It’s true that, given the limited extent of impact and damage in Vermont from the virus, Scott has done a proper job. However he only did what any of us would do. If you recall, one of his earliest public statements was that he was in completely uncharted territory with the pandemic. He didn’t know anything more about it than any of us in the state. So he called the state’s medical team together, got a bit of an education and followed their advice. I’d like to think that all of our governors would have done the same. He was very lucky in this particular crisis to have had the federal government step in fairly quickly with a huge cash infusion that gave us all time to understand and assess the situation and choose our actions under less stressed conditions.
The real test of leadership would have been if the Feds had not stepped in. FDR showed that kind of leadership in 1933 when he began his presidency at the absolute depth of the Depression, by far the worst economic collapse in our history. He did not have a sugar daddy smoothing the way. It is true that he had a big boost within five years when, observing Hitler, it became increasingly apparent, by late ’37, we were headed for another war and the US began cranking up the war industries. B u by then most of the New Deal that pulled us back from the brink was almost fully in place.
Back to Vermont… Scott’s leadership was really only mildly tested. He did nothing exceptional. He did what was right. I suppose that in this country at this time doing what is right politically and economically is rather remarkable and unexpected. We accept that every act of leadership is born of one self-serving motivation or another unless demonstrated otherwise. Of course this is a gubernatorial election year and this was probably one time Scott was pleased that the Democratic majority in the legislature was divvying up the Federal largesse in ways pleasing to the population. This would reflect well on him even if his only role was to forgo his usual veto.