Daily Archives: February 26, 2016

Phil Scott Leadership Watch: Ducking Rubio (UPDATED)

Update: Most of what I wrote here is incorrect. I’ve been informed that Scott’s radio interview was taped in advance. He was, in fact, presiding over the Senate when the Rubio presser was held. My apologies for jumping to a conclusion. I’m keeping the original post intact because I don’t believe in erasing my mistakes. 

It still doesn’t explain why the Republicans held the presser at a time when Scott wasn’t available, and didn’t mention Scott’s name at all. Scott clearly intended for his endorsement of Marco Rubio to gain as little notice as possible. 

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Earlier today, I wrote about Lt. Gov. Phil Scott’s arm’s-length, leave-no-fingerprints endorsement of Marco Rubio. You know, the one where he didn’t show up for a unified Republican press conference, at which nobody mentioned his name. The only indication of his endorsement was on a distributed list. He never even issued a statement about it.

Well, now we know where he was.

Yup. Paul Ralston’s vanity project, The Reluctant Pedant (I may have misremembered the title), airs at 1:00 Thursdays on WDEV. The Republican endorsement presser was at 1:00 Thursday in the Statehouse.

I gave Scott too much credit. I figured he was presiding over the Senate’s debate on marijuana legalization, a big issue on which he could have been called upon to cast a tie-breaking vote. But he was nowhere near the Senate. He was in Waterbury appearing on his “friend’s” radio show.

Now, maybe he considered that an unbreakable appointment. But the Republicans could have easily scheduled the presser for another hour, when he could have been on hand.

Nope, he was ducking. What a leader he is.

Repeating above update: Scott’s radio interview was taped earlier on Thursday. He was, in fact presiding over the Senate. Again, I apologize for my error. 

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Profiles In Courage, the Phil Scott Way!

Apparently, Lt. Gov. Phil Scott endorsed Marco Rubio for President yesterday.

I say “apparently” because he didn’t appear at the big endorsement extravaganza put on by top Republicans yesterday at the Statehouse. Nor has he released a statement of any kind.

This is pretty damn shameful. The details from VTDigger:

At a Statehouse news conference, GOP legislators touted what they called Rubio’s values-based campaign. Afterward, Rep. Kurt Wright, R-Burlington, gave VTDigger a list of those backing Rubio, which included Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, 27 representatives and one senator.

Scott was not present or mentioned at the news conference. He could not be reached late Thursday afternoon for comment.

Holy Hiding In A Closet, Batman!

The strategery had an effect — and I have to infer it was the effect Scott wanted: very limited coverage. I assume that the Statehouse media corps were covering the Senate’s debate on marijuana legalization. As far as I can tell, VTDigger was the only media outlet to report on the endorsement.

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Planet Norm’s increasingly erratic orbit

Any time a reporter has a few minutes to spare and wants to buy the Vermont media equivalent of a lottery ticket, all they have to do is give once-and-maybe-future-Senator Norm McAllister a call. If he answers the phone, he’s almost certain to say something dumb or offensive or both.

This week’s winner was Terri Hallenbeck of Seven Days, who wrangled a juicy quote from Good Ol’ Norm, whose internal exile has, unsurprisingly, failed improve his perspective. In fact, he’s showing signs of outright conspiratorialism.

The context: Hallenbeck was previewing this week’s Senate vote on marijuana legalization. At the time, it was looking like a very close thing — maybe one vote either way. Which prompted Hallenbeck to observe that this was “the second of two recent legislative initiatives on which [McAllister] might have swayed the results.” (The other one was the paid sick leave bill.) That is, if he hadn’t been suspended in January because of those pesky sexual assault charges.

Take it away, Norm…

Reached at home in Highgate, McAllister said he would have voted against both measures. “I got an idea that’s probably why some people didn’t want me there.”

Yeah, solid thinking. It wasn’t the multiple felony charges or the pending trial or the embarrassment of having an accused felon in their midst. The Real Truth is that Norm McAllister was simply too dangerous and had to be silenced! 

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