Is Phil Scott edging away from the GOP?

This morning on the Mark Johnson Show, Mark and Vermont Pundit Laureate Eric Davis were mulling over the election, when the subject of Phil Scott’s future came up. And Davis mentioned that two New England states have independent governors (Rhode Island and Connecticut) and a third (Maine) did in the recent past.

Which led into the question: would Phil Scott break loose from the VTGOP at some point in the future and run for Governor as an Independent? Both agreed that Scott has tremendous popularity, and might best be able to tap it as an Indy — given that the “Republican” label seems to be a net negative in Vermont. Davis, in fact, averred that Jim Douglas may well have been Vermont’s last Republican governor — but not Vermont’s last non-Democratic governor.

Which got me to go back and look at Scott’s victory speech last night. The only victory speech at the Republican gathering. And it sure as hell didn’t sound like he was talking to his fellow Republicans. (And they didn’t react like he was; there was only one weak smattering of applause in the whole, brief speech.)

What he said… after the jump.    

It’s not easy being a Republican in this state. Even for a moderate like myself.

Ooh, not a strong start. Get all Debbie Downer on your party, and slap the toxic label “moderate” on yourself. But do continue.

There are some who imply that the Vermont Republican Party has become irrelevant. But tonight, first and foremost, I need to say that this is a democracy, and every single voice is important. No voice is irrelevant.

This was the “applause” line. But look: he’s defending his party by saying that they’re just as relevant as, say, Peter Diamondstone. Way to fire up the troops, Phil.

If we really want to see an end to the gridlock that has gripped our country, then we must ignore those critics on both sides of teh aisle who dismiss every Republican who works with a Democrat and vice versa.

No, that’s not good either. Phil, remember, you’re speaking to a roomful of people who HATE Democrats, who think the Dems are arrogant and on course to drive Vermont off a cliff. You want these Grand Old Men to work with… those people?

We have to roll up our sleeves. We have to work together, listen to each other, admit that we don’t have all the answers, and be willing to acknowledge that a good idea can come from anywhere.

Now, does that sound like a guy who’s ready to suck up to the Lenore Broughtons and Jack Lindleys of the world? Or does that sound like a guy who’s ready to dump his party and go independent?

I choose option B.  

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