Email insights: Rick Scott campaign manager Melissa Sellers polishes #Fangate turd

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There is spin … and then there is polishing a turd. And Rick Scott campaign manager Melissa Sellers tries really, really hard to do the latter.

Quickly after last night’s strange gubernatorial debate, an odd email came from Sellers.

Subject line “The Crist Hits the Fan,” the email attempts to put the blame for the incumbent’s now infamous off stage temper tantrum squarely on his opponent.

“Charlie Crist lost another debate tonight and he is desperate to change the subject . . . to his fan,” it says.

Sellers wants to make “one thing clear,” Scott “never refused to take the stage and debate.” She adds that campaign did not know Crist even taken the stage, because supposedly the Democrat was in an “emergency meeting” with debate organizers “pleading for his precious fan.”

What Sellers does not explain is why debate moderator Eliott Rodriguez of CBS4 made the strange announcement that Scott would not participate.

It wasn’t “short delay, misunderstanding or disagreement.” What Rodriguez said was very clear.

Essentially, it is this: You can believe Sellers – widely regarded as the architect of the governor’s poorly advised refusal to take the stage — or you can believe your own lyin’ ears.

Now on to real business … Sellers trying to somehow, some way spin this mess in Scott’s favor. Her strategy: a new slogan for supporters to latch upon.

Case in point:

“Charlie Crist can bring his fan, microwave, and toaster to debates.”


“Charlie Crist:  Powerless to Help the Jobless.”

No matter how she tries, few of them will get the traction of the rapidly trending #FanGate.

Sellers ends the email as such: “In a few weeks, Charlie can plug his fan back in where it belongs … at his trial lawyer office.”

A trial lawyer jab? Weak sauce, indeed.

Voters have not seen spinning this fast since, well, Charlie Crist’s Fan.

Editor’s Note: Tried to make it through without a “fan” pun. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.