It's Easy to See Why Adam Putnam Wins Elections
Around the State
Two key words are missing from most stories about Adam Putnam's welcome address at the Florida Energy Summit Monday : "free" and "market."
The commissioner of agriculture and consumer services held the 400-plus summit participants in the palm of his hand as he found a way to elevate the importance of their shared role in Florida's "profound potential," with a message of mission, promise and principle.
As I saw it, this was a politician rising to the occasion of leadership, important to his party, measuring words in perfect cupfuls, reflecting well on a governor who needs his support and saying nothing he hadn't already run by the House speaker and Senate president.
“We must capitalize on the opportunities available, but we must take a thoughtful, strategic approach," Putnam said. "I support a free-market, all-of-the-above approach to energy policy. We should help investors, businesses and consumers capitalize on the opportunities available, without having government pick winners and losers, and we must let the market determine what works and what does not."
Some politicians, most politicians, deliver even the speeches they pay professionals to write for them as if the words came straight off a list of talking points. Politicians are unconvincing because they aren't convinced themselves.
True, Putnam's had plenty of practice in public office. But practice rarely perfects a politician's act. If anything, practice turns it into a stale slice of bread. But with Putnam, there's a strength and natural earnestness in the way he carries himself, and in most things he says.
I'm not out to cheerlead for the commissioner especially; this separation between himself and most pols is just something that stuck out in Orlando like a Harley among mopeds. He just happens to be a free-market kind of guy, and it suits him to tell you about it whenever he gets the chance.
Maybe somewhere along the road to re-election Adam Putnam will turn the wrong way and step on his tail, and if he does, he does. But for now I understand how he breezes through elections.
Reach Nancy Smith at email@example.com or at 228-282-2423.