With apologies to Mr. Harwood.
Early front-runner for Sound Bite of the Campaign Season is former Governor Jim Douglas. He had given a hearty endorsement speech at Phil Scott’s campaign launch; afterward, VTDigger’s Mark Johnson asked him what issue Scott is identified with.
Douglas’ short answer: “Uh, you’ve stumped me.”
That’s bad. The actual audio is worse. You can hear it at VTDigger, but here’s a transcript:
Johnson: So what’s the issue you identify him with?
Douglas: The issue I identif — ? Dunno if there’s a specific issue, um, we talked about some today, but uh [pause] uh, you stumped me. Again.
And right there is the core problem with the Scott candidacy: Jim Douglas, his most famous supporter, can’t name an issue Scott has championed.
Phil Scott spent the last 15 years as State Senator and Lieutenant Governor, but he doesn’t have a signature issue.
And there’s an obvious nominee. Scott is a construction guy by trade, and he served on the Senate Transportation Committee. Leaving aside the questionable ethics, that’s a natural fit, a place where he could have shown leadership and brought his practical skills to bear on the challenges of governance.
Did he? Jim Douglas, who was Governor when Scott was on that committee, can’t recall that he did.
I’m sure if he gets another hack at the question, Douglas will have prepared a better answer. But that’s a pretty damning FAIL from deep within the Phil Scott camp.