better or worse, bound and determined to reduce government regulations in the name of improving our economy. The pro-business interests have pretty much had their run of the place.

And now Wyllie is running against the current occupant of the Governor’s Mansion, a man who has been single-mindedly focused, obsessed actually, with helping businesses succeed and grow.

While many Floridians have mixed feelings about Scott’s record (Understatement Alert!) or whether or not his policies have been a driving factor, we have to at least grudgingly admit that Florida’s economy (like the national economy) is headed in the right direction.

The point is that Wyllie is picking thriving businesses that are succeeding, not failing.

So wouldn’t it be better for Wyllie to find businesses that aren’t bursting at the seams? Have you been to McGuire’s in Pensacola or Momo’s in Tallahassee? Have you even tried to get a table on a Friday night?

Shouldn’t he be touring shuttered shopping malls or closed storefronts instead of places filled with happy – if not half-toasted – patrons?

His message would be stronger, and taken far more seriously, if he instead toured businesses that have failed (or are struggling) due to some callous government intrusion. What if he brought his walkabout to an empty research center or closed movie production facility?  (I hear there might be a vacant one in Port St. Lucie.) That would better make his point and demonstrate the failures – not the successes – of the current business environment or of our “anti-business” government.

Let’s face it. It’s fun to root for the underdog – even if he is a polling anomaly – but it’s hard to cheer for Wyllie when his message makes no sense.

Ok … I can’t resist …

So this horse walks into a bar. The bartender says, “Why the long face?”

No?

So a man walks into a bar. Ohhhh … that must have hurt.

 I’m here all week, folks! Just don’t forget to tip the wait staff.

 

 

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.