"Rick Scott for president? It's possible," blares a headline for a non-story in today's St. Petersburg Times. Oddly, the third sentence in the story is a quote from Scott saying, "I'm not running for president," yet the Times political editor Adam C. Smith manages to drag the story on for 832 words -- 832 words of part speculative nightmare and part stupidity.
Granted, many of the Republican candidates who may be running for president in 2012 are a rogues gallery of losers: Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, John Bolton, Jimmy "The Rent is Too Damn High" McMillan, etc. So, in context Scott might have some sort of chance ... to at least come in third or fourth place, but there's very little indication he'd actually run.
Smith claims speculation of a presidential run has been a "source of considerable speculation among prominent Florida Republicans who have talked to him or simply watched his first five months in office," and notes that Scott "has urged Republican fundraisers in Florida to stay on the sidelines as long as possible."
However, two of his top trusted campaign aids have also started working for potential candidate John Huntsman.
Scott is still a political novice at this point and largely self-funded his own campaign (something that would seem almost unimaginable if he ran for President) and doesn't have as much sway over Florida's Republican moneybags as previous governors.
Other than that, there's little actual indication Scott would run. There's also the matter that his poll numbers in Florida are in the toilet and that whole giant Medicare scandal thing. He might have been able to pull a fast one of Florida voters, but those scandals, put under the microscope of the national press, would probably scare off voters.
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The guy also has about as much charisma as a paper bag. That wasn't much of a problem when he was running against Bill McCollum (charisma level: a burst tired left on the side of I-4) and Alex Sink (charisma level: an old phone book), but he just couldn't match up when taking on experience media pros like Mike Huckabee.
Hell, we doubt Scott could even win Florida in either the primary or general election at this point.
It's the start of a slow summer in Florida, and with the legislative session over Florida political writers have a lot of time on their hands. So it's not surprise their writing 832-word scary stories about a Rick Scott presidential run.