Rick Scott represents Florida in the Senate. And presumably he’s pretty busy right now, what with the Senate considering whether or not to remove President Donald Trump from office and all.
Which is what makes the new TV ad the Republican senator launched in Iowa – yes, Iowa! – on Tuesday seeming strange.
In it, Scott is sitting next to a microphone for some unknown reason and says he wants to “thank the Democrats for badly botching this impeachment charade and for spending so much time in a cover up for Joe Biden.” He then details a “the real story here:” A series of false allegations that the former vice president engineered the removal of a top Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating a company associated with his son, Hunter.
(Note: Trump’s attempts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden and Joe Biden, his potential political rival, are at the center of the President’s impeachment trial. Trump has repeatedly made unfounded and false claims to allege that the Bidens acted improperly in Ukraine. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Joe or Hunter Biden.)
Here’s the ad:
Weird, right? Especially because Scott is from Florida, and also isn’t up for reelection in said state until 2024!
So, how to explain this mystery? Simple: Politics! Presidential politics in particular!
Scott, who spent eight years as governor before being elected to the Senate in 2018, has made very little secret of the breadth of his political ambitions. As far back as December 2018 – on the heels of Scott’s victory over the Sen. Bill Nelson, the Orlando Sentinel was asking: “As Rick Scott joins U.S. Senate, could a 2024 run for president be in store?”
And, no matter how much Scott and his team deny that this ad campaign is about his own future political prospects, don’t believe them. You don’t use campaign money – even if it’s your own (Scott is hugely wealthy and has largely self-funded all of his campaigns) – to run an ad savaging the impeachment process just, you know, because. Still skeptical? Ask yourself this: If Scott wanted to run ads protesting the unfair treatment of Trump by Democrats, why not run them in DC, where those Democratic senators would see them? Or in Florida, where Scott, you know, is from? Why Iowa?
Yeah, exactly. Scott knows that no matter what happens this November, the Republican presidential nomination will be open in 2024. And that there will still very likely be a market for Trumpism among GOP voters. Who better to fill that space than someone who was with Trump from almost the beginning? (Scott was one of Trump’s earliest endorsers and supporters.) And Scott has a similar background to the current President: Successful and wealthy businessman who repeatedly beats the political establishment at its own game thanks to being in touch with the average man and woman?
Scott’s move is remarkably transparent. He wants to be an heir (the heir?) to the Trump political dynasty in 2024. No time like the present to get started on that mission.