MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – Governor Rick Scott has been trying to rehabilitate his image since being ranked one of the most unpopular governors in the country.
Monday, Governor Scott’s office sent out an out-of-focus picture and asked that all media agencies use the fuzzy image for all graphics.
The fuzzy photo shows Scott smiling and in a casual shirt outside of the office. His previous official photo, seen at the top of the page, had been of him in a suit in the governor’s office.
The soft focus was used to show Scott as a more down to earth person as he continues to try to reshape his image.
CBS4’s David Sutta showed the photo around town and got mixed reviews.
“This one looks like driver’s license picture. This one looks like he’s next to his family having fun,” said Pinecrest resident Pablo Lanata.
Andrea Waters, a teacher who likes Scott, said that it was much better.
“Very handsome. I like the smile. It’s inviting, engaging. Friendly,” said Waters.
Another teacher took a look.
“Pictures don’t work for me. I just need to see how my paycheck is going to be treated and how I’m going to be treated as a teacher,” said teacher Naima Bradman.
Mark Foreman, a teenager, believed he looked familiar.
“He looks like Zydrunas Ilgauskas,” said Foreman.
Ilgauskas, the 7 foot Miami Heat center, may share the same barber but that’s about it.
All fun aside, the picture is clearly an effort by the Governor to make friends with you.
“When your approval rating is as low as Governor Scott’s is you cannot leave anything to chance,” said political insider Fernand Amandi.
Amandi says swapping a photo is not unusual and actually works.
“On the margins I think it does have an impact believe it or not,” said Amandi. ” The public is susceptible to images and that’s based on and reinforced by what they are seeing out there. Images do count and perceptions count.”
CBS4 has chosen not to use the photo the Governor’s office provided us. However, we will continue to use our editorial discretion for which photo seems appropriate for the story.