Today: Past clues to watch in Rick Scott’s final State of the State speech

Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay (left) and Assistant County Administrator Todd Bonlarron talk with Florida Gov. Rick Scott during an Associated Industries of Florida reception on Monday night. (George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

TALLAHASSEE  — Florida Gov. Rick Scott will deliver his eighth and final State of the State speech today — a tone-setter for the upcoming legislative session and, many politics watchers expect, for Scott’s 2018 campaign for U.S. Senate against Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.

If the past is any guide, jobs and tax cuts will figure prominently in Scott’s address.

Click here for a look at highlights from Scott’s previous State of the State speeches.

Another precedent to consider: The last time Scott gave a State of the State address in a year in which he was running, he delivered an uncharacteristically personal and biographical speech. That was in 2014, when Scott was seeking re-election and trailed Democrat Charlie Crist in the polls.

Click here for a preview of Palm Beach County’s priorities in the 2018 legislative session.

The message-disciplined Scott uttered the phrase “Let’s keep working” eight times in his 2014 speech, echoing his “Let’s Get To Work” campaign theme of 2010.

“I’ve seen what happens to families who struggle for a job. I’ve had Christmas without presents. I don’t want any of our people to ever feel stuck in those situations,” Scott said, drawing prolonged applause.

“I didn’t start caring about jobs when I ran a company. I started caring about jobs when I saw my father lose his,” Scott said.

Scott, elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2014, faces term limits. He’s been urged by President Donald Trump to challenge Nelson this year. So strong is the presumption that Scott will run that no other credible Republican has opened a Senate campaign or made any noise about doing so.