Florida Governor Rick Scott failed to take the stage for several minutes during a live gubernatorial debate earlier this month against his opponent, former Florida Governor Charlie Crist.
Why? According to the moderators, Scott refused to debate due to a small fan placed beneath Crist’s lectern, which may have violated the debate’s prohibition against “electronic devices.” For four minutes, Crist benefited from the optics of appearing on stage alone and an opponent who refused to show up due to the presence of a small fan. Sure, he may have broken the debate rules, but the specific violation struck many people as petty and unimportant. The sublimely ridiculous political moment instantly became the stuff of ridicule, launching a #fangate hashtag on Twitter that trended nationally.
When he finally walked onto the stage and was asked why he refused to join the debate for the first four minutes, Governor Scott gave an answer that bordered on incomprehensible. â