Right now, we're in an extended period where the people who everyone presumes to be running for president in 2012 are delaying their official entry into the race. Until that changes, we're going to persist in a state where the GOP field is considered to be "weak" and needful of a masked stranger to ride to its rescue. And so, a lot of the Republicans who have retained some of their "so hot right now" sheen from 2008 are going to be the subjects of 2012 speculation, even if they've only been in their new positions for a few weeks. Today's speculative candidate? Florida's fraudster-king governor, Rick Scott.
"Is Fla. Gov. Rick Scott planning a 2012 presidential run?" is the question posed in the headline of this piece from the Miami Herald. And after you've read it, you will probably conclude that the answer is: "Uhm, no!" Here is the basis for the speculation, in its entirety:
-- Rick Scott "acknowledge[s]" that "he's still in campaign mode," whatever that means.
-- Scott has "beefed up the Washington, D.C., extension of the governor's office by hiring former health care lobbyist Brian McManus, an ally of Scott's Conservatives for Patients' Rights group." Also, some other guy, his "external affairs director," might come to D.C., too. (The better to conduct "external affairs," perhaps?)
-- Scott has made "frequent appearances on FOX News."
The piece also gets a spokesman from the Florida Democratic Party named Eric Jotkoff to quip, "I wouldn't be shocked to wake up one morning and see he has planned visits to Iowa and New Hampshire." But that's not really as important as the premise-defeating piece of reporting here, which reads: "Scott has denied interest in the White House, saying he wants to seek a second term."
That said, there are probably a lot of Florida Democrats, and maybe Floridians in general, who'd only be too glad if Scott schlepped off to Iowa to just run for the White House. The first month of Scott's reign has been precisely what you'd expect of the man who holds the record for "fraud settlements demanded of a criminal from the Planet Earth."
Scott's latest trick, of course, is his decision to reject $2 billion in federal transportation funding, thus scotching the plan to build a high-speed rail project in Florida. This has Rep.. John Mica (R-Fla.) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) "scrambling" in a bipartisan, bicameral fashion to try to save the project and its attendant economic benefits and employment opportunities. With that kind of extant frustration, it's possible that a lot of the speculation that Scott might seek the White House in 2012 is primarily based in wishful thinking.