If only Rick Scott had not gotten off to such a horribly rocky start

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The pictures posted from Governor Rick Scott’s “workday” at Tampa International Airport on Friday were manna from heaven for this and other snarky bloggers and political writers.

Yet, when I see Scott trying so hard to repair his public image, I really do end up feeling just ever so sorry for the Governor.

Skeletor has feelings too, you know.

It is at these moments, when I forget about Scott’s many, many failures, that I wonder if things would be different for Rick Scott if he had not gotten off to such a horribly rocky start.

Would Rick Scott’s approval rating still be mired in the mid-30s if it hadn’t taken such a precipitous dive during his first year in office?

What if we edited out the beginning of Rick Scott’s administration and just started sometime last Summer? No Mary Anne Carter. No Enu Mainigi. Just begin at the point Steve MacNamara came abroad.

No budget announcements in Eustis. No deleted emails. No spokesmen fighting reporters on Twitter.

Don’t get me wrong, Rick Scott would still be an unpopular Governor, but much of that unpopularity would be isolated on the left.  He’d still be wrong about drug testing state employees and welfare recipients, about killing high speed rail, about so-called pension reform, etc., etc.

But the optics would have been different had Scott approached his job with the same compassion, enthusiasm and openness he displayed at his “workday” on Friday.

He would have earned a few bonus points for making the “hard decisions.” He’d be in the mid-40s in the opinion polls and not forced to have the RPOF air TV spots 30 months out from his re-election.

He’d be a different man, right?

When I asked one prominent critic of Scott’s administration, they insisted that the rocky start has nothing to do with Scott’s unpopularity.  He just vetoed bipartisan legislation that would have let nonviolent felons get sentence reductions by completing rehabilitation programs. At this core, Scott’s a bad dude, this critic would have you believe.

But when I see Scott pushing an old lady in a wheelchair through the airport, I want to believe he can still turn it all around.

Scott’s critics believe Scott is just as likely to push that old lady into a ditch.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.