Ron DeSantis on Day 1 is vastly different than Rick Scott

Ron DeSantis on Day 1 is vastly different than Rick Scott 

Excerpt: Following his election in November, Ron DeSantis and his wife took a tour of the Florida governor’s mansion and had a few thoughts about what needed tweaking. 

“We were actively thinking about ways to baby-proof the governor’s mansion,” DeSantis, who has a 2-year-old daughter and a 9-month-old son, joked during a recent visit to Miami. “We’ve got to figure out a way to move things a little higher, a little out of the way, because I don’t want to hear Florida history crashing to the ground.” 

The changes in the office of Florida’s governor may seem subtle as one Republican takes over for another in a state controlled by Republicans, but DeSantis is doing more than moving furniture around in Rick Scott’s old house. In the months and weeks ahead of Tuesday’s swearing-in, when he’ll become the 46th governor in Florida history, DeSantis has flashed signs of how state government will differ under a new chief executive. 

Even with Scott delaying his ascension to the U.S. Senate and hanging on a few days longer than expected as governor, DeSantis has slowly molded the executive office in his own image. He’s forged closer relationships with Republican leaders, shown greater deference to his own top lieutenants and even given some Democrats hope for compromise by awarding senior posts to members of the other party. 

Bottom Line: As recently as yesterday I laid out some of the differences you can anticipate with a Governor DeSantis taking the helm. Ron DeSantis’s voting record in congress ranked him as a conservative pragmatist. In other words, by virtue of his record he was 65% conservative on policy and 35% moderate. His initial foray and cabinet selections seem to resemble more of the same. The huge difference between Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis is background. Like Rick Scott, Ron’s background includes military service. That’s about the end of the similarities. Rick, of course, became a prominent CEO in the hospital industry. While lacking political experience, he entered as Florida’s governor with more executive/leadership experience than any Florida governor prior and a clear leadership command and style he brought to the job. Being a political outsider, he largely surrounded himself with outsiders. You might recall that during the 2016 election cycle I mentioned that Rick Scott was Donald Trump before Donald Trump if this all sounds familiar. Ron’s vastly different in this regard.  

While being the non-establishment Republican in the race, Ron still comes to the position as a former congressman with an impressive legal background. The nature of legislating effectively includes compromise and collaboration because you’re but one of 535 in congress. Ron seems to reflect those qualities as he’s extending olive branches, appears ready to delegate more tasks to his cabinet, which consists of more experienced Florida politicos than Scott’s administration featured.  

None of this is inherently good or bad. It’s just different. And today’s a new day in Tallahassee and in Washington D.C. Ironically enough our outgoing governor is going to Washington D.C. just as our new governor leaves it. 

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