Trump and the Boom: Donald DeSantis’s 2024 campaign in the wake of O’Dea’s embarrassing tweet last month
In a riff on his lead over the other potential Republican 2024 contenders at a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday, Trump referred to the Florida governor as “Ron DeSanctimonious.”
During a time in which Trump was relatively absent from the national scene the bubble inflated to the point where it is now considered to be a hoax. DeSantis has not yet had to contend with Trump’s peculiar media power, his ability to create noise and spectacle and soak up every moment of media attention. He hasn’t been on the other side of a sustained Trump attack. It’s easy to see why the Republicans were so upset when they lost the presidential election in 2016: they were instantly deflated by Trump’s presence.
Last month, Trump labeled it a “BIG MISTAKE” when DeSantis recorded a robocall for Colorado Republican Senate nominee Joe O’Dea. O’Dea had drawn Trump’s ire by saying in an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash that he would “actively” oppose the former president if he ran for the White House in 2024.
DeSantis looks, for all the world, like he is gearing up to use the momentum garnered from his expected win on Tuesday to launch a White House bid. He has over $90 million in the bank as of last week after raising $200 million for his reelection campaign and released a video last week that could easily have doubled as a presidential announcement.
The Night Before the Elections: Ron DeSantis and the Early Republican Reionization in Florida (The Morning before the Red Supergate)
“I think he’s going to go down,” Trump said of Cruz in February 2016. I think a man cannot be, but I know Ted holds up the Bible. He lies about a lot of things.
Trump, in this formulation, is the real man of the people, who would never dare think he is better than anyone. That Trump has a large ego and casts himself as special doesn’t seem to be a big deal.
Glenn Beck joked that he wanted to linger with the idea of a red surge after the elections, but he really wanted to stay connected to the visions of a red surge after the elections. The party had a poor showing in the polls, and it felt too sour to linger on.
The night got better and better for one Republican. Ron DeSantis was reelected governor of Florida by nearly 20 points in a night in which the state turned red. Even as the GOP lost, he wouldn’t have to share the spotlight and anyone on the right looking for a beacon of hope would have to look at Florida.
At the victory rally, supporters made it clear they viewed his platform as a starting point. Chants of “two more years!” filled the room, a sign that they would rather see DeSantis in the White House than the governor’s mansion come 2025.
The Florida Key: Donald Trump’s Failure to Bring the Party to Life in a Flavored Voter’s Censorship after the 2016 Insurrection
He has married that political style with a strongman persona. As governor, he has targeted protestors, universities, public health workers and corporations for opposing his policies. He wants to get the police to round up voters with convictions who forget to vote when they were re-instated a few years ago. He has bent the Florida legislature to his will, whipping up support for anti-gay laws, a new redistricting map and punitive legislation targeting Disney after the company criticized the state’s infamous “don’t say gay” bill.
But as Sen. Marco Rubio, a one-time frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, knows, neither success in Florida nor success in theory naturally translates into national victory. That is largely due to the state of Florida. In recent years the electorate there has become more conservative, as the country has coalesced around center-left policies like Medicaid expansion, abortion protections and higher minimum wage laws.
Meanwhile, unlike the national party, the Democratic Party in Florida is in tatters, struggling to field and support candidates and to organize and mobilize voters. And Florida has a specific mix of Latino voters that is unlike most other states, weighted heavily toward immigrants from Cuba and Venezuela who respond favorably to DeSantis’s attack on Democrats as socialists.
Donald Trump has an issue with fellow Florida resident. The Dump Trump crowd, though bigger at the moment than at perhaps any time since 2016, does not seem to fully understand how deep and unquestioning the cult of personality around Trump still is within parts of the party.
Two years ago the party failed to pass a platform and issued a statement of loyalty to Trump. When party elites inched away from Trump after his election loss and the insurrection that followed, they did not manage to bring the party with them. A majority of Republicans in the House decided to overturn the election and a large number of voters stuck to their belief that the election was stolen.
The Dean Obeidallah Show: Why is the Florida Gov. DeSantis the most serious threat to Trump in the midst of a possible White House run?
Editor’s Note: Dean Obeidallah, a former attorney, is the host of SiriusXM radio’s daily program “The Dean Obeidallah Show.” Follow him @[email protected]. The opinions are of his own. View more opinion on CNN.
It’s hard to know for sure who the “fool” is that Lake was referring to, but my guess would be Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who seems to be biding his time ahead of a possible White House run. At least for the moment, DeSantis appears to be the most serious threat to Trump in his bid to be the GOP nominee for president.
A scene from the film shows Clubber Lang being asked by a reporter if he hates Rocky Balboa, a fictional boxing legend played by Sylvester Stallone.
“I had governors that decided not to close a thing and that was up to them,” Trump said. He also took aim at DeSantis’ shifting position on vaccines, saying the Florida governor had “changed his tune a lot.”
In March 2020, in response to the rapidly spreading pandemic, the Florida governor issued an executive order closing bars and nightclubs, and urged people to follow US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines limiting gatherings on beaches to no more than 10 people.
But his recent remarks and pronouncements have veered sharply away from sensible, government-imposed Covid-19 protections in what appears to be a desperate bid to appeal to the GOP’s Covid-denying base voters ahead of an anticipated presidential run.
In response to the measures meant to combat the spread of the coronaviruses, DeSantis has come out against them. Many political watchers think the about-face has been motivated by an impending White House bid.
Rubio had no choice but to stay with Trump: The case of Rocky vs. Clubber Lang, and his battle with Trump in 2020
But any potential run inevitably means a face-off with Trump, who is, as yet, the only Republican to have formally announced in the race. “Rocky III” marked the 40th anniversary of its release last year, but the 2024 GOP nominating campaign might be Rocky vs. Clubber Lang all over again.
Unless he wants to win in 2024, it is not possible for him to keep ducking Trump. The Italian Stallion prevailed despite losing his title to the cruel Clubber Lang in the film, ‘Rocky III’.
Even though the former President is not an outsider in the White House nomination contest, polls show a lot of his supporters would rather see someone else be the GOP nominee.
As with Lang, DeSantis has tried to stay above the other players. After winning reelection as Florida governor in November, DeSantis dismissed Trump’s criticism as “noise,” explaining that “when you are getting things done, yeah, you take incoming fire. It is just the nature of it.
At first, Rubio didn’t attack Trump directly. That changed when Rubio faced a “do or die” moment, finding himself in third place behind Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas in the delegate count, with little time to make up ground ahead of a March 2016 primary in his home state of Florida.
It was then that he called Trump an embarrassment and a demagogue. But it was too little, too late for Rubio, who lost the Florida GOP primary, and ended up dropping out of the race the next day.
Wearing a flight suit and seated in the cockpit of a fighter jet as the “Top Gov,” DeSantis revealed his “rules of engagement,” declaring, “No. 1 — don’t fire unless fired upon, but when they fire, you fire back with overwhelming force.” He continued: “No. 2 — never, ever back down from a fight.”
Perhaps DeSantis — a Harvard Law School graduate and former federal prosecutor — is waiting to see if Trump is criminally indicted, in the hopes he doesn’t have to meet him on the field of battle. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis told a judge last week that decisions were imminent regarding her investigation into efforts to interfere in the 2020 Georgia election by Trump and his allies.
The January 6, 2021, attack and the cache of classified documents that were found at Mar-a-Lago are being investigated by the special counsel Jack Smith. While Trump can still legally run for president while under indictment — or even if convicted of a crime — as a practical matter it would likely be devastating to his election prospects.
What DeSantis didn’t do in 2016: How many times does the left care about him? The case for a new president
You will have to put up a fight in order to prevail. There could come a time when GOP voters view DeSantis’ refusal to defend himself and punch back as a sign of weakness.
The longer he is silent in the face of Trump, the more likely people are to wonder if he is cowardice or not.
It’s reliably depressing to revisit 2016 and the misbegotten liberal conviction that America couldn’t possibly elevate Donald Trump to the presidency. We have cataloged the mistakes that media coverage has made, and we have taken a look at what we missed that made him a viable candidate for the Oval Office. But here we go again. As the Democratic political strategist Lis Smith has remarked, the left’s reaction to DeSantis looks just like its reaction to Trump: “He’s picking these fights. He’s saying and doing abhorrent things. And all the same characters — whether in the media, Democratic politics, the punditry class, whatever it is — have the same freakout.”