Scott/McCollum…a very irreverent view

The time was 1980 and our nation was stuck in economic malaise; foreclosures were taking place, unemployment was on the rise; there was uncertainty in the stock market, and we were facing a gloomy future and a new term was introduced into the lexicon: the Misery Index. The Democrats, who were in charge of the Congress and White House at that time were pursuing an economic agenda of higher taxes, deficit spending, and more government in an attempt to pull our nation out of an economic tailspin.

A party divided will not stand. Is a Scott/McCollum ticket the answer?

(Is Williams’ idea absurd? Stranger things have happened…)

By Gregory M. Williams

The time was 1980 and our nation was stuck in economic malaise; foreclosures were taking place, unemployment was on the rise; there was uncertainty in the stock market, and we were facing a gloomy future and a new term was introduced into the lexicon: the Misery Index.  The Democrats, who were in charge of the Congress and White House at that time were pursuing an economic agenda of higher taxes, deficit spending, and more government in an attempt to pull our nation out of an economic tailspin.

The Democrats had just re-nominated Jimmy Carter as their standard bearer and former Congressman John Anderson was running as an Independent.  The Republicans, who had just completed an expensive and divisive primary of their own, chose California Governor Ronald Reagan, “the political outsider” over former Texas Congressman and U.S. Ambassador to China, George H.W. Bush, the “Republican insider” to be their nominee in the 1980 elections.  

Fast forward to today.  Florida has one of the highest unemployment and home foreclosure rates in the country; coupled with and economy built on tourism that is suffering as a result of the ailing national economy and the recent BP oil spill.  Floridians are justifiably concerned about their economic futures and they want change. 

The Democrats, who seem deaf to the economic concerns of the electorate, have nominated political activist and businesswoman Alex Sink who also happens to be the wife of Bill McBride, a former Democratic gubernatorial nominee who lost to Jeb Bush in 2002.  Sink is supported by the same usual big government and liberal constituencies that supported her husband in his failed quest for the governorship. Sink, like her husband will no doubt support the same tax and spend agenda for Florida that the Obama-Pelosi-Reid regime is currently pursuing on a national level to cure our current economic and societal ills.  Sink recently chose former state senator Rod Smith —  the runner-up candidate to her husband in 2002 –to be her running mate.  While it may have taken years to do so, the Democrats have chosen the path of unification in their attempt to win back the governorship for the first time since 1994. Republicans need to do the same.

In a divisive and the most expensive gubernatorial primary in Florida history, the Republicans chose Rick Scott, an accomplished businessman and “political outsider” over former Congressman and current Attorney General Bill McCollum, the “establishment’s candidate” to lead our party in the fall elections.  Make no mistake, the only way the Sink-Smith ticket wins this November, is if the Republican Party remains divided. 

As Mr. Scott’s choice for a running mate will signal what type of governor he will be.  That is why it is important that he and his advisors keep in mind the time tested words of President Abraham Lincoln who astutely observed from the Scripture, “A house divided against itself will not stand;” and a divided Republican constituency in our state cannot achieve a general election victory for Governor in 2010 if our party remains divided. 

Lincoln was not only a great President but he was also a very smart politician. He knew in order to be successful it was important he keep his political rivals close to him and appointed many of them to be key members of his administration.

Just as Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush were able to put aside their personal and political differences, they were able to form a formidable political ticket, unify our party, and win the 1980 presidential election in a landslide; in the process they formed one of the greatest administrations in our nation’s history.   I believe Mr. Scott needs to follow the example of Lincoln and Reagan and choose Bill McCollum to be his running mate for the upcoming general election.   Conversely, Mr. McCollum needs to put aside any personal grievances he and his supports have, unify our party, and keep the leadership of Florida out of the hands of tax and spend liberals.

A Scott-McCollum ticket will be very formidable and almost impossible to beat.  Scott not only brings personal wealth but a businessman’s approach and a fresh face to state government. By choosing McCollum as his running mate, Scott will unify our party, bring McCollum’s vast public service experience at the state and federal level and be able to use McCollum’s political statewide organization all of which will be necessary if we are to be successful in defeating the Democrats this November.  Moreover, should Scott be successful in becoming our next Governor, with or without McCollum as his Lt. Governor, he will need to work with the Republican-led legislature, many of whom supported McCollum in the primary, in order to successfully enact his legislative agenda and get Floridians back to work.

Gregory Williams was a Senior Policy Advisor under President George W. Bush at the U.S. Department of Energy where he also served as the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and had extensive experience working with the nation’s Governors and State Legislators on energy issues.  He has also worked on Capital Hill in both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.  He graduated from the University of Florida in 1986 where he majored in Public Relations and Communications. E-mail him at

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18 thoughts on “Scott/McCollum…a very irreverent view”

  1. What a stellar idea! Each brings his own set of skills and perspectives but they are very complementary to each other, on the skill level. Where Scott is a businessman with the chutzpa to get thing done, McCollum knows his way around the capitol and the establishment Rebublican oranization. Having both on the ticket also cancels out the down side of each.


  2. Reply to Ann:

    Yes I did and I still believe that. The column you read was
    not written by me. I don’t think there is a snowball’s chance in a desert that Scott will pick McCollum. And I think it’s a ridiculous idea but it is irreverent…

    Chris Ingram


  3. Very interesting and I like it. McCollum has said he wants to stay in public service. I bet he would go for it for many reasons….most important being the heir-apparent to the throne.
    Chris…stay on this. You’re right, that would be an unbeatable ticket.Work you’re magic!


  4. “Barking Dogs Block Fire Truck on the Way to Fire” Political Headlines of the RPOF. It’s not about YOU the people of Florida;your taxes,your unemployment,your overbearing state & county governments: it’s about Prima Donnas strutting on the public stage and securing their inside pork ($). A Governor who doesn’t need pork is uncontrollable, and combined with citizens who aren’t controllable?? Horrors to the Establishment!!! Better to have Socialist Sink than the Rabble.Harrumph!


  5. The RPOF should mend the fences, with the grass roots and the establishment. Afterall they caused this mess. Bill McCollum should man up and do the same. Tie the two together in the Governors race and the Governor’s Mansion will be a Conservative Republican residents again.
    Republicans would do well to remember “A man is not guilty of any crime until a jury of his peers convict him in a court of law”. As an officer of the court Attorney General Bill McCollum should take heed.


  6. While I agree a united Florida Republican party is what we need – I don’t think we will see a Scott/McCollum ticket. It would be nice though. I am afraid McCollum is too big a cry baby and he and his supporters who refuse to grasp the big picture may cause a great deal of harm to Florida. Scott won the ticket. Republicans now need to support Scott. A vote for Sink is not getting even with Scott – it is hurting the people of Florida. Listen people, we have lots of problems here in Florida and across the country. We can not afford to divide our party. Do you really want another Democrate in power? Look at the mess they have put us in already. Everyone needs to pull up their boots and march forward – united together – for the best interest of Florida.


  7. The two running together would make them both hypocrites, big time and opportunists besides. You, Chris,spent weeks and weeks bashing McCollum and now you’ve suddently changed your tune and tone. What does that make you? Regardless, it’s an absurd idea.


  8. There may not be a snowballs chance, but if Scott and McCollum can put asside their personal feelings (Mostly McCollum) they would present a real challange to the Dems.


  9. Scott/McCollum? What an insane idea! A majority of Republicans thought, correctly, but-it-was-my-turn-McCollum is a joke. An even greater number of Democrats agree. Since Dems outnumber Repubs in FL, Scott will need plenty of Dems to vote for him. Thank goodness for conservative Dems in N. FL. A far better choice for running mate is Sen. Paula Dockery (R-Lakeland). A classy lady who bucked Jim Greer’s decree that he would decide who would run for Governor (McCollum), and no others need apply. The Lt. Gov. is the Gov’s “go to” person of the Gov’s legislative agenda. Sen. Dockery has served in both Houses and knows the ropes. Scott/Dockery. Let’s Get To Work!


  10. Not only no but HELL NO. McCollum needs to be shown the door. Plus that jackass will not endorse Rick Scott. To hell with him.

    It is time to take ALL of these encumbents and give them their pink slips


  11. I’ve got an idea for you…The Scott campaign needs some one with experience with running the Governor’s office so why not draft former Governor Claude Kirk. As you may recall from your history books Claude Roy Kirk was the first Republican to be elected Governor of Florida in 100 years in 1966. He served for 4 years and is still live,and available. If you need to contact him you can find him in Pam Beach. You may want to reference a recent profile of him in Florida Trend’s May issue


  12. The private word out of the RPOF is that quite a few county chairs would rather see a Sink governorship than a Scott one. They think Scott will bring too much change to RPOF and therefore he would damage the power structure.

    Lots of party people are still stunned. Many will say all the right things about party unity. Then they will get to work for Rubio.


  13. Sully:

    Quite a few county chairs would be best to recognize that they are irrelevent. Most of the county chairs supported McCollum and he lost. What does that tell you about the county chairs’ ability to influence the electorate?

    If they won’t support Scott, he has enough business savy to assemble his own supporters and volunteers to get the job done. He doesn’t need the fife-doms that the county executive committees have mostly become.


  14. I think Rick only needs to look to Lakeland to find his running mate and one that will beef the ticket up to an unbeatable stature. Come on Paula step to the plate. You should have been number one, but settle on number 2 to help Florida.


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