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Gov. Rick Scott shares smiles and tears this Mother's Day

2:52 PM, May 9, 2013   |    comments
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- This will be an emotional weekend for Gov. Rick Scott.

It's the first Mother's Day without his mom. Esther Scott died last November at the age of 84.

In an interview at the Governor's Mansion, Gov. Scott shared his memories of his mom and he revealed a side that he does not typically show in public.

He called his mom the only constant in his life.

"My mom was a great person. Mother's Day will be a tough day."

Gov. Scott said his mom was a doer, pushing her children to succeed, demanding that they always do the right thing.

Her persistence, her unfailing hope, helped propel Rick Scott from public housing to the Governor's Mansion.

"She believed in the chance to live the American Dream," Scott said. "She told all of us that we could do whatever we want with our lives."

Esther Scott's down-to-earth personality made her a political celebrity in the 2010 campaign. Sometimes she got the loudest applause at rallies.

But it was her appearance in a now famous campaign ad that really got people's attention. Flashing a bright smile, she looked into the camera and unforgettably told Floridians, "He's a good boy."

The memory of that campaign ad and the beaming pride she felt for her son leaves Rick Scott speechless in this interview and emotional. Reminded of her words, he smiles but chokes up and wipes his eyes.

Today Gov. Rick Scott is one of Florida's most powerful politicians. He is wealthy beyond most people's wildest dreams and he's famous. But he's also a son who dearly misses his mom.

"You just think about what your parents gave you," Scott said.

Esther Scott described it this way in that TV ad, "We didn't have much but we gave him everything we could: good values, integrity, appreciation for hard work."

Now Gov. Scott prepares for the 2014 campaign without his mom at his side, but he says he carries her influence each day.

He smiles when he thinks of the fun they had making a dream come true in 2010.

"There was an article in the paper and it called her a minor celebrity and she wanted me to call the newspaper to let them know that she was a major celebrity. She was so much fun to joke with."

Scott said he starts most mornings these days playing his mom's favorite Patsy Cline song on his iPad - "Won't You Please Come Home Bill Bailey."

He knows this Mother's Day may bring some tears, but also many smiles.

Dave Heller

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