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When Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts, he tried to translate his experience as the CEO of Bain Capital into being CEO of the State of Massachusetts. Here in Florida where I live, we're witnessing first hand what happens when a former CEO ascends to the governorship of a state. Rick Scott is having difficulty understanding that Governors can't just issue orders and have them obeyed the way the chairman of a large company does. Governors are supposed to partner with the other branches of government, but it looks like former CEOs, used to having every order obeyed, have difficulty making the transition by cooperating with legislators.

For example, Rick Scott has taken it upon himself to issue executive orders and ram legislation through Florida's Republican controlled Congress. Just last month he sent out a letter to three state-supported cancer research facilities telling them they couldn't earn royalties from their brand names and continue to receive state funds at the same time. In a rebuke, The Tampa Bay Times published an editorial:

It was another thoughtless edict from a governor who seems unable to make the transition from corporate CEO, and it raises troubling implications for jobs, medical research and the economic future of Tampa Bay and the state.

In a letter dated May 10, Scott warned Moffitt, the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami and the Shands Cancer Hospital in Gainesville that they "may not franchise their name or brand to other private entities" and "may not receive royalties or other remuneration from other entities" in exchange for the use of their name or brand. Future eligibility to receive state money, Scott wrote, "will be contingent on compliance with these terms."

Scott's thoughtless edict on cancer centers

Other attempts by Rick Scott to shove his edicts down the throats of Floridians, have embroiled the state in a mounting number of legal challenges and lawsuits.
Lawsuits over major legislation championed by Gov. Rick Scott more than a year ago are still working their way through the courts, and the legal bills for Florida's taxpayers continue to mount.

Challenges to laws sought by Scott to revamp the state's pension plans, require drug testing of welfare recipients and drastically alter the way teachers are paid were brought by the teachers' union, the American Civil Liberties Union or other opposing organizations in 2011. But because of the appeals process, none of the cases is resolved yet, and the legal meter for the state is still running.

Tab for taxpayers in suits over Scott-backed laws hefty and growing

This is what governing by CEO looks like. The evidence from his time has Governor of Massachusetts, points to the fact that Willard M. Romney would use the same governing style, if he were able to move into the White House. There was an article published by Vanity Fair in February during the primaries that touched on Romney's style of governing. I have referenced this article several times, and still people tell me they hadn't seen it, so I think it is important to look at it again. It is a revealing look into Romney's lack of appropriate social skills, which he more recently demonstrated on his trip to London last month (see #Romneyshambles), as well as his style of governing, explained on the first page of the long article:
If Romney is exceedingly comfortable around family and close friends, he’s much less so around those he doesn’t know well, drawing a boundary that’s difficult to traverse. It’s a strict social order—us and them—that has put co-workers, political aides, casual acquaintances, and others in his professional circles, even people who have worked with or known him for years, outside the bubble. As a result, he has numerous admirers but, by several accounts, not a long list of close pals. “He’s very engaging and charming in a small group of friends he’s comfortable with,” said one former aide. “When he’s with people he doesn’t know, he gets more formal. And if it’s a political thing where he doesn’t know anybody, he has a mask.” For those outside the inner circle, Romney comes across as all business. Colleagues at work or political staffers are there to do a job, not to bond. “Mitt is always the star,” said one Massachusetts Republican. “And everybody else is a bit player.” He has little patience for idle chatter or small talk, little interest in mingling at cocktail parties, at social functions, or even in the crowded hallway. He is not fed by, and does not crave, casual social interaction, often displaying little desire to know who people are and what makes them tick. “He wasn’t overly interested in people’s personal details or their kids or spouses or team building or their career path,” said another former aide. “It was all very friendly but not very deep.” Or, as one fellow Republican put it, “He has that invisible wall between ‘me’ and ‘you.’” Referring to the time later when Romney was governor of Massachusetts, a Democratic lawmaker recalls, “You remember Richard Nixon and the imperial presidency? Well, this was the imperial governor.” There were the ropes that often curtailed access to Romney and his chambers. The elevator settings restricted access to his office. The tape on the floor told people exactly where to stand during events. This was the controlled environment that Romney created. His orbit was his own. “We always would talk about how, among the legislators, he had no idea what our names were—none,” the lawmaker said, “because he was so far removed from the day-to-day operations of state government.”

The Meaning of Mitt

In addition to calling a report about Romney's tax plan that was released yesterday as being liberally-biased, Romney's team claims that "it didn’t factor in the savings in Romney’s proposed spending and it didn’t analyze the positive economic effects of reducing corporate taxes." Of course, that claim depends on Romney being able to get his plans through a politically-divided Congress that has already demonstrated that it can't get anything accomplished. While Romney may think he will be able to govern by edict, the reality is he has already demonstrated that he does not have the necessary social skills nor the cooperative nature of working with others to accomplish his plans. Today the AP took a fresh look at Romney's governing style:
What worked for Mitt Romney in the corporate boardroom didn’t fly in the more raucous corridors of the Massachusetts Legislature.


Some Democratic lawmakers accused Romney of being aloof, unapproachable and not much interested in working with them to build the kind of friendships and alliances that are needed to help pass legislation. They say Romney’s legislative agenda on big issues like transportation and higher education fizzled as a result.

"He didn’t get that government was not a business," said state Rep. Cory Atkins, a Democrat elected in 1999.

Mitt Romney’s CEO style rankled Massachusetts lawmakers

The one exception was when Romney worked with Democrats to pass that healthcare legislation that he doesn't want to talk about, even reaching out to Senator Ted Kennedy.
In a rare moment of unity, Romney, Kennedy and leading Democrats were all handshakes and smiles as they shared the stage at Boston's historic Faneuil Hall for the bill signing ceremony in 2006.

"My son said that having Sen. Kennedy and me together like this on this stage behind the same piece of landmark legislation will help slow global warming," Romney joked to Kennedy, who was instrumental in shepherding the bill through the Legislature. "That's because hell has frozen over."

"My son said something, too," Kennedy retorted. "When Kennedy and Romney support a piece of legislation, usually one of them hasn't read it."

Mitt Romney’s CEO style rankled Massachusetts lawmakers

Last night, Rachel Maddow reported that when Romney was caught red-handed lying about where he claimed residency when he filed his income tax, his defense was that he never bothered to read that stuff that he signed. There can be no doubt that when Kennedy said that one of them hadn't read the legislation, he was referring to Romney, providing confirmation that Romney is repeating his performance of 10 years ago. He's lying about his income taxes, and he's planning to bring his CEO-style of governing to the White House.

As Romney continues to stonewall reporters asking difficult questions, when they are allowed to ask questions at all, with answers that amount to nothing more than a word salad, keep an eye out for more investigative reports that include interviews describing what it was like to try to accomplish anything with a leader who would rather dictate than cooperate. It is more likely that Romney would find his administration dragged into court like Rick Scott, running up the deficit further on the taxpayers' tab.

Originally posted to hungrycoyote on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 01:11 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (23+ / 0-)

    For me, Mitt reminds me of Jeff Bridges in Starman. He's like an alien that hasn't read the entire manual. You know, he's going, "Nice to be in a place where the trees are the right size. -- Robin Williams on Letterman 26 Apr 2012

    by hungrycoyote on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 01:11:32 PM PDT

  •  I think so (7+ / 0-)

    Scott has ruined this state and if anyone doesn't believe it, all they have to do is take one trip to Disney, big a corporation as that is.  

    My daughter sung in chorus to get free tickets to Disney and she carried me and her sisters to Disney.  I observed.  I spotted not one character ....not one Mickey..not one Goofy shaking hands, I just saw them in the parade.  The whole place did not even resemble Disney World.  The rides were breaking down and the crowds were down.  It was all about selling water and cokes for 3 dollars a pop.  The Tea cups did not even spin half the time.  The whole place looked like a bad joke on Walt Disney.  Did Scott have anything to do with it.  Greed sure did and the the people refusing to come to Florida.  Not so much of a place that outsiders want to vacation it appeared.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 02:44:17 PM PDT

    •  that's to bad. there is such amazing craftsmanship (4+ / 0-)

      and attention to detail in the original construction its unfortunate to let it deteriorate.  I built scenery and did lighting for ~15 years and had great appreciation for their efforts in executing Walt's design.

      and the Lord spoke unto Abraham and said "I shall give you obedient & subservient wives in all the corners of the world" and Abraham said, "But Lord, you have made the earth round" and the Lord spaketh, "I get My laughs where I can."

      by bnasley on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 06:42:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Scott has nothing to do (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      417els, hungrycoyote, Vetwife

      Scott has nothing to do with WDW  slipping.  The WDW management has been doing it all on their own.

      WDW has been falling apart for years.  Their customer service has slipped to the point where many won't even bother spending their money there.

      We used to go every year. Then we went twice a year at Halloween and Christmas.  Last year, we went to the Christmas party.  

      I won't waste my money this year.  There were hardly any decorations beyond Main Street and the parade hasn't changed in better than 10 years.  

      WDW is a bad joke on the memory of Walt Disney.  

  •  I've been looking for information about (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hungrycoyote, xaxnar, Vetwife

    Romney as Governor, and I very much appreciate what you provide here. Also, I like how you show that the CEO style of command is not what a governor or president needs.

    The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

    by ybruti on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 05:30:32 PM PDT

    •  Yes, too I wish that more reporters would be (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ybruti, tommyfocus2003

      additional detailed articles about Romney as governor. I think it will help illustrate how bad he was at it. He didn't even run for a second term because he knew he would lose. I think the only reason he ran for the office in the first place was so that he could add it to his resume looking forward to his ultimate goal of running for President.

      Now he's just retroactively trying to rewrite what happened while he was actually there. I think we have a lot more information on this front to look forward to.

      For me, Mitt reminds me of Jeff Bridges in Starman. He's like an alien that hasn't read the entire manual. You know, he's going, "Nice to be in a place where the trees are the right size. -- Robin Williams on Letterman 26 Apr 2012

      by hungrycoyote on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 06:59:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If being a CEO governor means (6+ / 0-)

    looting, pillaging and selling to your friends everything in the commons that ain't nailed down, then yeah.

    rMoney: Just another jerk, lookin' for work.

    by OleHippieChick on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 05:49:00 PM PDT

    •  Floridians do no like Rick Scott. Hopefully, we (4+ / 0-)

      can get it out there that what they don't like about Rick Scott, they won't like about Mitt Romney.

      For me, Mitt reminds me of Jeff Bridges in Starman. He's like an alien that hasn't read the entire manual. You know, he's going, "Nice to be in a place where the trees are the right size. -- Robin Williams on Letterman 26 Apr 2012

      by hungrycoyote on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 06:39:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The real governor of FL is... (4+ / 0-)

      ... Voldemort.  At least my son thinks so.  He looks like him and acts like him (do it my way or I'll kill you - or have my Death Eaters kill you).  

      Scott is screwing around with Floridians' health care, medicaid, unemployment, pensions... class A greedy jerk.  

      This is what happens when people don't show up to vote.  I voted for Alex Sink - most of the people I know voted for Alex Sink, but I live in Blue Broward.  Large sections of Florida are "retired people red."  My mother votes against her own interests every time - nothing I have been able to explain to her or show to her will convince her to not vote straight Republican (because you know, that other guy?  he's black.. . she says it very quietly - she grew up in the poorer neighborhoods of Germantown, Philly, PA in the 1930's.  Bigotry and fear of "the black guy" is deeply ingrained in her).  She won't let me park my car on the street because it has an Obama bumper sticker!  We get into some horrible arguments - she's 85 and I know she's NOT senile or suffering from dementia - I could understand it if she were.  

      She thinks Scott is a crook and a creep.  She doesn't like him, but that didn't stop her voting for him - because he had an (R) after his name - and that's how she votes... sigh...  I hate to disenfranchise her, but she's told me repeatedly that all of these people are terrible and she doesn't want to vote for anybody.  At this point, I'm saying "good, mom, say home, don't stress over it..."  and I feel terrible for feeling that way, but I feel like it's the only way to protect her from herself!  

      Flori-duh seems to be, unfortunately, filled with completely ignorant people who are too lazy to educate themselves about the different candidates or issues.  They vote however they've been voting since they were allowed to vote - doesn't matter that in the last 60 years there have been tremendous changes in our state and our country.  Things are not the way they used to be, they can't be the way they used to be - you can't go back - you can only move forward (except Scott & his ilk are doing their darndest to drag us back to the middle ages).  

      "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential." - Barack Obama

      by Ricochet67 on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 07:11:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, there may be some hope. Scott may (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ybruti, OleHippieChick, 417els

        have a Republican legislature, but it's a veto proof one, and I don't think they took too kindly to him announcing by edict that Florida will not participate in the medicaid portion of PPACA.

        Advocates for hospitals and the poor are ramping up lobbying in an effort to persuade state legislators to block Gov. Rick Scott’s refusal to expand health insurance for the poor, under the Affordable Care Act.

        Scott argues Medicaid already absorbs a huge chunk of the state’s $69.9 billion budget and that Medicaid is growing at three and a half times the state’s general revenue.

        But the advocates counter that Scott’s stance is short sighted and political. They say it will cost the state money and rob about 1 million Floridians of health care.


        Despite Scott’s well-known position, some Republican legislators appear willing to consider the benefits of expanding the program, said Nan Rich, a former Florida Senate Democratic leader who is running for governor.

        “Some of the legislators are saying, ‘Wait, let’s at least take a look at this and get the correct figures,’ ” she said.

        “Republicans are starting to have second thoughts about blindly following Gov. Scott, who I would say, has a personal agenda,” agreed Rep. Ron Saunders, a Democrat from Key West.

        Saunders suspects the legislature may have enough votes to override a veto from Scott if he tried to block expanded Medicaid.

        Advocates for hospitals and the poor push back on Florida’s refusal of federal Medicaid money to expand health coverage

        My husband and I voted for Sink too, and we live very red Polk County, even though there are more registered Democrats than Republicans here. Amazing. Democrats just didn't get out and vote in 2010.

        Does your mother watch Fox News? She might be suffering from Fox Geezer Syndrome. That article was written by a Republican. I think Fox plays on the the fears of older citizens and fills them with hate against President Obama. My 80 year old father is the same way.

        For me, Mitt reminds me of Jeff Bridges in Starman. He's like an alien that hasn't read the entire manual. You know, he's going, "Nice to be in a place where the trees are the right size. -- Robin Williams on Letterman 26 Apr 2012

        by hungrycoyote on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 08:11:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yup, she does... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          417els, hungrycoyote

          ... Fox news and CNN - lately, I've been able to steer her away from Fox and more to CNN.  Wish I could get her to watch MSNBC.  She's more addicted to ABC's GMA show, her soaps, Animal Planet (thank goodness, at least My Cat from Hell gets her away from the Fox channel).  

          She was a birther for awhile, she didn't believe ME when I showed her Obama's birth certificate, but she believed her grandson-who-can-do-know-wrong :)  Sometimes, she'll say something, like she's unsure she should trust him (my son), but she figures anybody as smart as he is (he's a veterinarian and sailed through high school and college with high honors), wouldn't let the wool be pulled over his eyes, so maybe, just maybe, those Fox news people are wrong... my eyes hurt from rolling around in my head every time I talk to her.  

          "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential." - Barack Obama

          by Ricochet67 on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 04:03:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think a LOT of times, grandchildren can talk (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            sense into their grandparents more easily than their own children (parents of the grand kids).  Seriously.

            "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

            by 417els on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 10:39:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, I know... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              417els, hungrycoyote

              ... I often kidded my dad that I was solely the vessel that produced the greatest joy of their lives - their only grandchild.  That he turned out to be smart, funny & loved them to pieces & was entertaining as all get out when surrounded by the over 65 crowd (from age 2 to 30 even), was just a bonus.  Other grandparents kept telling them, they were lucky to have such a neat grandkid.  He gets along with everybody and is interesting to talk to (I have no idea why they don't think their own grandkids are interesting to talk to - must be the vet thing - maybe they just want free advice about their pets?)  

              It got so when they would call and I would answer the phone, they would say "where's Ryan?" - like what am I?  You haven't talked to me in weeks?!  If he was going up to spend part of the summer with them, I got the feeling that they only let me stay over when I dropped him off because they knew I was too tired from driving 5 hours to turn right back around & go home.  They probably would have been happy if I just tossed him out on the doorstep as I went by!  

              So, yeah, now that dad is gone, mom will listen to Ryan way before she will listen to me (and she doesn't pick on him about HIS Obama bumper sticker!?!?!?).  My ex calls it the Mary Poppins syndrome - they think their grandkid is "practically perfect in every way."  There's no way I measure up to that!  

              "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential." - Barack Obama

              by Ricochet67 on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 06:36:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Good analysis (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hungrycoyote, xaxnar

    And I agree completely.

  •  Mitt has hair. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raboof, hungrycoyote, 417els

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 05:57:17 PM PDT

    •  Supposedly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

      by raboof on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 06:11:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That is continually morphing to TV evangelist (0+ / 0-)

      styling.  He's got that combed, back bulging out at the temples thing going on. With too much slicky hair stuff.

      At one time Willard was a very handsome guy - speaking of appearance only. Now I think he's become kind of creepy looking.  In certain lighting - debates especially - he has touches of a porcupine.  It's a visual distraction.

      "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

      by 417els on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 10:50:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I wonder if Rick Scott ever had hair. Or eyebrows. (0+ / 0-)

      He's weird enough in looks alone to be intimidating.

      "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

      by 417els on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 10:52:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  imperial style vs. collegial style (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hungrycoyote, 417els

    As I read each facet of Scott or Romney that you catalogued, I thought:  "How would Bill Clinton handle that?"

    Your conclusions are so right.

  •  Here's the thing about corporations... (7+ / 0-)

    They are a legal contrivance by which individuals can pool their resources to do all kinds of things without bearing any personal responsibility if those things turn out badly, break the law, etc. etc.  They can get rich, they can walk away from their crimes, and leave others to clean up the mess and pay the price. Just look at Scott and the healthcare empire he ran, which committed major fraud.

    That's not supposed to be the primary purpose of corporations, but it sure seems to be the default these days.

    And if it's not the worst possible model for running a government, it has to be right up there.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 06:41:17 PM PDT

  •  Scott has also had awkwards moments (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tommyfocus2003, hungrycoyote, 417els

    on Overseas Trips.  He takes like 61 of his staff over to England (Of course the Teabaggers complain about Michelle Obama but not Scott) and also had some very wierd things to say about his hosts.

  •  I have often said (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hungrycoyote, 417els

    that the dictatorial style and desire to work under cover of secrecy seem to be tendencies that don't work for public officials.

  •  Scott's problem (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hungrycoyote, 417els

    Scott's problems governing Florida are not just because he was a CEO.  

    Scott's problems is because he was a crooked CEO and a Medicare fraudster.  

    Much as I dislike Romney, he's got a long way to go before he catches up to Scott.  

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