"No more about the beach weather in Florida," pleaded Steelers fan Monte Rafferty. "If you talk about that, I'm hanging up in your ear. ... My feet are frozen, I'm popping Alka Seltzer Cold Plus, I got cabin fever ...
Thank God we found out Thursday night that the governor and his guests "dined on mesquite grilled swordfish, corn macque choux, and Florida strawberry shortcake."
During a three-hour meeting Thursday morning with Enterprise Florida, Gov. Rick Scott said he will bring the public-private partnership and two other state agencies into a newly created department of commerce -- and house the department right next door to his office where he can give it the attention it deserves.
Speaker Dean Cannon, Hero
Dean Cannon had the right stage and the right message, but whether the media heard him remains to be seen.
Rep. William Snyder, the quiet, unpretentious legislator who will walk a block out of his way to avoid the limelight, strode into it willingly Tuesday.
Martin Luther King Jr., Hero
I had the privilege of being part of this man's magic when I heard him speak in 1962, while I was in college in North Carolina. There -- in a segregated city where whites used one toilet and "coloreds" another, where the largest hospital admitted blacks only to windowless basement rooms -- the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., in a single afternoon, welded into one thousands of people, black and white.
As if Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature don't have a high enough fiscal mountain to climb, the federal government is about to bill them for interest on the $2 billion the state borrowed to pay unemployment benefits.
Want a laugh? A couple of legislators are trying to tell us if we want better government, we have to keep them in office longer.
More good policies? More of them.
Rick Scott was little more than a speck in the distance, but Cole Mehone, 38, stood weighted down by his backpack at the far edge of the VIP section, straining to hear every word the newly sworn-in governor had to say. The out-of-work accountant had hitchhiked from Panama City to Tallahassee, without a ticket or money to buy one -- to see his first inauguration, yes, but more important, to honor the man he believes is going to jump-start his stalled life.
I'm going to miss you in Florida politics. Well, eventually. When you really do leave for good, I'll be the first one burying my head in a hankie. Nobody -- not even the dour Bill McCollum -- has provided me with more column fodder. In the meantime, Charlie, as Gov.-elect Rick Scott takes his oath to replace you, I offer this little bit of parting advice: