When beginning an audience with the king, Scott chose as his opening remark: “I’ve ridden elephants, I’ve never tried to shoot one.” After that ice breaker Scott continued to talk about it, describing his own hunting trip to Botswana. The exchange got wide play in Spain.
And, with a full three-day holiday weekend to play with, several of Florida’s political columnists are having a field day with Scott’s gaffe.
The Tampa Bay Times‘ Daniel Ruth has no mercy for Scott:
“It’s fair to say that should Mitt Romney win the presidency, the prospects of Gov. Rick Scott being named ambassador to Spain are somewhere between hapless duffer Charles Barkley winning the U.S. Open and Unabomber Ted Kaczynski being granted parole.”
“… As diplomatic gaffes go, this might have been right up there with former Russian President Boris Yeltsin, who having been overserved, was found wandering around in front of Blair House in Washington wearing only his underwear looking for a slice of pizza.”
However, Ruth goes a little too far by half-heartedly suggesting that Scott “not greet Chancellor Angela Merkel with a “Sieg heil!” and a stiff-armed salute.”
The Miami Herald’s Myriam Marquez yearns for Jeb Bush’s tact:
“(P)lease, please, bring your party back to coffee; a strong cafecito once in a while wouldn’t hurt, man. Give this newbie governor a second primer on Spain and Latin America. A little samba, a little salsa — Scott needs to loosen up, but not so much that he brings up the elephant in the room.”
The Palm Beach Post‘s Frank Cerabino takes a different tact, offering a mock-memo from the King of Spain on how to best deal with ‘Señor Clean’:
“(I)f you have the misfortune of being in the same room with this man, have a plan of attack.”
“As soon as he approaches you, be the first to strike.”
” ‘So, do you think you’ll have to spend another $73 million of your own money to buy your next election?’ you could ask.”
“But like I said, the best course of action is to just avoid him.”
Funny, I’ve been saying the same thing for two years.