Ron DeSantis Delays—Too Much and Not Enough: Life is about anticipation and timing. As the contentious 2024 Presidential Election cycle is already underway, most people are anticipating it to be a vitriolic drama fest of the sort that not even Hollywood’s best storytellers could envision. This is especially true of the impending Republican presidential primary, in which there are multiple candidates—including former President Donald J. Trump—who are running. Beyond Trump, though, the potential candidate that most intrigues possible voters is none other than Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
DeSantis is by-and-far one of the most popular governors in the United States today. Florida is growing economically and demographically because of the popular policies that Governor DeSantis has implemented since taking office in 2018. DeSantis distinguished himself in the eyes of many people during the COVID-19 pandemic by defying the federal government (and, specifically, then-President Trump’s orders) and reopening the state economically and socially.
Because of these bold actions, many conservatives argue Ron DeSantis brought prosperity and freedom back to Florida at a time when the other states in the Union had been very harsh in their responses.
Ron DeSantis Builds His War Chest
Plus, DeSantis has proven his conservative bona fides by waging the controversial (though necessary, according to Republican voters) culture war in Florida.
DeSantis took on the Disney Corporation and won. He has gone after the education system in Florida that seeks to impose what some consider radical notions upon young Florida students—DeSantis righteously challenged everything from “Drag Queen” story hour sessions to racialist teachings in new Advanced Placement African-American Studies courses (which do not teach children about the contributions of African-Americans to our society but inculcates young people into what some see as quasi-Marxist ideas).
Meanwhile, DeSantis has proven himself to be a star on television, where he regularly takes on the Left and any other detractors.
In fact, he has gathered some of America’s biggest political donors into a strong coalition of support for him—even though he refuses to announce his bid for presidency.
Trump Attacks, DeSantis Ignores
Donald Trump, who is dedicated to returning to the presidency after he believes that President Joe Biden “stole” the election from him, will brook no challenge to his resurgence.
Already, Trump has initiated a wave of criticisms directed against DeSantis. Initially, the attacks started as silly name-calling, such as “Ron DeSanctimonious.” The name-calling evolved into what sounded like borderline racial slurs aimed at DeSantis’s Italian background (“Meatball Ron”). Gonzo political figure and Trump surrogate, Roger Stone, went on the Patrick Bet-David (PBD) Podcast several months ago to insist that DeSantis was “too boring” to win a debate against Trump.
The most galling criticism came from Trump a few weeks ago, when the former president posted an image of a 23-year-old DeSantis at a party with 18-year-old girls. The context of the image was that Ron DeSantis, a recent Yale graduate who had taken a job as a high school history teacher at the prestigious Dalton School in Georgia went to a party with a group of seniors from the school who had just graduated. While it was not the most flattering thing DeSantis could have done, the fact is that there is no indication anything untoward happened and both he and the students were adults. Yet, that did not stop Trump from implying that DeSantis was some kind of a sexual deviant.
This, from Donald Trump, who is a serial—legendary—philanderer who made a career out of chasing women. DeSantis and his team have developed a well-honed skill of ignoring Donald Trump’s provocations. This tactic has served them well thus far.
But, the closer we move to the 2024 primary, the less effective this tactic will be for DeSantis, who cannot avoid Trump’s attacks forever (nor should he).
The fact is, should Trump be given the floor without effective challenge, when—and if—Ron DeSantis decides to throw his hat into the race, it might too late for him to gain traction.
DeSantis Won’t Win the Waiting Game
That’s why DeSantis’ refusal to retaliate against Trump for his scurrilous attack on DeSantis’ character is so dangerous for DeSantis’ prospects in 2024. DeSantis can only delay and ignore for so long before people begin thinking it’s not smart tactics but instead cowardice (or worse, that there might be something to the accusation). What DeSantis’ should’ve done in response to Trump’s tirade would have been to simply post the infamous picture\ of Donald Trump partying alongside noted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in the 1990s, surrounded by scantily clad, younger women. While Trump has made a name himself as a Ladies’ Man, even “Teflon Don” has done his best to distance himself from his past friendship with Jeffrey Epstein. DeSantis should endeavor to remind voters of this fact at every turn and to put Trump on the defensive.
Running for the presidency of the United States is not an easy task. It is the most powerful political office in the land. The person who wins that office will become the “leader of the Free World”. Thus, they will become a person of destiny and their leadership will shape both history and the future of the country—even the world. Being president does require a sound strategic mind and an inhuman amount of discipline.
Yet, it requires the will to act and to be bold.
Destiny rarely waits for someone to figure out what they want. When opportunity comes knocking, such as running for president, one rarely gets do-overs. The delaying game that Ron DeSantis is playing is dangerous and will soon work against him. While timing is very important in politics (one does not want to peak too early in a long campaign), waiting too long is just as dangerous. Trump is running no matter what and he is going to throw everything he can at anyone who dares to oppose him.
For DeSantis to be the man of destiny he clearly wants to be, DeSantis needs to get off the fence, clamor down into the arena, and start fighting as hard as Donald Trump is. Otherwise, DeSantis will never be president. And if DeSantis waits to announce any longer, he’ll never be president. His time is not in 2028. It is in 2024. He must take it.
Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who recently became a writer for 19FortyFive.com. Weichert is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as a contributing editor 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.