Sunday, July 10, 2011

Rick Scott was giving us signals of his style before he was elected

Came across this one in my research. His meeting with CNN’s Kiran Chetry he was on point and on message back in September.
Here's the link from YouTube. You should try to catch this if you can.

Chetry: “Why would you want the job of CEO of Florida?”
Scott: “I lived the American dream.  I started out in public housing…My father was a truck driver and  back then truck drivers got laid off a lot.  I know what it’s like to be unemployed, having parents unemployed, and I’ve lived the American Dream.
“I want that same dream for my daughters, my son in law and everybody in Florida,” he said.[i]
Sometimes people can’t help but to answer honestly. This rare glimpse into the subconscious mind used to be called a “Freudian slip.”
His dream apparently is to stick it to everyone: so that every kid coming up now, can experience the spine-strengthening joy of having parents mostly unemployed, while the family is crammed together in low-income housing.
Oh the bliss of renting rather than owning, and living hand-to-mouth, while being shuffled along with the economic currents like a gypsy, by the whims of the wealthy and the powerful.
Such joy to provide such a childhood, for everybody else!
Ricky’s world is reminiscent of a scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The peasantry is seen groveling in the mud as they self narrate happily, ”grovel, grovel, grovel; all day long.”
Why certainly it’s a plutocrat’s wet dream that we should all so happily grovel.
Yeah. Okay? Sounds like a dream alright, as wished upon us by the Chinese government bent on punishing us for our evil capitalist ways, that is.
Thanks but no thanks, Governor Rick. Or should we say GOVERNOR MAO!?
During the interview he was again asked about Columbia/HCA and Medicare Fraud.
Chetry, exhibiting the muted, corporate FOXLite kindness that is endearing itself ever-so, to the likes of Job Stewart, actually called Rick’s red-headed step child, Columbia/HCA “a little bit of baggage there.”
“A little bit of baggage”? Yeah? A “little?” Maybe you could get Uncle Ricky a pair of slippers and some warm cocoa too? Wouldn’t that be nice?
But he had obviously learned a valuable lesson from watching NFL: running out the clock.
It doesn’t matter that you don’t answer: just burn out the clock.
He has a canned response that lasts almost a full minute ready to go and all of us are now familiar with it. He now uses it everywhere.
Here’s why it works on television: In a morning show like this one, where news is pancaked between the Priceline adverts and the car commercials, Chetry has just six minutes to get these questions in.
So, Ricky runs out the clock. Nearly 20 percent of the interview, we listened to something that sounded like this:
 “Well, you know what I tell people is, when you’re the CEO of a company you have to take responsibility for everything that happens. That company made mistakes and so, I take responsibility. That’s the difference between a business person and a politician. A business person takes responsibility when things go poorly. You know you have to show up and fix things.”
It’s pure, brilliant gibberish. It means nothing. It certainly doesn’t mean “I take responsibility.” What he’s really saying is, “someone else did this.”
He’s doing the thing many masters of corporate-speak do, he’s “taking ownership,” (wink) otherwise known as “soft-owning” massive mistakes; that can cover fraud, tanking the economy, pollution, wrongful death, oil spills, you name it. It’s all the rage. CEOs everywhere are doing it these days, they are soft-owning it, paying the tab, nodding, and winking to congress, kicking the dog, leaving the light on, and walking away, buddy. Elvis has left the building.
Much the way BP’s CEO Tony Hayward “took ownership” of the BP oil spill. Remember?
“It’s not our accident but we take full responsibility. We will clean the spill,” he said back in May 2010.[ii]
Garbage. It also turned out to be a lie.
Rick’s learned from the best. And watching NFL on the weekends obviously taught him how to run out the clock.
Even though he ran his canned one-minute response covering Columbia/HCA, and said the one-second word “jobs” no less than 21 times in a six minute interview -  sometimes stringing the “jobs” together like a tail-gunner, as in “jobs, jobs, jobs…I build private sector jobs” - Chetry still had time for a couple more questions.
One was about a republican ad, ball-peeing Scott’s new competitor, Alex Sink.
The ad, which rated a “barely-true” by Politifact, said Alex Sink invested the state’s employee pension fund unwisely and “lost $24 billion.”
Reverberating Politifact’s findings, she said Sink was part of a team who made those investment decisions. Chetry didn’t even mention the fact that the market murdered all our pension funds and yet no one person was ever held to account.
Well and good enough for Rick to do the corporate thing and soft-own the mistakes of others, or Wall Street billionaires taking TARP, he wasn’t going to let Sink get away from her mistakes. He wasn’t going to her slip off this hook, as easily as he slipped off of his own, with a $300 million parachute.
Oh no! Her crimes were simply unforgiveable, and he said so.
“She was told by auditors multiple times the investments were way to risky,” he said. “That should never have happened. She’s the chief financial officer of the state. She’s responsible for this. She lost $24 billion of pension money for Floridians. That’s a big problem.”
What’s interesting here is, in this context, state workers are “Floridians.” But when it comes time to get rid of them they become hated “government jobs,” which have to be eliminated in order to “grow the economy.”
The mutable, slippery truth of Ricky-world.
Anyway, food for thought. Here's to hoping big media like CNN and MSNBC can open up more in the way of time slots to cover news sometime soon. I have often wondered why, if there are so many companies wanting to advertise, they can't just double the ad rates and open up more air time so there is some value to be gained from watching the news?
More food for thought.

[i] “Rick Scott Interview AM” CNN Sept. 27, 2010

[ii] “BP CEO: Not our accident” The Raw Story May 3, 2010.

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