Robert Costa, in today’s National Review Online, pegs Florida Governor Rick Scott as the nation’s first “braggart-in-chief”, and for good reason: the bevy of stats Scott rigidly adheres to as evidence of Florida’s economic progress during his short tenure and as what he pitches as a pragmatic argument for his reelection in 2014.
“Our state has never been like Texas,” Scott told Costa in his interview, after citing Florida’s substantial drop to 7.5 percent unemployment. “We haven’t done enough to promote our success. So I’m teaching everyone in our state to become braggarts.”
But economic progress stats certainly aren’t the only number Scott is arming himself with. In the big digit department he also has dollars, raising an average of $50,000 per day according to the Miami Herald. These donations add to his own personal fortune from which he spent $75 million to finance his 2010 campaign.
Will deep pockets and a strong economy be enough?
Costa reiterates what Floridians know: Scott’s low approval rating reflects unchanging dissatisfaction among the state’s Democratic base, despite a number of measures Scott has taken that reflect his compatibility with shared goals; as well as growing dissatisfaction among conservatives who are peeved at Scott’s willingness to negotiate, think and weigh priorities.
Case in point: Medicaid expansion. Scott was among the more public opponents to the Affordable Care Act and remained steadfast in his opposition through the Supreme Court’s upholding of the law; but now that the ACA is being implemented, Scott would rather comply with its provisions than leave enormous sums of Floridian taxpayer dollars on the table — and in doing so, leave about a million Floridians without the health care coverage they would otherwise enjoy (albeit, perhaps only for a few years).
To Democrats, this is too little too late; and to the sector of Republicans who are willing to cut off noses to spite faces, Scott lost his conservative cred.
Nevertheless, according to Costa, Scott stays on message, touting his priorities which no longer read like a 2012 Tea Party candidate questionnaire, but instead focus solely on jobs (and education, which essentially boils down to… jobs).
“When people go to the polls, all they’re going to ask is: Am I better off with my job prospects and my home’s value than I was four years ago?” Scott says.
If this is so, Scott may earn another four year of much deserved bragging rights.