Joe Henderson: Rick Scott’s game plan is in place and that should scare Dems
Rick Scott. Image via AP.

Rick Scott
To win back the Senate, Scott tells Republicans they will need more than Donald Trump's endorsement.

Rick Scott certainly learned to play the political game extremely well, especially for someone who rose to power as an anti-politician.

That’s why Democrats should be more than a little concerned that Florida’s junior U.S. Senator is the National Republican Senatorial Committee chair. Scott is crafting the party’s strategy to win back that chamber in the 2022 midterms. And if we should understand anything about Scott by now, it’s that he knows how to win.

He is savvy, ruthless, and relentless. Scott also has an instinct to relay the right message at the perfect time and never go off-script.

How many times did we hear “let’s get to work” on his way to becoming Governor in 2011? Sure, he was awkward — soaring oratory was not and is not his strong suit — but Florida was deep in a recession, and he pounded that simple message from the outset of his campaign.

It also helped that he poured $64 million from his ample bank account into the campaign. Let’s not forget that.

The fact Scott was willing to do that is central to his story, though. When he wants something badly enough, he goes all in. Let’s just say that if Republicans regain control of the Senate, Scott will be in line for a lot of credit from members of his party.

Many of them will owe him favors, too, and don’t think he doesn’t know that. If you don’t believe he has the White House in the back of his mind, you need to reconsider.

On “Meet the Press” Sunday, Scott said that, sure, Republicans next year should accept the endorsement from what’s-his-name in Mar-a-Lago. Actually, trollers, Scott didn’t say “what’s-his-name.” That was all me.

Anyway, Scott went on to say, “you’re going to win not because somebody endorses you.”

Translation: Candidates better have something to sell beyond blind allegiance to a clothes-challenged emperor. Maybe it’s education, the environment, taxes, immigration, or whatever clicks with the voters in those particular states.

In another interesting twist that puts Mr. Mar-a-Lago’s influence into at least a little question, Scott said the NSRC would actively support all Republican incumbents running for reelection. That includes Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, who incurred the emperor’s wrath by voting to convict him during his second impeachment trial. The emperor vowed to visit Alaska and campaign for Murkowski’s opponent.

Scott’s statement, therefore, is tantamount to defiance in today’s Republican Party.

However, when asked directly, he still couldn’t say the election wasn’t stolen.

“Let me be clear. Joe Biden is President. We went through a constitutional process. Joe Biden is President of the United States,” Scott said.

It’s unfortunate that Scott, like most Republicans in Washington, can’t say out loud what everyone knows. Multiple recounts, audits, and court rulings indisputably prove that no one stole the election. To say otherwise is fake news of the highest degree.

But I guess it figures that Scott took the tap dance approach. In his world, 2020 is gone, and all the focus is winning back the Senate in 2022, and it’s about setting the agenda, not settling grudges.

If what we’re seeing so far is any indication, Scott’s game plan is already in place.

Joe Henderson

I have a 45-year career in newspapers, including nearly 42 years at The Tampa Tribune. Florida is wacky, wonderful, unpredictable and a national force. It's a treat to have a front-row seat for it all.


  • Ocean Joe

    November 8, 2021 at 7:50 pm

    How on earth are Charles, Tom and the gang going to attack this column? Will stand by for the usual barrage of bs.

  • ScienceBLVR

    November 8, 2021 at 8:19 pm

    So right Joe and Joe..but they will try and fail as usual..

  • Ron Ogden

    November 8, 2021 at 9:30 pm

    But Donald Trump’s endorsement is only going to help, Ol’ Joey II, and nobody is going to do without it.
    This screed isn’t about Rick Scott, of course, it’s about Donald Trump–yet again. Almost six years of your life you’ve spent trying to undo Trump, and yet he remains, standing over you like a golem while you try to figure out which way you are supposed to dance to make him go away.

  • tom palmer

    November 8, 2021 at 9:41 pm

    It seems clearer than ever the Democrats need to get to work.

  • Tom

    November 8, 2021 at 10:14 pm

    Yes McAuliffe’s play book was successful Joe.
    He learned from the worst, the Clinton’s
    That’s the best example they have. Trump, Trump, Trump.

    Go woke so you can be a joke, like moron AOC. His stunt with the racist shameful Lincoln org was a awful example, where is peter h? Lincoln is done.

    McAuliffe’s all time blooper, giving the middle finger to the parents of Virginia, was the all time classic in political ignorance. He literally ran the worst campaign ever. Every word out of his mouth was, “dog whistle” Trump, clone, and clown. It didn’t work Joe.

    Scott rightly knows you must have real issues, like Youngkin offered, not cheap attacks like McAuliffe. What are the Dems issue Joe?
    $450,000 for illegals who were separated under the law? At least 50 House seats will flip with that alone. The POTUS doesn’t even know his policy. Dr Rice hadn’t told him.
    You never hear the extremists defend any topic? What do the Dems stand for?

    POTUS’s approval is 38%, down from 41%.
    Giggles Harris, is a woeful 28%, a bigger lightweight than Dan Quayle. Dems and Independents are abandoning Biden.
    Cong generic ballot is GOP 46%, Dems 38%. Political Avalanche.

    Scott knows the playing field is very favorable.
    Repub Senate may win 6 seats.

    Joe, you still haven’t offered how inept this WH is in making Gov DeSantis, America’s Governor.
    You can thank them.

    • Joe Henderson

      November 9, 2021 at 12:19 pm

      What does your comment have to do with what I wrote?

      • Tom

        November 12, 2021 at 6:18 pm

        You wrote about Sen Scott encouraging others to campaign on issues, not just Trump support.

        The Dems are empty on issues. Youngkin left a blue print and it does not consist of Trump. That’s not to say he can’t help. He has encouraged and brought blue collar, middle and working class voters over. Like Gov Ron carrying Hispanics and doing well with African American families on education choice,

        Scott is correct, campaign on issues unlike the Dems. The voter data on VA and NJ is very damaging for Dems. Extrapolating the data by Cong dist across country, it’s a huge advantage for the GOP. Scott has his own favorable data and research from the committees.

        Year is long but results very favorable for a 50 seat pick up. Plus 4 to 6 senate seats.

        • Tom

          November 12, 2021 at 6:20 pm

          Looking forward to Sunday as always Joe. Thanks

  • From 'Task' a comment at American Greatness

    November 9, 2021 at 8:55 am

    Trump won in 2016 without a scintilla of a record. That is all you need to know about Obama’s record and Clinton’s popularity. At the end of his very successful tenure, he was loved among every supporter he garnered in 2016 plus an army of minority voters who never previously voted for a Republican. Why would they not? They had jobs, homes, automobiles, boats, far better wages and money in the bank. Americans once again had reason to love their country and so did the world. However Trump’s enemies, both foreign and domestic, faced the most formidable enemy imaginable. Every American hating fascist, socialist and communist faced a setback that made anything other than a 2016 Deja Vu, as likely as discovering that Elvis Presley had lived disguised as Jeffery Epstein.

    Trump also faced the most inept candidate imaginable who was accompanied by a VP that had about the same effect on minority voters as a pirates skull and crossbones flag has on a ship full of tourists. Yet somehow after bringing 16 House Republicans over the finish line without even one Republican House Seat being lost and after wining 95% of all Bellwether Counties he somehow lost. All the coattails were not supposed to matter. In fact Obama won far more counties than Biden (873/524) while Trump won 2,497. Trump won 11 million more votes than he did in 2016 and he received far more minority votes than he did in 2016. He won more votes among women than he did in 2016 and more than doubled his support among the LGBTQ voters. Historically no incumbent who has received 75 percent of the total primary vote ever lost re-election. Trump received ninety-four percent of the primary vote.

    How was it that Trump lost? He was denied a second term by the most blatant and coordinated fraud in US history. Tell me that Dominion Machine vote counts and tabulations are accurate, safe and secure after five states that used them, simultaneously and synchronously, stopped counting in the middle of election night. When had that happened before, even once?

    Americans want to believe good things about their country. Americans instinctively recognize that, unless this systemic fraud is uprooted and eliminated, there is no future for America as a Constitutional Republic. In one election, on display for the entire world to witness, America flipped its reputation, as a land where the First Amendment prevails, like nowhere else in the world, on its head, to become the most envious country, not among Free Republics, but among Banana Republics managed by dictators.

    America is facing a total demise of her once enviable reputation. She cannot hide her history. Yet no court, think tank, committee or media wants to face the election fraud perpetrated on November 3 for two reasons. First, is that America cannot deal with the psychological implications and turmoil associated with the necessary introspective analysis required to make things right. Secondly, extremely powerful, ruthless and dangerous elements of a global ruling class have much, if not everything, to lose, should the full truth exposing election fraud become detailed, reported and recognized. There is far too much personal danger when taking on the money interests that bought and paid for those in the powerful positions responsible for such epic fraud.

    The only possible way for America to evade its destiny, as a failed democratic republic, is to reelect the President whose victory was denied. There can be no other. A Republican, no matter how competent, cannot remove the ‘original sin’, the indelible election stain, which is otherwise insurmountable despite the massive revisioned history coverup attempts. Only Donald Trump can. Only he can mange, via a Grand Bargain yet to engineered and announced, to satiate the crowds, restore election integrity and recapture the soul of America that was clearly lost on November 3, 2020. That is his destiny.

    • Joe Henderson

      November 9, 2021 at 12:20 pm

      Trump lost.

      • Captain Howdy

        November 9, 2021 at 12:54 pm

        And the election was completely fair, right? No shenanigans, not a hint of any fixing, right? The integrity of Democrats can’t be questioned, right? Not as if they would seek to remove Trump BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY, right? That Hunter Biden laptop was Russian disinformation, right? Media was perfectly fuck’n justified ignoring that story and kicking the NY Post off Twitter and FB, right? Pigs fly and journalists are the most respected group in the US of fuck’n A, right?

        • Joe Henderson

          November 10, 2021 at 12:51 pm

          Trump lost.

          • Captain Howdy

            November 10, 2021 at 1:06 pm

            And that is all that matters, right? Everything else is irrelevant LOL because ORANGE MAN BAD

  • Yep

    November 9, 2021 at 10:35 am

    You make a former democrat, liar, and philanderer sound like the second coming.

    He lost. Get over it.

  • Captain Howdy

    November 9, 2021 at 10:56 am

    LOL Why not? Democrat ranks include plenty liars and philanderers, and worse. Like Bill Clinton, who couldn’t keep it in his pants on a serial basis and never got more than 50 percent of the vote. Creepy Joe Biden is a longstanding liar, panderer, plagiarist and hack who’s now showing signs of dementia LOL.

Comments are closed.


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