Rick Scott’s returned dog dominates news cycle

As reported yesterday, much ado has been made over the ‘disappearance’ of Gov. Rick Scott’s rescued Labrador retriever, aptly named Reagan.

With tongue firmly planted in cheek, I suggested the story “had legs”, yet, little did I know to what extent this was true.

ricksreaganFor starters, the Tampa Bay Times, which ran the initial story on Reagan, did a follow up piece yesterday after reporters were told Scott returned the dog to its original owner. This follow up, which has since been pulled, was on the continued efforts to track down the dog’s whereabouts.

Then, in a furtherance of classic Alinsky-style ridicule, a Twitter username was cleverly created for Reagan; @RicksReagan, which became an instant source of entertainment for many.

And of course, the prerequisite milk carton image appeared out of nowhere.

But even more compelling, the story is being picked up across the country; New York Daily News, Washington Times, USA Today, Politico, Huffington Post, MSNBC and on and on.

Most stories lead with some version of a title that proclaims ‘Rick Scott returns shelter dog‘, as if he were the greatest ogre known to man.

Even the Far Left group Florida Watch Action, infamous for the ‘Pink Slip Rick‘ campaign, has gotten in on the act, offering a $250 reward on FaceBook for anyone able to provide information regarding Reagan’s wherabouts.


In the end, just as suspected, it was all much ado about nothing. WTSP 10 in Tampa Bay tracked down the original owner and filed this report;

Yes, Reagan was returned to the folks at All Pets Grooming in Naples, which was where the Scott’s daughter first found the now-former first pet.

“Sometimes dogs don’t fit right. I mean, they did try,” said All Pets’ owner Kelly Norman.

Norman thinks the Scotts did the right thing. They even hired a professional trainer, she says, but it just didn’t work out.

Reagan, who’s gone back to his original name of Pluto, was quickly re-adopted, she says, and is again living a dog’s life on a horse ranch.

“I really don’t think it had anything to do with him becoming Governor at all,” said Norman, when asked about the political timing of Reagan’s adoption.

And we are not even close to the 2014 election silly season. Nonetheless, even with a happy ending, the story further damages Scott’s already shaky image, and the Republican brand. Mission accomplished.

Just think if Melissa Sellers, the governor’s new communications director, had not been ‘too busy’ to address this matter with reporters last week when it was first brought to her attention.

Tom Tillison

Tom Tillison

Tom is a grassroots activist who distinguished himself as one of the top conservative bloggers in Florida before joining BizPac Review.
Tom Tillison


6 thoughts on “Rick Scott’s returned dog dominates news cycle

  1. David says:

    Mr. Tillison excellent piece on how the media in this state has literally gone to the dogs. With all the problems this state and the nation are facing they think it is important to waste time creating a story just to make someone look bad. Thank you as well for mentioning Gov. Scott's Director of Communication Melissa Sellers was "too busy" to answer a simple question. Does she not have staff that can make a phone call? In my opinion, the real story is she is too important to be bothered by the "little things?" Well thanks to her she is responsible for turning these pack of dogs loose on her employer.

  2. Toad says:

    Governor Scott would be served well by not relying on incompetent republican party hacks to get him re-elected. The leading political journalists in Florida will spend the next 2 years making sure Rick Scott is not re-elected. Rick Scott should not underestimate the media's ability to shape public opinion. The governor needs to find people who know how to deal with a hostile media effectively. Melissa Sellers has proven herself unworthy.

  3. Kevin says:

    Will the press spend as much effort to track down Charlie Crist's step-daughters?

  4. J. Davis says:

    Could it have been that Ms. Sellers was too busy trying to spin the fake numbers she allowed the Governor to run with for two weeks that she could not answer a simple question? Even the spokesperson for the First Lady stumbled all over this thing. I mean what the heck was so difficult about this that a simple phone call could not have cleared it up? Major Fail Press Director.

  5. Charles says:

    The dog was a liberal democrat. He got along great with Scotts daughter. As for the rest of them even a trainer cannot change a blue dog democrat.

  6. Get a cat says:

    Still, if things weren't working out with Reagan/Pluto, why couldn't the Governor or his family found a better home for the animal? Most of us wouldn't dump a pet back on his former owner. Romney's treatment of Seamus was widely viewed as revealing a character flaw.

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