By the end of the fifth season of HBO’s “The Wire,” Cedric Daniels, the intense, ambitious company man, had risen through the ranks to become acting police commissioner. However, by the time he got to the top of the ladder, he was quickly muscled out of the police department after refusing a political request to manipulate crime statistics. His tenure lasted about two episodes. Daniels is seen in the final episode starting a new career as a lawyer.
Daniels came to mind this weekend as additional details were revealed about the scandal engulfing the Rick Scott administration about its role in forcing out FDLE chief Gerald Bailey.
So Bailey is Cedric Daniels? No, not at all. Bailey served as FDLE commissioner for several years, while Daniels didn’t even officially become Baltimore’s police commissioner. The parallel here with Daniels is, perhaps, Melissa Sellers, the governor’s chief of staff, who is at the center (if not the cause) of this latest controversy.
There’s just no way Scott is gonna do Sellers the way Daniels got done, is he? (By the way, the average reader may be repelled by the structure of that last sentence, but trust me, that’s exactly how David Simon would have phrased it.)
Sellers has been on the job less than two months. She’s been fall-on-the-sword loyal to him. They’re probably simpatico with each other, thinking the world, or at least the Capitol Press Corps, is out to get them.
So, as much as the chorus on Adams Street chants that “Melissa is in trouble,” what can Scott do about it? Fire her a month before the start of the 2015 legislative session? Even if he did, who replaces her? Is there a Caporegime within the “Louisiana Mafia” capable of stepping up and serving the governor? That’s doubltful.
That said, it’s becoming abundantly clear that Sellers, while gaining firm control of the Executive Office of the Governor, may be out of her depth, despite her obvious focus and intelligence. There is unreported story after unreported story still left to be discovered by the Steve Bousquets and Michael Van Sicklers of the world of Sellers making poor decisions as an administrator (hello, Charlotte’s Web!) and of intimidating both her political allies and enemies. (You think Gerald Bailey’s the only guy in Tallahassee with a story to tell?)
Unfortunately, unlike a television show, Rick Scott has few good choices in front of him. He can’t get rid of one of the few people left loyal to his agenda and who served him so ably during the campaign, nor can he allow his second term to continue like it has during the first month of it.
For goodness sakes, it took all of two weeks after his inauguration before a major newspaper, The Palm Beach Post, asked if he was already a lame duck!