Scott Milne is honestly convinced he’s got a chance to beat Governor Shumlin.
He thinks, in spite of all available evidence, that all he needs is for voters to believe, and the Evil Pirates of the media to stop insisting his candidacy is dead.
So, how did a successful businessman, who must be keenly aware of the hard knocks of the real world, become so self-deluded?
Well, he’s living in a bubble. And he’s mistaken that bubble for reality.
He spends his time on the stump, interacting with people who hate Governor Shumlin and yearn for deliverance. They welcome his presence and cheer his words.
Everybody else, he never sees. He’s living among a small, self-selected, and heavily skewed sample of Vermonters.
This is his experience everywhere he goes. It’s intoxicating stuff for someone who’s never played at this level before.
On the other hand, he never holds news conferences, so he hasn’t experienced that ego-deflating fandango. From the looks of things, he has little contact with fellow Republicans who are now regretting the day they ceded their precious nomination to him. (Has he ever, even once, made a joint appearance with Phil Scott since the launch of his candidacy?) He’s got a small campaign staff who also have little experience, and are presumably loyal to their man.
Inside the Milne Bubble, there’s a broad groundswell across the state that will carry him to the governorship. Surely, he believes, stuffy old Eric Davis must be wrong; after all, our Pundit Laureate is up in his ivory tower all day, while Scott Milne travels among the Real People of Vermont. Surely Milne’s experiences are more significant than Davis’ private musings.
And when the fairy dies on Election Night, Scott Milne will know who to blame. Not himself, and not the people of Vermont. The real killers will be Eric Davis, Mark Johnson, Anne Galloway, Paul Heintz, and the rest of those damn pirates.