Outsider cred helped Rick Scott win governor spot

Outsider cred and a hefty campaign purse helped launch ousted Columbia/HCA chair and CEO Rick Scott, a Naples millionaire who had never run for public office, into the Florida governor's mansion, according to Associated Press and the Miami Herald.

"There were plenty of pundits and politicians and insiders who said this victory was impossible," Scott said. "The people of Florida knew exactly what they wanted."

Scott spent $73 million on his campaign, which was more of his own money than any other politician in Florida history had spent on a campaign, according to Associated Press. He squeaked through by 50,000 vote margin.

Whatever cluelessness he displayed when denying any knowledge of cooked books while serving as CEO of Columbia/HCA--which ultimately was hit with a record $1.7 billion Medicare fraud fine--was apparently dormant or kept hidden. The campaign Scott ran was highly disciplined, according to news reports. He stayed on-message about the need to stimulate job growth. And in the last two weeks of the campaign, the candidate blitzed potential voters and their spouses in North Florida with a personal phone call, a knock on the door, or mail everyday but Sunday, the Herald reports.

It helped that compared with Alex Sink--his Democratic opponent and the state's chief financial officer--Scott as a political newbie was able to ride a wave of anti-incumbent sentiment to the polls.

To learn more:
- read the Miami Herald story
- here's the Associated Press story
- see the Forbes article
- here's a Mother Jones article
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