Absurd as it sounds, people who have talked to Florida’s tea party governor about the Republican presidential field are convinced Scott has a bid lurking in the back of his mind.
“I’m not running for president,” Scott declared the other day.
Probably he won’t.
But let’s say the field of Republican candidates still looks muddled and uninspiring come November. Let’s say no one has managed to persuade Jeb Bush or New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to get in the race. Let’s say fed-up tea party activists still dominate the GOP primary electorate and show no enthusiasm for the “electable” Mitt Romneys, Tim Pawlentys and Jon Huntsmans of the world.
Enter Rick Scott, fresh off a year of slashing spending and regulation in Florida, and of infuriating moderate Republicans, independents, Democrats and newspaper editorial writers. By then a proven, uncompromising antigovernment crusader, he may be the best sell among Republican primary voters in these turbulent times.
I must have missed the cosmic event when the sun turned red, Earth became Bizarro World and Rick Scott gained super-political powers (such as the “extreme executive powers he is using to stop a woman from receiving her food stamps in a single bound!).
I realize Jimmy Olsen, err, Adam Smith needs to attract viewers to the Buzz, but the notion of Rick Scott running for President is a story crazy enough for comic books.
Why? Not because Scott’s Lex Luthor-sized ego would not enjoy the attention he’d receive from a presidential bid. But because Scott knows better than to expose himself to his own personal kryptonite: the national investigative media who would make drill down on HCA, Solantic and every other scandal lingering in Scott’s phone booth.
Michael Isikoff would have a field day with Rick Scott. The New York Times would set up its own frekin’ bureau to re-investigate the Columbia/HCA scandal. The Washington Post would turn Florida’s governor into the modern equivalent of ‘Tricky Rick.’
The scrutiny would be unbearable and unrelenting. Like I said, it would be Scott’s kryptonite. And on the national stage, Scott’s personal fortune would not be enough to save him.
Look what’s happened to Donald Trump in the last month. He went from atop the GOP field of presidential contenders to a national laughing stock. What do you think Seth Myers could do to Rick Scott?
Only in Bizarro World could Rick Scott being taken seriously as a presidential contender. Fortunately, our sun is still yellow and the next time we’ll see Superman is when Christopher Nolan finishes his script.