The signs that Charlie Crist could run for governor in two years appear to be everywhere, both figuratively and literally.
There are Charlie Crist billboards on the highways touting his current employer Morgan & Morgan. There was the recent Morgan & Morgan television ad where the former governor touts the virtues of teachers. There was Crist's endorsement of Democrat Bill Nelson for U.S. Senate as well as his decision to criticize the non-U.S. citizen voter purge being pushed by current Gov. Rick Scott.
and now: A hearty endorsement of President Barack Obama by the man who once proudly called himself a "Ronald Reagan Republican" and who once tore into then-Gov. Lawton Chiles after Chiles ran a bruising campaign to knock off Jeb Bush. Crist will also speak at the upcoming Democratic National Convention.
The timing of Crist's endorsement - which appeared in an op-ed of the pages of his hometown newspaper - was designed to coincide with the start of the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
Republicans expressed outrage on Sunday at the latest "betrayal" by Crist, who switched from GOP to independent before his failed run for U.S. Senate in 2010.
But if you talk to Republicans - and those in "Scott World" - there is actually a quiet confidence about the scenario of Scott taking on Crist during the 2014 elections.
First off, Crist - even with the potential backing of the White House (should Obama get re-elected)- will not have a clear path to a Democratic nomination. There are many Democrats who still view Crist with suspicion.
Then there is the reality that if Crist makes it on the ballot as a Democrat he will have to fight in a campaign where he gets significantly outspent by the incumbent governor. Barring some strange sequence of events such as where U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio decides to run for governor Scott will be the 2014 nominee.
That means the firepower of the party - which controls all of state government - will be aimed squarely at Crist.
For the 2014 elections, there will be no higher priority for the Republican Party of Florida than to re-elect Scott and destroy Crist.
The topics will be numerous, but expect the biggest contrast to be an ad that shows that Florida's unemployment rate rose significantly while Crist was in office. He will be portrayed as someone who was out-of-touch and indifferent while the state's economy imploded.
Then there's his political reinventions - and maybe even the unpleasantness of former RPOF chairman Jim Greer. (The Greer ads will basically point out that it was Crist who gave him the keys to the kingdom - and control of the party bank account.)
The one-plus for Crist is that his confrontation with Scott could be one of the biggest political stories of 2014 and could get plenty of earned media.
One big question, however, is whether or not Scott and Republicans will even wait until 2014 to seriously go after Crist.
RPOF Chairman Lenny Curry has already taken shots at Crist in blast emails. There have likely been early discussions about whether or not to run ads going after Crist. (Crist could find himself targeted by ads that do not have to follow any disclosure requirements since he is a public figure but not a candidate.)
That all said - this doesn't mean a Crist candidacy guarantees Scott an easy walk back into the governor's mansion.
Scott remains a polarizing figure who is unlikely to get widespread support from teachers, state workers, firefighters and police. He is not a great speaker and sometimes he appears ill at ease dealing with crowds.
The above chart shows why there remains a bit of worry in "Scott world."
You can quibble if you want about Quinnipiac University and its polls but the issue isn't one poll. It's the overall trend line that shows over his first 18 months in office Scott has really been unable to move his approval numbers much above 40 percent. The reasons are clear: He is deeply disliked by Democrats and his numbers among independents are way underwater.
It's the reason that the RPOF has spent at least $1 million - and climbing - on ads touting Scott this year despite other pressing elections on the near horizon.
It's why Curry puts out emails to the Republican establishment touting the governor's accomplishments on the economy - even though presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney is running ads raising doubts about Florida's economy under Obama.
But that may be why taking on Crist could be a welcome scenario for those trying to get Scott re-elected.
While Crist is probably more likeable than Scott the Republicans can make the election a referendum on Crist's term as governor. Instead of defending Scott's record they get to attack Crist's. And that may prove to be a much easier task than going after a fresh face.