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Rick Scott’s returned dog dominates news cycle

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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


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