Darkening the Sky

Via Politico‘s Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman comes the grim news that Florida Gov. Rick Scott is planning to spend up to $100 million to hang onto his gubernatorial position in 2014.

You’d think that four years of destruction would be enough for Scott. But no: despite chronic approval ratings as low as a gator’s belly and polls showing him losing badly to predecessor and potential Democratic rival Charlie Crist, Scott seems determined to gut it out at any cost. And though Burns and Haberman report talk of some sort of Obama-style voter-file investment by Florida Republicans (Republicans always talk about this stuff), the guts of a Scott re-election bid will be “darkening the sky with paid media.”

As a survivor of the last such gubernatorial effort on this scale, Meg Whitman’s $143 million 2010 campaign in California, I can warn Floridians to be very afraid. Whitman’s endlessly redundant, soul-destroying ads seemed designed to bludgeon voters into submission: “OK, Meg, we’ll let you be governor–just stop the ads!” And compared to Rick Scott, eMeg was personally almost pleasant (so, too, would be just about anyone).

I think patriotic Floridians should begin a petition drive to beg their governor not to run for re-election–not to get him out of office (they’ve have every opportunity to do that in November of 2014 if not earlier), but to avoid the psychic damage of a $100 million Scott campaign.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.