He’s a Good Boy and Other Maternal Instincts

Would a gubernatorial candidate’s mother hold any weight in terms of whether or not you’d vote for him?  Even if she declared that “he’s a good boy”?  That’s exactly what one of Florida’s Republicans is banking on.  Rick Scott, despite the controversy that might surround him, is becoming a candidate to watch in what’s always an exciting race.   Southern politics are always entertaining, even if the candidates are rarely ever transparent enough.  Still, you can always find those true believers, no matter who the candidate is.  There’s nothing more American than walking into a small coffee shop that still uses those heavy stoneware coffee mugs, reminiscent of the 1960s, and overhear a small group of farmers debate their stance on religion, medical costs, whether the Vietnam war was worth it and if any particular candidate’s wife is too pretty for politics (and yes – that’s a true story I overheard).  It’s just the way it is.  Trust me – not all elections are won based on the merits of the candidates.  I suspect that small group of farmers, complete with their Carhartt overalls and toothpicks in their mouths, have influenced the outcome of more than a few elections over the years.

Now, though, there’s a 30 second commercial that features Esther Scott, the mother of Rick Scott ,who’s looking to set up housekeeping in Florida’s capital.  She is one of those sweet ladies who no doubt believes the sun rises and sets on her son.  In her eyes, it’s just the way God made him.  It’s clear she supports him, like moms are supposed to, as the video fades to a photograph of the two of them standing together in his first business venture and as she explains he gave her a job.  As the commercial (which, by the way, you can see below) ends, she says, “He’s a good boy”.  It’s so sugary sweet that you can’t help but fight the temptation to show up at her house for Sunday dinner – you know she’s the matriarch of the family and you know she’s been cooking Sunday dinner for as long as she’s been able to reach the stovetop.

Honestly, I think this was a genius move by the Scott campaign.  This is definitely getting to the heart of the matter.  What’s more powerful than to hear a mother assure Floridians that her son will bring the jobs back?  And, too, it is the south.  This might not work in New York or Washington state, but down here, moms are what make it happen.  Only a southern mom can simultaneously make a pitcher of sweet tea, roll the chicken for frying and set the table for the 15 folks coming for supper – while also talking on the phone to one of her kids because only her voice can heal whatever’s wrong – no matter how old her offspring are.

So take a look at the clip – did Mrs. Scott just ensure the next Florida governor or was the “He’s a good boy” declaration a bit much?


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