More thoughts on just how bad was Mike Haridopolos as Senate President

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I wasn’t happy to write it, but there was a lot of reaction to yesterday’s post in which I declared Mike Haridopolos to be the Worst Senate President of the modern Republican era.

One legislative staffer messaged me to say:

“How sad is it that you could’ve written another 2500 words and still only summarized his failures?”

A second former legislative staffer who worked for Haridopolos sent me a message about what my analysis was missing:

“You forgot one other thing in the Haridopolos story. He blamed everyone but himself for his problems.”

Another reader reminded me “that Haridopolos fired a lot of long time staff directors in key positions in the Senate when he became Senate President” creating a great deal of animosity early in his tenure.

However, not everyone agreed with me that Haridopolos was the worst Senate President of the modern Republican era.  Some thought Jim King was dealt a bad hand having to work with his counterpart in the Florida House, Johnnie Byrd.

Other readers were critical of Tom Lee.  However, if there was a runner-up to Haridopolos, the consensus pick among Tallahassee insiders seems to be John McKay, who overcame a personal scandal early in his career to win the top post, but squandered his time as Senate President fighting a losing fight to provide a more reliable tax base for the state.

Still, if reader reaction to my post is any indication, Haridopolos is the runaway choice.

One reader noted that Haridopolos was a “joke” because his most significant accomplishments were political gimmicks, such as the “Health Care Freedom” amendment.

Finally, another reader, who agreed Haridopolos was the Worst Senate President, sent me this picture to make the argument that Haridopolos was also the Worst Professor Ever. Yikes!

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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.