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Florida Gubernatorial Debate 2014: To Fan or Not to Fan?

It's really sad that last night's gubernatorial debate at Broward College between current Florida Gov. Rick Scott and former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist will be remembered for a delayed start because of Gov. Crist's use of a fan at the podium. With so many important issues affecting residents of and visitors to Florida, it is amazing that a small fan would become such an issue.

It's no secret that Gov. Crist uses a small fan at the podium, if Gov. Scott wanted the use of said fan to be prohibited, the rule should have been explicit rather then vague. A reasonable person would think that the rule regarding the use of electronic devices references the use of electronic gadgets that might serve as a prompt for a candidate, not a fan.

It will be interesting to see how each campaign uses last night's awkward beginning in their campaign ads. Even if Gov. Rick Scott disagreed with former Gov. Charlie Crist being able to use that fan, Scott came off as a bratty child throwing a temper tantrum. Scott supporters might assert that Crist didn't follow the rules. However, Crist came across as cool, calm, collected and personable. It also did not help Scott's campaign to allow Crist those moments alone onstage before Scott decided to participate in the debate.

Scott's protracted absence from the stage also allowed Crist this smoothly delivered zinger, “Are we really gonna debate about a fan? Or are we going to talk about education, and the environment and the future of our state. I mean, really.”

Were it not for the drama of Fangate, the rest of the debate was largely a snoozer. Neither candidate disclosed anything not already known as they traded barbs back and forth and forth and back.

It has been reported that the Florida Governor's race is too close to call. That doesn't speak well of the incumbent considering the Rick Scott Campaign is outspending the Charlie Crist Campaign. Unless the Democratic turnout improves over the General Election, Gov. Scott will be victorious again.

It must be a challenge for the GOP to rally around Rick Scott. Even with almost completing one term in office, he still comes across uncomfortable and therefore not trustworthy. Like Charlie Crist or not, he is a people person. He just has that charisma and you can't take that from him. Were it not for that infamous welcome by hugging Pres. Barack Obama, Crist would be a potential GOP VEEP or presidential candidate. Such is the game of politics and prayerfully voters understand that.

The response from the Rick Scott Campaign after last night's debate…“Charlie Crist can bring his fan, microwave and toaster to the debates – none of that will cover up how sad his record as governor was compared to the success of Rick Scott,” said Scott campaign manager Melissa Sellers. Sorry, Melissa, snarky is also not a good look from a campaign. That type of message should be delivered by a surrogate, if at all.

Question: If Gov. Crist's fan was battery-operated would there still have been an issue?