Leave it to Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum to personify all that is wrong with today’s government. In addition to getting caught using his public office for campaign purposes and being embroiled as the centerpiece in a yearlong FBI investigation of corruption and various other issues in Tallahassee, Gillum’s desperate quest to stay relevant now has him attacking his own party’s elder statesmen.
Gillum is the poster child for the difference between a politician and an elected official, showing how to politic, but lacking the ability and understanding of how to lead and govern. Gillum has yet to hold a job that doesn’t involve politics or the power he derives from it, so we understand his desire to stay relevant as well as his inabilities to lead.
To be fair, Gillum is not alone in having zero qualifications for elected office. President Barak Obama proved what a dynamic, handsome, articulate speaker can achieve when packaged right and matched with fundraising prowess. The Florida House and Senate are filled with young upstarts who have done nothing in their lives to merit the once august status of being called “The Honorable,” other than of course being elected to office.
Most politicians with weak resumes are wise enough to pick their battles. Tallahassee’s young mayor recently proved he will do anything, say anything and show disrespect to anyone in his way in his quest to ride the power of personality to the Governor’s mansion. This is the sad state of American governance, and Gillum has the playbook: Use your office for politics, when crisis hits, keep running and proclaim victim status, attack your enemies and attack their friends too.
Take note young Mayor, a wise old cracker once said, “the He-Coon walks just before the light of day!” It’s one thing to mouth off to the leaders of the opposition, go on a tirade about the issue of the day versus President Trump or Governor Rick Scott, that’s politics.
Taking on leaders in your own party, however, can lead to very different results. Especially when you take on a man who has actually done something with his life, repeatedly proven his commitment to his constituents through 50 years of services as a teacher, principal, superintendent, along with generally being regarded as a good person.
Senator Bill Montford was measured in his response to Gilliam’s recent critique of Montford’s vote on a bill that Gillum most assuredly had not even read. “I stay out of his business, he best stay out of mine,” was all that Montford would publicly state about the upstart Mayor.
Montford has a wealth of goodwill and political capital built up in the Tallahassee community. He can most assuredly cast a tough vote or two and still be in good standing with Democrats while managing to be a strong bi-partisan force in the GOP controlled Senate. Frankly, that’s not good politics, it brings good governance and good results for Montford’s constituents.
Montford also has the ability to raise a large sum of money he likely won’t need to be elected to his next office, should he choose to run for one. Gillum would be wise to note that PAC dollars can be spent to destroy as much as they can be spent to employ a candidate.
Gillum has set out a statewide campaign based on bitterness, hate and racism. He claims to see Confederate flags every day on his way to work. Unless his commute is hours long, we can only laugh at this claim, but it does indicate that Gillum spends more time focused on race than he does potholes, health care, employment and a host of other issue that need addressing. Such is his right, but it will likely not get him elected in a state like Florida.
It will be enlightening to see if Gillum’s sophomoric antics and his attacks on a party statesman rise to the level of angering the old He-Coon to the point of Montford actively punishes Gillum for his disrespect. Truth is, Montford knows that Gillum has enough self-inflicted wounds to already destroy his campaign for Governor and Montford is also wise enough to know better than to interfere with an enemy’s own self-destruction.
It’s a lot more fun to just sit back and watch.