Opinion of The Suncoast News
Published: March 14, 2013   |
Updated: March 20, 2013 at 11:25 AM
Since becoming Florida governor in 2011, former hospital executive Rick Scott has made a number of mistakes, which isn't uncommon for elected leaders, regardless of party or ideology.
An early Scott decision this space declared a bad idea was the governor's at-times confrontational approach to dealing with the Capitol media corps. Eventually, the governor lightened up a bit, but not before his public approval ratings in the polls plunged.
Another big mistake, especially for someone claiming to be a conservative, was his decision to campaign in a pledge to create 700,000 jobs in Florida, which had been ravaged by the post-2007 real estate and housing market collapse and the recession. By setting a job-creation number, Scott erected a big numerical target at which his critics could shoot arrows for the next four years, which is what they have done. He also helped overstate the ability of government to create jobs, which is considerably less than its power to destroy them.
The governor, who claimed 200,000 new jobs so far in his State of the State speech this week, should have pledged to pursue policies that would aid job creation, such as making wise decisions on taxes and spending, and leave it at that.
If the governor decides to ignore the poll numbers and run for re-election in 2014, look for his opponents — possibly even a Republican primary challenger — to use against him the job-creation-pledge weapon he handed them.