On Monday night, Vanilla Ice -- aka Robert Matthew Van Winkle -- sang "Ice Ice Baby" in Boca Raton while ballerinas danced around him and the Palm Beach Symphony played. Florida Gov. Rick Scott loved it, according to the Fix's body language expert (that would be me). (If you click on this picture, the adulation is even more evident.)
The rapper and the governor were both attending the 47th annual Florida Governor's Conference on Tourism. Palm Beach county's director of marketing and governmental affairs told the Palm Beach Post that "We wanted to come up with something really different. It is something we think people won't forget." Um, agreed.
John Tupps, the governor's spokesperson, says that the rapper was scheduled to perform before Scott spoke, and they "just bumped into each other." "Florida tourism is doing great," Tupps said, "and the governor was there to congratulate the tourism industry personally."
Vanilla Ice's appearance was a surprise for the attendees, but the local newspaper reported that people seemed to enjoy it. "One attendee even fist-bumped the rapper."
The Palm Beach Post also noted:
Van Winkle also took pictures with attendees, and at times, drew more of a line than the governor. After his performance, Van Winkle boasted about the county's tourism landmarks and cultural hot spots.
"I live here in Palm Beach County with my teenage daughters, and we love it here," he said.
In February, Van Winkle was named Wellington's "Outstanding Citizen of the Year" by the city's Chamber of Commerce. Van Winkle, a resident for more than a decade, films his DIY Network reality show "The Vanilla Ice Project" in Wellington.
According to a quick Nexis search, Monday's photo op was not the only time Scott and "Vanilla Ice" were mentioned in the same story. The governor's favorite treat at Mixon's Fruit Farm is a a "dreamsicle-like orange-and-vanilla ice cream."
Vanilla Ice has commented on politics before. During the 2012 Republican presidential primaries, he tweeted praise for Herman Cain.
I was impressed with Cain in the debate ? But not really convinced yet by anyone ??? 15 months to go ???— Vanilla Ice (@vanillaice) August 12, 2011
And, of course, who could forget his trenchant commentary on Florida's traffic issues? "Bumper to bumper, the avenue was packed." So true.
According to Real Clear Politics' polling average, Scott is up by less than two percentage points in his race against Democratic challenger and former Republican governor Charlie Crist.
This post has been updated.