Should Ron DeSantis Wait to Run for President? Indignant supporters of former President Donald J. Trump’s unconventional bid to get a second term in the 2024 Presidential Election have demanded to know why Florida’s highly successful conservative governor, Ron DeSantis, is daring to challenge the forty-fifth president in 2024 (as if the GOP nomination is a crown to inherited rather than a title to be won).
According to the narrative, because the election was stolen from Trump in 2020, he “deserves” to be the GOP nominee at all costs in 2024.
Yet, claims of impropriety regarding early voting in 2020 were being bandied about early that year. As president, Trump had the power to use the Department of Justice to investigate all claims of impropriety; to fortify the election of that year in the way that Governor Ron DeSantis did in Florida. Trump did none of these things (other than kvetch about it at his rallies throughout that election).
If the accusations that the 2020 Presidential Election was indeed stolen due to Democratic ballot harvesting, and Trump refused to address this potentiality when he held the most powerful office in the land, why assume that he could win an election in which he no longer had any real power?
Ron DeSantis Has a Great Record
More importantly, Ron DeSantis has not only won both of his gubernatorial elections—as well as his previous bids for US Congress—but he has an incredible record of success. He kept Florida open when then-President Trump insisted that the Sunshine State remain closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. DeSantis fought the indoctrination of young children in Florida’s school systems.
He stopped an ideologically driven state prosecutor in Tampa Bay from abusing his power (a state prosecutor who got the job, thanks in large part to George Soros’ backing). DeSantis successfully challenged the corporate cultural tyranny the Disney Corporation was attempting to impose on the state. And, Florida’s economy is booming, attracting all kinds of investments and human capital to the state as never before.
At least, this is how DeSantis’ supporters are billing the Florida governor’s viability as a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2024.
Given this track record of success, why would Governor DeSantis wait until 2028, as the uneasy Trumpworld people are demanding he do?
That’s more than four years away!
That is a lifetime in American politics. Who knows how relevant the governor will be by then? Or how popular DeSantis will be by then, for that matter. Especially if Trump were to become the forty-seventh president. Trump would undoubtedly spend much effort as president trying desperately to undermine DeSantis to seek retribution against the governor for having dared to challenge Trump in the first place.
Ronald Reagan ran three times for the presidency before finally getting it on his third attempt. By running those times, Reagan elevated his standing both in the party and with the public. He let the voters know that he was there and the things he had stood for. By the time 1980 rolled around, his meeting with destiny was assured—and he was a known commodity among voters, even though he was billed as an outsider to the GOP race that year.
DeSantis, Not Trump, is the Underdog in 2024
DeSantis gains nothing by waiting for another four years to run. In today’s media environment, relevance is critical. Relevance is derived from recent successful actions. DeSantis’ biggest victory was in standing up to both Presidents Trump and, later, Biden on the COVID-19 lockdowns and vaccine mandates.
By 2028, who will even remember or much care about that?
Besides, Americans love an underdog story. Trump and his acolytes keep reminding DeSantis about the slim margins he won by in 2018. They fail to recognize that DeSantis blew his opponent in 2022 out of the proverbial water after having been in office for four years and proving himself to be an extraordinary executive. Meanwhile, Trump couldn’t secure his reelection against a man he had dubbed as, “Sleepy” Joe Biden. Trump’s people insist that the former president is the underdog and DeSantis is the agent of the establishment.
How does that work?
Trump is the former president and everyone from Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel—not the biggest fans of Trump—keeps kowtowing to Trump and the Mar-a-Lago crew. Ron DeSantis is a former congressman turned governor. What’s more, he belongs to a younger generation. DeSantis is the epitome of an underdog. Like Trump in 2016, many influential figures (even those sympathetic to him) are telling him to wait another four years. To let Trump fizzle out.
I quite disagree.
Even if DeSantis doesn’t ultimately win in 2024, at least he will have made a name for himself and let voters know that he’s in it to win it. As a competitor, I believe DeSantis understands this and must ultimately decide to run now. He may not beat Trump in 2024 but at least he will have shown the world his commitment and grit. By running now, DeSantis just might upend the established order as Trump did in 2016 and unexpectedly win, restoring much needed greatness to the United States.
The case to wait is ridiculous. DeSantis must run in 2024.
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Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who serves as a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive.com. Weichert is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (March 28), and Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (May 16). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.