Time‘s Swampland wonders:
Why have Floridians turned so sour on their new Governor? Are they simply taking out their anger at the recession – the state’s unemployment rate still sits at almost 11% – on whomever’s sitting in the Governor’s mansion? Is it because, as Scott’s office insisted in a recent statement, he “wasn’t elected to be most popular” but to make “tough decisions” on slashing state spending, including an almost 8% cut in education? Or could it be that Floridians are feeling buyer’s remorse – that they fear Scott is ultimately more interested in serving the Tea Party’s government-eradication agenda than he is in serving them?
It’s likely a combination of all three.
Author Tim Padgett notes that that Scott launched an ambitious agenda, and made several major controversial policy decisions, despite narrowly winning the election and not carrying much of a mandate to do anything other than help get the state’s economy moving again.
Exactly what Scott is thinking remains a mystery, but he seems to be betting big on economic development — that unemployment will continue to fall, allowing him to take credit and tout his efforts to lure companies here. Today he held a conference call with economic development officials from around the state to discuss what he described as a successful trade mission to Canada, in which state officials helped play matchmaker between local representatives and more than 100 foreign companies they hoped to attract.
St. Petersburg Times business columnist Robert Trigaux discussed the significance of the trip in a recent column, noting that while there are plenty of holes in the success stories Scott has trumpeted so far, he has generated a good deal of buzz among the state’s public-private economic development outfits.