Mayoral Pragmatism

If you’re a true-blue, liberal Democrat, Mayor Bob Buckhorn is not a soul mate. If you’re a Republican, he’s on the other team,  even if he has attended some GOP-candidate fundraisers involving friends. If you’re a Tampa-first sort, Buckhorn is (with the exception of relations with Cuba) your pragmatic guy. So talk of Democrats being wary of Buckhorn’s cordial–hardly “bromantic”–relationship with Tea Party Gov. Rick Scott seems exaggerated.

Recall that Buckhorn didn’t like what Scott did with Obama Administration high-speed rail money, and he wasn’t pleased with Scott not being helpful when it came to trying to create a gun-free zone around the GOP Convention in 2012. He hasn’t forgotten, but he hasn’t lost his focus. He and his city still needed Scott’s help going forward.

Scott helped with TIA expansion. He wants to be a credit-taking catalyst in a better-late-than-never private-sector, Orlando-to-Tampa, high-speed rail scenario. He’s been involved in state money allocated for the street car system and placing that (Rays stadium-designated) Ybor site on the state’s list for a federal tax break. Sure, it’s self-serving, I-4 Corridor-anchor strategy in an senatorial election year–but it’s no less helpful to Tampa.

As usual, the sound-bite-smitten mayor had a vintage response to the “bromance” skeptics. “Ultimately, my job as the mayor is to work with everybody who is willing to work with me,” said Buckhorn. “Democratic, Republican or vegan.”

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