He’s a fan, yes, and it couldn’t be more obvious after reading the following bit from Mark Johnson’s piece about Phil Scott’s gubernatorial campaign extravaganza kick- off held last week. In Phil Scott: Holding the Pole with Few Policy Positions, Johnson wrote this about Scott’s reaction to former Governor Jim Douglas’ candidate intro for VtDigger.com:
A small, knowing smile curled across the broad face of the 57-year-old Scott, the all-time winning driver at Thunder Road racetrack, long before a reporter reached the finish line to the Douglas anecdote.
He saw it coming, like a potential pass on the inside groove picked up in the sideview mirror.
Scott, second-in-command for the past five years, a state senator for 10 years before that, knows the knock: that he doesn’t take strong positions, sometimes changes his mind and doesn’t have a signature issue that defines him politically.
Yes, that’s right. You probably spotted it too. Mark Johnson is a total fan of the obscure 1950’s paperback author Edward De Roo. In fact, Johnson’s fandom stands out like sore thumb at a manicurist’s.
The speed demons were a non-association gang of wild, daredevil hot-rodders. They had the 100 m.p.h. chariots, the crazy drag races, and all the thrill-hungry chicks in the neighborhood. That’s why Paul Sanders was ready to do anything to get in with them and drive his own hyped-up bucket of bolts. But what they wanted of him was nothing short of a nightmare!
Notice the similar lingo, the hyped-up phrasing of Go, Man, Go that Johnson uses: He saw it coming, a potential pass on the inside groove picked up in the sideview mirror. And this: Scott […] knows the knock.
Phil Scott may indeed be the nicest guy in the history of Vermont politics and not have (or want) a signature issue that defines him. This may be his great advantage in a largely Progressive/ Democratic state. But after ten years in the state senate on the Committee on Institutions and the Transportation Committee, and five years as Lt. Gov., Scott has left a record that should be reported on. Maybe before the election some Vermont reporter will make like ‘50’s author De Roo says and “go man go” and find it. Over fifteen years many votes were cast and deals were made to “get things done.”
Or the reporting might just be a hyped-up bucket of bolts driven to Election Day.
To paraphrase Bobby Kennedy: Every society gets the kind of candidate it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of journalism it insists on.