Wednesday, August 25, 2010

So Much For the Revolution

Rick Scott beat Bill McCollum in the Republican governor primary.

Rick Scott pulled off his one-man political revolution Tuesday night, narrowly defeating Attorney General Bill McCollum in the Republican primary for governor.

With most precincts counted, it became clear that Scott had overcome the might of the Republican establishment, the special interests who dominate the Capitol and a longtime politician determined to tar his character.

Scott’s win bears witness to his personal wealth — he spent at least $50 million of it on the campaign — as well as the thirst for political change in the Republican Party of Florida, which has been rocked by scandal and whose leaders worked to stop him cold.

Far be it from me to try to figure out the minds of the Republican voters, but this sounds to me more like a repudiation of Mr. McCollum than an embrace of a man who has a questionable past as the head of a health insurance company that had to fork over millions in fines. If the Democrats are worth their oppo research, I suspect we’re going to hear a great deal about the inner workings of Columbia/HCA by the time November rolls around.

Mr. Scott will face Democrat Alex Sink for the office, but so far Mr. Scott has shown more of an interest in running against Barack Obama and for the governorship of Arizona — at least as far as immigration law is concerned. His pithy slogan — “Let’s get to work” — is one of those meaningless catch-phrases like “Just Do It” or “I’m Lovin’ It” that makes a nice tag but doesn’t say much about what he would do — and neither does the candidate. He avoided debating Mr. McCollum in the primary (can’t say as how I blame him), stayed away from in-depth interviews, and spent most of his money on TV ads.

As far as the trend of electing outsiders goes to “shake up the system,” it might have had a little more impact here in Florida if Jeff Greene had won the Democratic primary in the Senate race. But that didn’t happen, and across the state and in other primaries, so far the establishment seems to be pretty stable. Which I guess means that once you get past all the shouting and the funny hats and boogedy-boogedy talk of Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, the voters maybe aren’t as ready for the Revolution as they’re told they are.