Vermonters probably wouldn’t fault or be shocked by a politician keeping the next campaign never far from his or her mind. And certainly not many would fault an office holder for wanting to keep their face in the spotlight and their ear to the ground listening to the public mood.
However I am left wondering if Vermont Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott hasn’t crafted a highly visible yet stealthy campaign for higher office that operates right under Governor Shumlin’s nose.
Scott’s “Vermont Everyday Jobs” initiative featuring the required Republican heavy emphasis on listening to businesses is designed to:
promote Vermont businesses and highlight the hard work that Vermonters do every day in all areas of our economy. By finding out firsthand, and in a hands-on manner, what it takes to make Vermont businesses work, the Lt. Governor will gain a better understanding of what state government can do to help those businesses work better. The tour will also help to facilitate relationships and ongoing dialogue between Vermont business leaders and their representatives in state government.
It’s hard to miss the genius of what Republican Lt. Governor Phil Scott, who bears more than a passing resemblance to the Discovery Channels’ “Dirty jobs” host Mike Rowe, hit upon with his “Vermont Everyday Jobs” Initiative. It’s a pre-chewed publicity package for cash strapped local media outlets, Facebook and social media. It is as if the last gubernatorial election’s contrived and awkward listening tours by former Lt.Gov.Brian Dubie had evolved legs or wings to emerge from the primordial ooze of past elections as a higher campaign life form to live among us year round.
Scott has so far spent his “Vermont Everyday Jobs” publicity outings gaining a better understanding of being an emergency department worker at a hospital, a worker on an electric utility power line crew, fast lube franchise oil changer, a solar panel assembler and spelling instructor at a K-2 school.
That’s six “Everyday Jobs” events under his belt (about one every 2 weeks) with more likely to follow in a steady series of press releases. Maybe the concept came to him while watching TV.