Day 1 differences show up behind the scenes for Florida’s Governor(s)

Day 1 differences show up behind the scenes for Florida’s Governor(s) 

Excerpt: At 6 p.m. Friday, Scott announced the appointments of more than 70 people to various boards and committees. Then, on Monday, mere hours before DeSantis technically became governor, Scott issued several more appointments, bringing the grand total to 84. 

DeSantis told reporters Monday that he will “definitely rescind” some of the “lame duck appointments,” and that he’s “going to look at all of them.” 

Behind the scenes, Scott’s handiwork received a cooler reception. U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Panhandle Republican who served as a co-chair on DeSantis’ transition team, said the team was “frequently frustrated” with Scott. Gaetz said he was personally “put off” by Scott’s flurry of last-minute appointments. 

“When he stood up [to leave during DeSantis’ inaugural ceremony] I was wondering if he was running back to the office to make nine or 10 more appointments,” Gaetz said. 

Bottom Line: The biggest mistake anyone can make in politics is to make absolute assumptions about how someone will, in this case govern, based on one’s political party. If anyone doubts how different one Republican Chief Executive can be from another – compare and contrast either President Bush with President Trump.  

In recent days I’ve outlined numerous differences between Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis, in part, to illustrate the point that changes are coming to Florida. I’d gotten the sense that after eight years of the Scott administration, most Floridians and in news media had been assuming it was going to be more of the same. Already we’ve seen that’s not the case – starting with the composition of DeSantis’s cabinet of generally experienced Florida politicos as opposed to Scott’s outsiders. DeSantis appears to be leaning on the recommendations of those he’s tasked with aiding him more than Scott did. And then there’s this... 

Making 84 appointments in your final couple of days in office would typically appear to be the kind of thing you’d do if there was a change in power that you had your concerns about unless you’re doing it as a service to the incoming governor to make the on boarding process smoother. Clearly that wasn’t the case here since the DeSantis team asked Governor Scott not to do it. Many will try to read a lot into this. In the article they go on to suggest this is bravado and gamesmanship as there’s jockeying for the position to be Florida’s top Republican for future Presidential aspirations. There’s jumping the shark and then there’s whatever that is. Plus, were that to be the case, Marco Rubio might have a question or two for you about why he’s not in that conversation.  

The more realistic answer is that they’re different people with different ideas and they’ve already demonstrated they’re inclined to surround themselves with people of differing backgrounds and experience. The biggest takeaway is that we have a new governor for the first time in eight years and he’ll be running Florida differently. We’ll understand what that means with time. 

Brian Mudd

Brian Mudd

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