Rick Scott Gets to Work at a Tampa doughnut shop; is greeted by protesters listen08/03/11 Janelle Irwin
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Governor Rick Scott took a break from his gubernatorial duties early this morning at Nicola’s Donuts and Bakery Shop in north Tampa. The governor made and sold doughnuts. This was just the first task in the Governor’s promise to work in a different field each month for the duration of his term.
Florida’s Governor seemed right at home behind the counter at Nicola’s. That might be because he’s had this gig before. Before the successful business owner turned politician approved budgets and signed bills into law, he worked in a shop just like this one. Rick Scott said he handed out coupons to customers to boost business. By working along side Floridians, Scott hopes to bring a much needed kick start to the state’s lagging job market by soliciting ideas.
Scott borrowed the idea of working with everyday citizens from former Governor Bob Graham. When Graham termed out of office in 1987, he had an approval rating of over 80-percent. With Scott struggling with his own approval rating, just 29-percent as of July, it’s no surprise he consulted Graham’s playbook. But Scott claims this isn’t just a political publicity stunt, rather an opportunity to further his goal of being the jobs ambassador to a state that he says has what it takes to succeed.
While Scott bragged about the drop in unemployment since he took office, a group of outraged protesters gathered outside. Craig Glaser of the organization Awake Florida called this a “fluff tour” that certainly wasn’t helping solve the still daunting unemployment rate.
One customer, University of South Florida student Amy Mariani, didn’t have any particular feelings toward Scott. She walked past the dozen or so protesters and couldn’t help but wonder if they hurt the Governor’s feelings.
Whether Scott will create jobs with this new plan is unclear. So is the effect it will have on his popularity among voters. Though, he did gain at least one ally today. Rachel Waati, the shop’s owner, gave Scott a stellar performance review.
In the coming months, Scott will take on other jobs across the state, from hospitals to classrooms.