POLITICS

Gov. Scott pens new book, but won’t talk about it

 

Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau

Gov. Rick Scott, long rumored to be writing a book, recently told reporters it won’t be available until at least November.

“Not until after the election,” Scott said a few days ago.

Scott’s campaign manager, Melissa Sellers, said: “There’s basically no book going anywhere until after the election. There are a lot of other things going on.”

Apparently the people at Amazon.com have other ideas. The website on Tuesday began taking advance orders for a book it says will be available by April 15. The book’s title is Chasing Sunshine: Remarkable People Who Found the American Dream in Florida, published by Greenleaf Book Group Press.

The blurb on Amazon.com says the people who are profiled in the coffee table book include “George Burgess, the world’s foremost shark expert; Gladys Rubio, hurricane chaser; Tramar Dillard, best known by his rap persona, Flo Rida; and Mary Ann Carroll, one of the original Florida Highwaymen artists.”

Scott collaborated on the 205-page book with an inspirational Florida author, Heidi Tyline King of Tallahassee.

King has written for Southern Living magazine and has done corporate profiles for Fortune 200 companies, she said.

Meanwhile, as Scott collaborates on his upbeat book, he also will use a new statewide TV ad buy to soften his personal image with voters.

Starting Thursday, Scott’s face returns to TV screens as his re-election campaign spends $2.2 million on a TV ad that appears designed to humanize him. He’s dressed in a casual shirt and is photographed from a side angle discussing his impoverished childhood.

“I think about my dad’s face when his car got repossessed,” Scott says as soft music plays in the background. “I think about my mom and how hard it was for her to put food on the table.”

The new ad tackles Scott’s greatest vulnerability: his persistently low popularity ratings in polls, a sign that many voters simply don’t like him or can’t relate to someone who spent $73 million of his fortune to be elected governor in 2010.

Polls show that Scott’s probable Democratic opponent, former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist is more popular with voters.

Crist, recently completed a three-week national tour promoting his book, The Party’s Over: How the Extreme Right Hijacked the GOP and I Became a Democrat.

Scott’s campaign chairman, Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, said it’s important for the governor to reacquaint voters with his background, and how it relates to his desire to help people find jobs.

“In any kind of campaign, people forget. They have short memories,” Thrasher said. “This is who this man is.”

“It’s ironic,” Crist’s campaign said. “Rick Scott says he’s thinking about helping people while buying ads paid for by the very corporations receiving huge taxpayer-funded contracts.”

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