Rick Scott Is Pissing Off All The Florida Republicans By Being A Petty Dick And It Is Glorious
Florida's former asshole governor Rick Scott and Florida's new asshole governor Ron DeSantis have been butting heads for the last week or so, making a bit of a hash of DeSantis's transition into office, according to a fun piece in Politico that makes one long for the classy rich-gal catfights of "Dynasty" or that episode of "Star Trek" where Captain Kirk's body was taken over by a lady. What we're saying here is that TV sure can be terribly sexist, huh? And also that Florida politics attracts grandiose weirdos like Rick Scott. We'd give the advantage in any "Dynasty"-style fight to Scott, by the by, as he has no hair for DeSantis to claw.
Politico details several slights and insults on Scott's part, the sort of thing that in another age might have pushed DeSantis to demand satisfaction on the field of honor (which is a good reminder for you to read The Field of Blood, Joanne Freeman's excellent book on violence on the floor of Congress in the 1830s-'50s). Apparently there had been a whole bunch of little tiffs that finally "burst into public view" on Tuesday, when Scott unceremoniously walked out of DeSantis's inauguration ceremony so he could fly off to Washington to get sworn in to the Senate. DeSantis had planned to thank Scott in his speech for being a wonderful governor and stuff, but was left having to ad-lib in the parts where we assume he'd written "hug Baldy" and "ask Bat Boy to stand up and take a bow."
Politico notes Scott's abrupt departure came on top of another slight regarding the scheduling of competing fancy la-di-da snob picnics for donors and lobbyists:
DeSantis loyalists were already miffed that Scott's political committee decided to throw a ball in Washington to celebrate his installation in the U.S. Senate that overlapped with the traditional inaugural celebration for the governor in Tallahassee.
The inaugural affront came on top of several other gross discourtesies last week. For starters, Scott had made over 70 last-minute appointments to state agencies Friday, granting plum jobs to political buddies. De Santis has already said he's considering undoing those appointments, because come on, he has cronies too, jeez.
And then there was the party Scott decided to hold in the governor's mansion -- after DeSantis and family had already moved in. According to Matt Gaetz, who ran the DeSantis transition, Scott informed DeSantis and his wife Casey Friday, the day after they'd taken up residence, that Scott planned to hold a little party on Monday, the day before the inauguration.
"It shows how inconsiderate the Scott administration was," said Congressman Matt Gaetz [...]
Gaetz said the DeSantis family only learned at the last minute of the party plans at the mansion, when Scott told them, "Oh, by the way, I'm going to have a party with 48 people at the mansion on Monday."
Correct us, Floridians: We are not intimately familiar with the mansion for the executive of your lovely state, but we'd have to assume that there's an entire wing of the mansion for exactly those kinds of official events -- perhaps the party was held in one of the mansion's six state rooms, and it was not in fact as though the party guests were in the DeSantises' den or standing around the kitchen keg. And honestly, if it makes Matt Goddamned Gaetz unhappy, well, gosh. We guess that is "sad."
The whole Politico piece is full of juicy trashings of Scott by other Florida Republicans who prefer to remain anonymous, including one GOP consultant whose excuses for Scott still made him sound like a scatterbrained idiot: "When Scott has a campaign or a goal he's incredibly disciplined, but he's not nimble and here he didn't have a plan so it all fell apart."
At least one of the Dems they spoke to went on the record and enjoyed trashing Scott, as one should:
"It's pretty clear that both of these men think they're going to be president, one by being Donald Trump's vice governor and the other with Scrooge McDuck money," said Kevin Cate, a Democrat and adviser to the unsuccessful 2018 Democratic nominee for governor, Andrew Gillum. "Scott has always been politically awkward and it's no shock he'd be awkward heading out the door, even to someone from his own party."
Good call, even if we don't know what "Donald Trump's vice governor" is supposed to mean. We shudder to think what shenanigans Scott might have pulled had Gillum won the governorship -- Scott might have held the party, mentioned it at the last minute, and asked Gillum to serve drinks.
The article also notes that Scott also denied a traditional courtesy to his own lieutenant governor, Carlos Lopez-Cantera, by staying in office until the very last day of his term instead of resigning and going to Washington to be sworn in with the other freshman senators on January 3. The move cost Scott what little seniority he might have gotten in the Senate, but Scott said he just had to do it so he could "fight for Florida families every single day of his term," you see.
But now Lopez-Cantera won't get listed among Florida's governors and won't even get an official portrait in the Hall Of Who Cares. The last Florida governor to become a US Senator, Bob Graham, let HIS lt-gov, Wayne Mixson, share in the glory, but not Rick Scott, if anyone cares (yes, Florida Goopers care).
Those dueling inaugural balls also ruffled some feathers among the Sunshine State's GOP elite, which seems as full of palace intrigues as whatever European nobles you want to name check to evoke decadent rich fops. Hapsburgs? Sure, why not:
Scott tried to quietly nudge some Florida consultants and lobbyists to attend his event, insiders say.
"The word went out from Scott World — not explicitly but we understood what he meant — if you go to DeSantis' inaugural, you're dead to Rick," said one GOP consultant. "You're finished."
"I was not asked. I'm a Tallahassee lobbyist, not a Washington lobbyist," said a veteran lobbyist. "But I know for a fact others were presented with what looked like an ultimatum."
OK, one more pull quote from an aggrieved Florida pol, because jebus these people. A bigtime Marco Rubio supporter who's been miffed since Scott slighted Rubio during the 2010 campaign told Politico Scott's going to have to get over himself once he realizes he's just another member of the Senate:
"I used to think it was Scott's team, but it's Scott," the source said. "They will go out of their way and spend inordinate energy to pick petty squabbles and fight battles that only exist in Scott's head. No other senator holds an inaugural ball in D.C. But Scott did. He thinks he's still like a governor. But what he's going to learn in the U.S. Senate is he's largely irrelevant as the most junior senator."
Gosh, and to think this is the Florida GOP mafia that just LOVED Rick Scott when he was busy handing favors to polluters, refusing to expand Medicaid, and following every last whim of the NRA. We'll let you know immediately when one of them decides they've suffered the insults of the other long enough and bricks the rival into a wall.
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