A Phone Call Would Have Been Nice

By: Keith Lang, The News Service of Florida
By: Keith Lang, The News Service of Florida

Tallahassee, FL - Campainging for governor, Rick Scott wasn’t particularly courteous when talking about President Barack Obama, whose policies he slammed on the campaign trail. But somehow the incoming governor was surprised this week to be left waiting for a courtesy call from Obama that never came: a heads up about a ban on new drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

Scott, who was in Washington, D.C. this week along with 28 other newly-elected governors to get some face time with the beleaguered president, wondered aloud why the phone didn’t ring before Obama decided to reverse a previously-announced decision to expand oil drilling in federal waters in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and parts of the Atlantic.

Prior to the explosion at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and the spill that ensued, Obama had said he would allow more oil exploration in federal waters, an announcement that lit a fire under many environmentalists who supported his candidacy in 2008. However, this week U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar revealed that proposal had been drilled, saying new exploration would be allowed in bodies of water where it is already taking place.

Scott, who derided the president’s budget plans during the campaign as “Obama Math,” similarly said his drilling plans don’t add up either, calling the announcement "yet another example of government regulation impeding economic growth."

The reaction from the man Scott is replacing, however, was much more gushing. Outgoing Gov. Charlie Crist, for whom the clock strikes midnight Jan. 4, praised the decision this week, telling reporters that "to be clean and green as we go forward as a state and nation is only good for Florida."

Like Scott however, another newly-elected statewide official, U.S. Sen.-elect Marco Rubio, was not pumped about the announcement.

“The administration's new policy is an obstacle to job creation and imperils our national security by making us more dependent on foreign oil from hostile regimes," the Republican rock star said in one of his few public pronouncements since his landslide victory last month. “On this issue, the White House should have left politics out of the equation and based its decision on sound energy policy that advances our economic development and national security goals."

Rubio's Democratic counterpart, Sen. Bill Nelson, said during a national television interview that "there's simply not going to be any drilling off of Florida as long as I'm senator." But state Senate President Mike Haridopolos, who appears to want that period to last only two more years, hammered Nelson.
"It's another example of a job-killing policy led by the President and, unfortunately, embraced by Sen. Bill Nelson," Haridopolos said. Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, had been a vocal supporter of a plan to allow drilling in near-shore state waters, but after the BP oil spill, both he and House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, said they would not push the legislation during their terms at the helm of the Florida Legislature.

By week’s end, it wasn’t clear if Scott was able to air out his grievances with Obama during the group meeting, which the president noted was attended by many proud Democrats, “though not as many as I expected.” What changed of course was the election of Scott and a host of other Republicans in November.

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  • by Anonymous Location: leon on Dec 8, 2010 at 08:49 AM
    mushroom....poison ummm Shannon isn't to far from the truth,so is K.AS for MR Obama not calling him big deal. In this high-tech world we live in I wonder why he didn't go on line everyso often to see any updates out there. If I was Mr. Obama I wouldn't touch such a CROOK as Scott either. UggH!!! There are crooks and then there are CROOKS. GOTAA GO fixing to throw up at the thought.
  • by mushrooms Location: America on Dec 7, 2010 at 09:29 AM
    SHANNON...you could always hibernate in a dark closet for four years...
  • by K Location: Tallahassee on Dec 6, 2010 at 04:47 PM
    Well, what a surprise. Rick Scott is whining about not getting a phone call. He's really mad because his great plans for drilling off of the coast of florida is now on hold. As a native Floridian, I thought we were always against drilling off of our coast. Then the BP oil spill. What has changed, other than we now know what an oil spill (or threat of one) will do to the rest of our economy. We are built on tourism, fishing, agriculture. I cannot understand Rubio, Scott and Haridopolus. Don't they care about anything other than helping big business and pandering to the tea party?
  • by just sayin Location: tally on Dec 6, 2010 at 03:59 PM
    Scott should have realized that obama is a divisive president. He should also realize he won't be "fist bumping" him in the halls of the white house..that was for Alex Sink, the democrat. Community activist? That's what they called him. Look at the communities where he worked......just a door to door seller of pipe dreams if you ask me...and he made a lot of money off those fools too.
  • by TOM Location: MADISON on Dec 4, 2010 at 07:30 PM
  • by Mia on Dec 4, 2010 at 05:42 PM
    The president says drill and do not drill when it suits his campaign contributors like George Soros. Scott should have been notified since other governors were told.
  • by m Location: florida coast on Dec 4, 2010 at 08:53 AM
    he wants to kept drilling so a few more jobs can be had,while there is a need for thousand of jobs are needed. what about the LOST jobs when the oil is all over the waters again. we are just startn to recover from this one and it will TAKE awhile yet. said before things are only gona get worse when he IS in office. thank goodness mr.president changed his mind about drilling.
  • by shannon on Dec 4, 2010 at 05:36 AM
    Sounds as if the gov-elect has a high opinion of himself. Why? If this is how he keeps up with what's going on, we're going to have a very LONG four years. Afraid? I am.
  • by Anonymous Location: Seattle on Dec 3, 2010 at 06:41 PM
    Double low blow Afgan president Karsi wouldn't bother to see President Oblamer in Kabul . The governor of Florida can't even get a heads up call from a globably diarespected President . I guess Scott isn't as important as he thought he was the TP should protest.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 3, 2010 at 04:46 PM
    It looks as if the new governor needs to fire some of his staff. Most of the rest of us who keep up with the news seems to know what the governor-elect or his staff doesn`t. The POTUS is not required to make courtesy calls to state leaders. If this is how Scott is starting, it`s going to be a difficult 4 years. Conservative complain about the poor not bettering themselves and the unemployed not finding jobs - here we have a group of conservatives that will not do their own research and expect the White House to tell them what they need to know. Go figure.
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