Friday, January 20, 2023


I'm just a schmuck blogger and not a Very Savvy Insider like Puck's Tara Palmeri, but she's just published a story called "Who's Afraid of Rick Scott?" that says the circus-freak Florida senator might take down fellow Floridian Ron DeSantis, whom he apparently despises, in the 2024 presidential primaries -- and, well, I'm going to call bullshit.

A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics gives us the summary.
... the article by veteran journalist Tara Palmeri suggests, as one DeSantis alum puts it, it’s “very bad news” if Scott indeed passes on a re-election bid after all and runs for the presidency.

... Palmeri suggests the Senator has been operating on two tracks. His Chairmanship of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which started and ended with Democratic control of the Senate, was a way to “build his own donor network across the country.”

“Rick is always a guy who maintains options because he has a checkbook,” a “former DeSantis staffer” was quoted as saying. “He’s very disciplined and he doesn’t do things half-assed. He’s very analytical and it’s a very dangerous proposition for DeSantis if he runs. Rick has the credibility to take the wind out of Ron’s sails and he has the money to wear him out.”
Oooh, scary! I mean, sure, Scott raised a lot of money in his bid to regain the Senate for the GOP. The campaign was an embarrassing failure, but I assume he connected with a lot of rich people. Also, he's very rich himself. But if he enters the presidential race just to hurt DeSantis, what exactly does he plan to do to him?
The attacks could take many forms, reportedly. “Scott views the DeSantis administration, I’m told, as overly focused on culture war piñatas rather than fiscal issues,” Palmeri writes...
Oh no! Not the culture war! Republican voters hate the culture war, and only spend seven or eight hours a day watching Republicans fight it on Fox News!
... before suggesting that double-Ivy DeSantis’ student loan debt may be a campaign trail albatross, useful to “frame DeSantis as a taxpayer-mooching grifter who is worth $300,000 while still carrying student loans.”
Are you kidding me? America's richest senator plans to attack DeSantis for having student loans? This is a subject on which even DeSantis can sound sympathetic:
“I basically made decisions to serve in uniform, as a prosecutor, and in Congress to my financial detriment,” DeSantis said in October 2018. “I’m not complaining about that, but I’m not entering (office) with a big trust fund or anything like that, so I’m not going to be entering office with those issues.”
You might think Republican voters would object to DeSantis using those loans at fancy-pants Ivy League schools, but the GOP base likes it when Republicans get fancy degrees, as long as those degrees are used for the purpose of owning the libs. (See, e.g., Ted Cruz.)

What else?

WAAAHHH! He's taking credit for my work! Yeah, that's an appealing campaign posture.

As for the jets, Florida had two of them available for state travel prior to Scott's time as governor. He eliminated them and used his own private jet instead. (All DeSantis has to say in response to this is "Unlike you, I didn't own my own jet.") The plane DeSantis is using went into service in early 2020 -- and DeSantis won reelection in a landslide two years later. Obviously, it wasn't an issue.

(And remember that the leading candidate in the race for the nomination will be the most corrupt grifter in the history of the presidency -- who is also the most beloved figure in the Republican Party.)

I'm not saying that DeSantis can't be toppled. I'm saying that the GOP base is predisposed to like him for his awesome lib-owning, and is not predisposed to like Scott, who fumbled away a chance to win the Senate back, and who never owns the libs. DeSantis can be beaten, but Scott won't do it.

Why did Palmeri even write this story? I guess it's beat-sweetening -- she thinks Scott will someday be an important figure (maybe as Mitch McConnell's replacement eventually) and she wants to curry favor with him. But to what extent does she actually believe this, merely because Scott wants her to and because he can provide quotable flacks arguing on his behalf?

I'm not a savvy insider, but I know bullshit when I see it, and this is bullshit.

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