The most irritable people in Vermont politics these days — and it’s not even close — are the hard-core Phil Scott supporters. They’ve even managed to out-outrage the anti-renewable crowd, which is really, really hard to do.
I’ve got a few Phil-o-philes in my Twittersphere, and boy do they get angry when I suggest that Phil Scott is anything less than the exemplar of the Perfect Politician. Here’s an all-too-typical sample.
So let me try to explain how I see the guy.
I don’t hate Phil Scott. I think he’s a genuinely nice guy who’s managed to balance running a business and performing public service. An admirable person in many ways.
What i have no patience for is the Phil Scott hagiography that’s running rampant.
When I first saw this on Twitter, I must confess I got a little bit excited.
Here, at last, was something I’d been hoping for but not really expecting: an actual statement from Vermont Republicans on their party’s sorry-ass presidential field. Which is a problem for the VTGOP, because no matter which candidate gets the nomination, he or she will certainly be a drag on the VTGOP’s ticket — while either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders promise to spark high turnout among Democratic voters.
So what wisdom does VTGOP chair David Sunderland offer at this difficult time?
Now that the July 15 campaign finance reporting deadline is past, Lt. Gov. Phil Scott has begun to actively fundraise. He’s sent out a missive to “Friends and Supporters” asking for money. (And since the next reporting deadline isn’t until March 2016, for God’s sake, it’ll be the better part of a year before we find out how he’s doing. Way to fly under the radar, Phil.)
Not clear exactly what he wants money FOR, because he’s not yet ready to decide. Or so he says.
He does, however, inch noticeably closer to the gubernatorial starting line: “… we have more work to do, and I am preparing to step up and lead.” (bold print is his.) And later on, he writes:
“Strong teams get the best results. With the challenges we face right now in Vermont, teamwork is more important than ever and I believe I can lead a team that can make these things happen.”