Rick Scott’s State of the State: ‘Let them eat donuts’

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The following is a cross-post from Ben Kirby of the Spencerian.  You’ll be reading a lot from him in the next ten days as I take time to celebrate my pending nuptials.


Hospital grifter Governor Rick Scott’s grandson is named Auguste.  He’s 8 weeks old, apparently.

I learned that from the hospital grifter himself, in the early part of his State of the State speech today (download the full text here, PDF).  It was the first thing that bothered me, crawled under my skin like a parasite.

The second thing was the donut deal.  He talked about the lady who owns a donut shop from Tampa, and then he rambled on for longer than I figured he might about his own days as a donut shop owner.

Two funny things about that.  First, what he said specific to the shop owner and his experience in Tampa — “We sold out; more than 240 dozen by 8:30 a.m” — was an apparent lie, if you believe PolitiFact, or have any use for it whatsoever.  They didn’t sell 240 dozen donuts by 8:30 a.m.  According to the “fact checker” at PolitiFact:

Waatti [the shop owner] and workers told PolitiFact Florida the number was definitely above the 65 dozen they originally baked for the shop and was probably around 80 dozen.

She said the 240-dozen figure includes all of the doughnuts sold at both Nicola’s locations throughout the entire day Scott worked at the bakery.

He said they sold 240 dozen donuts by 8:30 a.m.  They didn’t.  It’s not “mostly false,” whatever that might possibly mean.  It’s “false”.  Or pant’s-on-goddam-fire, who the fuck can tell the difference.  These are the same people who don’t understand the word “end,” so I guess you sort of take what you can get with them.

Second, and certainly weirder, he got absolutely owned by the Pink Slip Rick people at that same Tampa donut shop.  And they got it all on video.  It’s just brutal, devastating stuff, casting a sorry image of a bumbling clown-man not even competent to do the morning count at a donut shop (which he is apparently not), much less run a state in crisis.

If it were me, I wouldn’t want to give the Pink Slip Rick people the chance to re-run that footage every chance they got.  I wouldn’t want dopey bloggers like me re-linking it for the world (or an average of 40 readers a day, thanks so much to you all) to see.  I’d want to forget it ever happened.

Apparently not Grifter McGee.

I got lost in the text of the speech, I have to admit.  My mind kept wandering.  Something wasn’t clicking, something wasn’t working for me.  I mean, the man is not a natural speech maker, but this one was really not firing on all cylinders.  Or maybe even any of them.

And then it hit me.  I was looking for a policy speech.  Numbers.  Figures.  This is the Mister Let’s-Get-To-Work Governor, right?  This is the governor who ran as a hard-core, cut-throat businessman, right?  Think of him as a precursor to Mitt Romney, but with ideological creepiness attached instead of a miasma of flip-floppedy policy mush.  There were charts and spreadsheets.  He was the man for us in our hour of need, the guy who would lead us out of this mess with a business plan.

This wasn’t that speech.

This was about Auguste.

Auguste’s parents are the grifter’s daughter, Allison, and her husband, Pierre.  Thing is, though, the grifter’s got another daughter, Jordan.  She and her husband weren’t there, and that’s what stuck with me.  Where in the hell was Jordan?

See, thing is, Jordan doesn’t have any kids.  To put it in colder terms, Allison and Pierre and their offspring served a purpose so they were there.  Jordan and her spouse didn’t.  So they weren’t.

After all, this wasn’t a policy speech.  This was a framing speech.

That is to say, a campaign speech.  Looks like the grifter is running for re-election.  Now, you’re going to say to me, duh.  And yes, I probably should have seen it coming.  But to be fair to me, A.) it’s awfully early to be (even unofficially) kicking off the campaign for an election that will take place in 2014, and B.) these kinds of speeches usually lay out policy stuff better than the governor did.

I will concede he fluffed his “plan” to infuse $1 billion into education.  But if you think the grift won’t continue in that regard, you have not been paying attention.

My best guess is the veto-proof Establishment-GOP Legislature, wary of the Governor, recognizes that he’s still better than the alternative.  They’re all too willing to play a sort of collective Snidely Whiplash to his donut-loving Dudley Do-Right.  The other thing we all know is that the guv is not a natural campaigner.  He didn’t get to the Governor’s Mansion through his political prowess — he bought it with his vast fortune.  Someone is looking at his numbers and realizes the re-framing has to begin now.

Don’t think about a Lex Luthor-esque hospital grifter anymore.  Look for a kindly grandfather who loves donuts… and the children of Florida to the tune of $1 billion.  Watch and see if those in the traditional media pick up on the ruse — because let’s face it, you know the man hasn’t changed — or if they buy in to this latest grift from a guy who, you have to admit, is pretty damn good at it.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.