Mike Haridopolos gets it

The senator called me today to say hello and inquire about some of my concerns with the issues I have been hitting him on for the last few weeks.

State Senate President shows engaging, politically savvy side

By Chris Ingram

Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos may be a lot of things, but politically unsavvy is not one of them.

The senator called me today to say hello and inquire about some of my concerns with the issues I have been hitting him on for the last few weeks.

Caption: Mike Haridopolos gets it.

He addressed most of my concerns, though we remain in disagreement on some of those issues.

By directly engaging one of his critics (me) directly he opened up a new line of communication. Mike took the high ground without being self-righteous.  And for both of us, that is smart and helpful to the goals we seek to accomplish.

In as much as most politicians don’t get it when it comes to issues like apologizing for errors, or engaging your opponents, Haridopolos does. Further showing his savvy, Haridopolos did not yell or scream, express offense, or even remotely suggest that he wanted me to stop being irreverent. Establish a line of communication was all his call was about.

Mike’s manner of engagement serves him well. He’s agreeable and non-confrontational. It is easy to see why voters have repeatedly elected him to serve. Resume and accomplishment may mean something, but being a “nice guy” will carry you a lot farther in politics.

Taking advantage of our conversation, I took the opportunity to suggest to Mike that he look into supporting Rep. Rick Kriseman’s bill to provide a recall provision of state elected officials. I also suggested the Legislature should impose a rule requiring an oath of truthfulness by anyone testifying before the body — which it currently does not require. He said he would look into both issues.

We concluded our call with an agreement to keep the lines of communication open.

And then Haridopolos showed his sense of humor.

He invited me to get together with him if I’m up in Tallahassee, adding, “so we can sit down with a box of crayons and go over policy.” Touché.

When I told him I’d be on vacation next week with my kids on Spring Break he jokingly suggested he hoped I’d remain with them on Spring Break through the end of the session.

No such luck senator, but thanks for the call.

Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him at: Chris@IrreverentView.com.

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16 thoughts on “Mike Haridopolos gets it”

  1. Chris — Well…I must say it seems he knows how to handle critics. (At least one of them.) Proving he knows that the pen is mightier than the sword in some cases. Also…he might just be savvy enough, as you said, to want to get you off his case as soon as possible. And the way he did it shows he must have the temperament to be able to have that conversation without lashing out or getting huffy, which is good. And unlike many pols. Maybe he’s just a good actor. Ya think?

    I guess you are kinda stoked that he rang you up to attempt to de-fang you a bit. But I know he didn’t snow you, right?

    Bottom line – a good pol should know how to handle critics and criticism — with candor and humor and respect. If they can’t do that, they need to “get out of the kitchen.”


  2. Excuse me? Are you talking about the mike haridopolos that hired his bud Carey Baker at about 100k a year to do some consulting work for him on the taxpayers bill? The same one that writes a book for the….. Well, you get the idea. He needs to change his “R” to a “D” and move on over to the liberal side. He sure is a huge embarrassment to the Republican party. And all that will show if/when he runs for office again. Pitiful.

    Oh, and yes I am copying all my conservative Republican friends and elected officials.


  3. Chuck,

    Some of the “issues” discussed that we didn’t agree on included the consulting issue.

    The point of my column was to say, Mike is: 1) at least trying. And, 2) has an agreeable temperament and a sense of humor.

    I don’t think I’ve been snowed, and I don’t intend to no longer be a critic, but I liked that he at least gets it enough to make an effort to have a dialogue. If nothing else he earned some respect and no more jokes about his goofy hair…

    Chris Ingram


  4. Chris, Thanks for being fair, I think it show us a lot when both sides
    Communicate their concerns. I appreciated the satire, but I more
    Appreciated your willingness to listen, and get to know Senator Mike.


  5. “thanks for sharing….keep observing and writing…like the concept of truthfulness; sad that there would have to be such a position developed….”


  6. For those of us with hair envy let me be straight. Do you think he is honest with his opinions & reasons for policy? Even where you disagree with him, is it simply a difference of thinking about how to solve situations, where he believes that his ideas are the best methods. That’s just life for anyone! If we can get to that point, we may just have to let our elected officials go with their gut & tackle the problems. There is no perfect politician, no perfect statesman, except when you look in the mirror!

    Martin Simmons
    State Committeeman, Santa Rosa County


  7. Mr. Simmons,

    I’m not perfect, and I don’t expect Mike or anyone else to be. I believe in patterns of behavior and when I see patterns that repeatedly don’t pass “the smell test” it gets my attention.

    Chris Ingram


  8. Wow, Chris Ingram – I’ve come to expect a little bit more from you. Not much, but more than this. And, wow, what a guy. Haridopolos, the presumptive Republican contender for the other senate seat currently held by a democrat, is interested in “keeping the lines of communication open” with a Republican strategist and frequent Cluster FOX contributer. shockingly he’s isn’t as forthcoming with respect to his “My Pet Goat” book deal he scored for a cool $150K, nor any actual rules that he chooses to ignore. Congratulations on being his mouthpiece.


  9. Lauren/Lomewolf,

    It doesn’t mean anything re: my working for Mr. H. that never crossed my mind or came up.

    It also doesn’t mean I am his “mouthpiece” or that I won’t stay on him if he strays too far from promoting good govt.

    Stay tuned,

    Chris Ingram


  10. Allen West will have the Republican Nomination for US Senate if he wants it. I’m not ruling out a Presidential run either.The Voters of Florida are soooo over the ruling elites of Both Parties. There will be more Rick Scott’s in the future as the grassroots impacts the Republican Party. Bill Nelson is joining Suntan Charlie at Morgan& Morgan.


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