Florida Gov. Rick Scott could make an improbable leap into the 2012 presidential election contest, given the hazy state of the current Republican field and the absence of a galvanizing front-runner, St. Petersburg Times political editor Adam C. Smith
writes. Although tea party favorite Scott has said he’s not running for president, some who know him say he hasn’t ruled it out and they note that the political rookie once was considered a long shot for the job he has now.
If the Republican slate “still looks muddled and uninspiring come November,” Smith writes, Scott could emerge, “fresh off a year of slashing spending and regulation in Florida, and of infuriating moderate Republicans, independents, Democrats, and newspaper editorial writers.
“By then a proven, uncompromising antigovernment crusader, he may be the best sell among Republican primary voters in these turbulent times.”
A frequent guest on Fox News, Scott is attracting notice well beyond Florida with his approach to governing.
“I know Rick, and he’s as serious as a heart attack,” the California-based conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart said in a television interview that Smith cited. Breitbart said that Scott very consciously sent a national message by spurning federal money for high-speed trains in Florida and that a wide-open GOP field allows a potential dark horse like Scott to "run away with it.”
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