Monday, January 17, 2011

Our New Governor: "Doctor" Bentley

What do you think of when you hear the word "doctor?" Perhaps many immediately think of a physician, but there are also many for whom the word conjures up images of the halls of academia. At some point today, the State of Alabama will have a new governor--a dermatologist no less. He is neither businessman nor seasoned politician, and many have no idea what to expect from this oddity.

Considering the alternative--Ron Sparks--we're happy that we will now have Dr. Bentley to call governor. Yet, deep inside at least a few of us harbor the nagging fear that we have elected Guy Hunt with a medical degree. We need look no further than the campaign to find our first reason for misgivings. From the October 8, 2010, Dothan Eagle:

Before the governor’s race began, Bentley was well known in the Tuscaloosa area as both a state legislator and a dermatologist. “Everybody in Tuscaloosa knows him as Dr. Bentley,” said Angi Smith, Bentley’s campaign manager. “That’s who he is.”

Bentley’s campaign planned to build the “Dr.” title into his marketing, Smith said, with signs that read “Dr. Robert Bentley” and an ad campaign stating “Alabama needs a doctor.”
Smith said GOP leaders were initially fine with Bentley appearing on the primary ballot with his medical title listed as part of his name. She said the party leadership later changed their minds and told Bentley he could use only his legal name.

“Someone suggested that he could solve that pretty simply by going down to the probate office and changing his name to Dr. Robert Bentley,” Smith said. “It cost 17 or 18 dollars.”
So, on March 30, Robert Julian Bentley became Dr. Robert Bentley.

But party leaders refused to yield, Smith said, telling Bentley he couldn’t use “Dr.” as his name on the ballot.
On April 5, Bentley spent another $17 or $18 at the probate office, and again became Robert Julian Bentley.

Let's just collectively say, "Only in Alabama," and pray for the best.


What if other politicians followed Bentley's example of selecting a political moniker to fit their reputation? We can see it now...

Pork Passin' Bedford

Abstaining T. Irons

Cartwheel Black

Traffic Cone Tays

You gotta admit, it would make for a more fun ballot.