WTVY  | Dothan, AL  | Politics, News

Rick Scott Reinventing Himself?

Rick Scott - full-time governor now part-time pastry connoisseur, and just maybe a man committed to improving a few key relationships.

Take the Capitol Press Corps, a sometimes aggressive group Scott hasn't always gotten along with.

In the beginning, the administration put up velvet ropes at news conferences, but Monday for a full hour, the governor couldn't help but laugh about that first crazy day.

"I was just shocked how many people were asking questions all of a sudden, and so, I'd never done it before, but I figured out what a gaggle was!"

That's not the only thing he's figured out. With polls indicating Scott may be America's least-popular governor, he's hired a new chief of staff, backed off a controversial plan to build a private campground at Honeymoon Island and he's approved the Sunrail project, condemned by the Tea Party as a 'government boondoggle'.

It all adds up to what looks like a determined effort to fill a donut hole left behind by the evaporation of goodwill, but is it just the sweetener the governor needs or a bunch of empty calories?

With the governor's tanking approval numbers, Democratic Strategist Gary Yordon says something has to be done. Until now, the governor's tried to appeal to primarily one constituency. the Tea Party, and that may well have alienated everybody else.

"I think he's beginning to understand that screaming on a soapbox in the middle of a field doesn't get heard, but communicating in a way that gets you to where people are listening and watching might be a better plan," Yordon said.

Even Scott will admit it's been a rocky start.

"I try not to think back - could've, should've, would've."

But, with new ideas and a new style, he may just be able to glaze over the past.

Recently, Scott decided to slash the high prices he's been charging reporters for public records. Open government advocates say it's another sign the governor is shifting his strategy to be more accommodating.


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