This morning, my blogging colleagues at the Political Hurricane suggested (via Twitter) that Jennifer Carroll’s resignation “… will be old news next week and nobody will care except politicos that are obsessed with this stuff.”
I couldn’t disagree more.
In fact, that screeching sound you hear is the abrupt halting of whatever momentum Governor Rick Scott was building with his move to the political center on Medicaid expansion and teacher salaries.
I’ll expound more on my thoughts about what Carroll’s resignation will do to Scott’s administration in a separate post, but for now, I want to share this brutal op-ed from the Tampa Tribune‘s Joe Henderson. I believe it best encapsulates what will be the punditry’s reaction to Carroll’s meltdown. Henderson writes:
There was already blood in the water for Scott’s re-election chances, and Wednesday’s abrupt resignation of his second-in-command, Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, opened the spigot full blast. The only thing missing is the theme from “Jaws.”
… No one is suggesting Scott faces any legal trouble in this, but he is in a world of hurt politically. Based on his low approval numbers, voters considered his judgment suspect. Now he has given more fuel to those who view him as a rank amateur in the game of high-stakes politics.
… For now, it’s hard to see Scott’s tenure remembered as anything but the second coming of Claude Kirk. Maybe he can buy voters a lot of forgetfulness with a war chest that could reach $100 million, but unlike 2010 he is an incumbent with a record — and not a good one.
At this point, the likely scenario for 2014 is a cardboard box to help clean out his desk and note that says, “Let’s get to work.”