At the international level, nation-states guard against unexpected incursions or sudden shifts in the geopolitical landscape by monitoring troop movements and military buildups along neighboring borders. At the state and local government level, political operatives have their own touchstones for monitoring potential developments that could impact their business or political career. Keeping a close eye on the social media accounts of known political figures (potential allies or rivals) often yields clues to impending announcements that have the potential to bolster or wreck the best laid plans.
Which is exactly why some political operatives recently alerted The Capitolist to the fact that former Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos appears to be gearing up for something. Just what that something is remains a mystery, perhaps even to Haridopolos himself. Over the past two months, his social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook have exploded with activity. On Facebook, he’s got a brand new family-centered background that looks as though it’s straight from central casting for a political campaign. He’s also been a talk radio regular on Bill Mick’s radio show, one of the few remaining relevant media outlets along the Treasure Coast.
But it’s Haridopolos’ Twitter account that yields the most compelling evidence that he’s getting ready to make a move. He averaged about 25 tweets per month between January 1st and July 30th of this year (I counted them all so you don’t have to). But when the political election cycle began in earnest, Haridopolos stepped up his social media game, cranking out an average of 65 posts each month since August 1st. Already in November, he let fly 106 times (as of last night), nevermind the general lull in activity among most pols during Thanksgiving break and the fact we still have a few days before the month is out:
Still, nobody needs to let all this raw data get their knickers in a knot, because Haridopolos says he’s not massing troops on anyone’s political border at the moment:
“I’m not gearing up for a campaign, but wanted to get re-engaged in more political matters,” he told The Capitolist, when asked about the noticable increase in activity. “I’m actually psyched that Republicans have a chance in DC to make real changes. I never say never, but for now just enjoying life in general.”
That’s all well and good, but let’s face it: no one plotting a run for office wants to be a candidate before making a decision to run. And let’s not forget he still has $1 million parked in a federal campaign account. If Congressional Republicans suddenly need a candidate, he’s got a turn-key solution.
He’s also got a bit of street cred with Trump supporters, as both a Trump surrogate and as one of the few who predicted Trump would defeat Hillary Clinton, despite polling and a general media narrative to the contrary. On October 28th, just after the FBI announced it would reopen a probe into Clinton’s emails, he predicted Trump would eek out a 270-268 win:
So what can we conclude from all this evidence? Only that Mike Haridopolos is a political junkie with a fat bank account. But does he really have an itch to get back into the game? Last February, Peter Schorsch broke news on his site that Haridopolos was contemplating a return to the Florida Senate through District 17, but a challenge to Ritch Workman and Debbie Mayfield never materialized. That, due in part, to the fact he’s remained busy running his business, MJH Consulting, and worked as a surrogate for Trump for a good part of the year.
It’s his work as a surrogate, doing radio, TV and newspaper interviews, as well as attending rallies, that has reinvigorated his passion for politics.
“It just felt like a campaign that was truly motivating voters,” he says about Trump. “At many of the events I spoke at, there were so many new Republican faces in the crowd that were not there and in 2008 or 2012.”
So, there you have it, folks. Mike Haridopolos has a renewed passion for politics, but he’s got no plans to run for anything. Everyone can put down their pitchforks, or checkbooks, as the case may be. At least for now.