The Ron DeSantis Campaign Begins – The heads of Liberal press people, the Democratic Party, and apparently the Trump Campaign are exploding as Elon Musk, the closest thing we have to a renaissance man, co-hosts Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ unique official campaign announcement for the Republican Party’s presidential nominee on Twitter.
DeSantis joins a crowded field, dominated presently by former President Donald J. Trump, who is leading the Florida governor by an average of 30 points.
Although, it should be noted that aside from Trump, DeSantis is the only possible challenger for the Republican Party’s nomination who is polling in the double-digits—leagues ahead of where the other GOP candidates are.
Trump has also been dominant in the race thus far because it hasn’t really started yet. Sure, Trump made his official announcement last November and others have also gotten into the mix. But it’s way too early to write off DeSantis.
Personally, I’d have preferred it if DeSantis had announced earlier. DeSantis, however, has something that few other candidates do: a massive (and still growing) campaign war chest.
Of course, Trump has spent much time soaking up early campaign endorsements and generating donations.
So, too, has recent Republican Party primary entrant, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC). Scott’s fellow South Carolinian and Trump Administration alumnus, Nikki Haley, has gotten her fair share of campaign donations.
Neither Haley nor Scott are serious contenders for the ring, though. They’re running to elevate their status in the public eye as well as to jockey for a position in the next Republican administration, either as a running-mate or as a cabinet-level official.
The GOP race is a two-sided affair, the other candidates’ presence on the debate stage notwithstanding. It is a battle between Trump and DeSantis. Only DeSantis has taken his massive war chest and married it to a brutally efficient campaign organization—that is not yet even an actual campaign.
Never Back Down
The likes of Ken Cuccinelli, the former Trump Administration Homeland Security chief, leads a DeSantis Super PAC, known as “Never Back Down,” that has been serving as an unofficial organization for the pending campaign.
Cuccinelli’s operation has been something to behold, actually.
Should DeSantis wrest control of the GOP from the orange-tinged clutches of Trump, the Cuccinelli-led Never Back Down Super PAC will be something worthy of emulation by both parties because it enjoys the shielding of Super PAC while serving in the same capacity as an actual presidential campaign. This has allowed for DeSantis, who until recently, was barred by Florida law from running for president while serving in Florida’s government, to have his political cake-and-eat-it.
Meanwhile, Never Back Down has $100 million and it intends to spend on hiring just shy of 3,000 field organizers in key battleground states, such as New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Iowa, by Labor Day. These organizers will be the tip of the spear that DeSantis intends to wield to break the hold that Trump has on the hearts-and-minds of the GOP voters.
Ron DeSantis cannot beat Trump with cheap tricks or zingy one-liners. He intends to defeat Trump with the best strategy possible: better organization. And that war chest that DeSantis has will be key to this methodical and disciplined strategy.
For the record, the Never Back Down PAC is expected to have an operating budget of around $200 million, with an additional $80 million to be transferred from an unused DeSantis state political account. The strategy that DeSantis is employing presently is the exact same strategy that Barack Obama deployed with great effect in his own campaign for president in 2008 and again in 2012.
Organization trumps all other concerns.
In fact, the DeSantis team is running an intensive, eight-day training course for their intensive door knocking campaign that they intends to wage in Iowa, the first primary state of the election. DeSantis’ team understands that nothing will generate positive momentum in what will be a difficult, come-from-behind campaign against a former Republican president, that a victory right out of the proverbial gate.
Yet, as the New York Times ominously notes, the DeSantis Iowa boot camp effort for organizers mirrors that of the “Camp Cruz” endeavor in Iowa during the 2016 Presidential Election…and we all know how that ended up for Ted Cruz.
Organization is critical in a battle. Logistics can win wars. But logistics alone cannot win anything. It requires leadership and a leader with charisma. Ron DeSantis is tough and disciplined but many people—donors, voters, and opponents—fixate on what they perceive to be a lack of charisma when compared to Donald Trump.
Trump vs. Ron DeSantis
While Trump certainly doesn’t have the kind of discipline or organization that DeSantis is building, the forty-fifth president has the connection with the voters.
The Trump Campaign believes this gives their candidate a qualitative edge that will translate, if Ron DeSantis cannot start connecting better with national voters than he has thus far, into a victory for the former president.
Although, a national campaign is not won by taking the bird’s eye view of the electorate. America is, after all, really 11 different nations in one. Even in this highly interconnected world, the United States is still divided among regions, ethnicities; between urban and rural, and rich and poor.
By breaking the electorate down and focusing on key states and pressing the flesh at the local level as opposed to nationalizing everything, DeSantis just might be able to overcome whatever personality deficits he may struggle with, marry his organization and discipline with a more nuanced and comprehensive campaign strategy, and overcome the challenge that Trump poses to him.
Ron DeSantis is the only real challenger on the Right to Trump. He has strangely amalgamated an unconventional approach, such as making his announcement for the presidency on Twitter, with a purely conventional methodology—ad buys, ground-pounding, loads of campaign consultants being hired.
It remains to be seen as to whether or not DeSantis can overcome the Trump wildfire in 2024. Nevertheless, it is admirable that he tries—and commendable that he’s putting so much thought, time, and effort into his strategy as opposed to just running to make a statement the way that Nikki Haley is.
Because of his approach and commitment, Ron DeSantis just might be the great underdog story of the 2024 Presidential Election: defying all odds, crushing the established order, and ushering in a new era of Right-wing politics that merges competence with conservatism.
A 19FortyFive Senior Editor, Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who 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), Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (May 16), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (July 23). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.
May 24, 2023 at 3:19 pm
Republican primary voters are used to Trump, know what he does and doesn’t do well, and he was the standard bearer the last two elections. That’s what buys you frontrunner status in national polls that are of course totally meaningless to winning individual state primaries or the Iowa caucus.
DeSantis isn’t going to campaign against Donald Trump, he is going to campaign against the socialist Democrats and their standard-bearer, be that Joe Biden, or if party leaders manage to convince Biden to retire, someone else like the California governor. When asked direct questions, in pressers or debates, how he would govern differently than Trump, he won’t use that as a reason to bash Trump, rather he will just point to how he does it his way in Florida and achieves much better result than Trump ever did. In other words, it is not that Trump is wrong in what he stands for, it is that Ron DeSantis is more effective at getting it done and generating actual results.
That is the kind of campaign that can start out strong with the debates, and pick up steam through the early states. Republicans, even Trump supporters, will find it difficult to find fault with DeSantis and his message.
May 24, 2023 at 3:53 pm
Trump without the baggage…
Make America Florida Again
May 24, 2023 at 6:29 pm
DeSantis is a bully who attacks those with little power to fight back. But he made a huge mistake by attacking Disney, a company that has the resources to make DeSantis look foolish. He’s a bully and asshole.
Americans are pretty well tired of republicans and their fascist views.
May 24, 2023 at 7:44 pm
The Trump superpower is his apex influence skills, leveraged into billions of dollars in free publicity. On any given day, his picture is the one plastered all over the 19fortyfive web page (he doesn’t even hold office). While both Trump and DeSantis have proven themselves as fighters for American Culture, Trump has a proven Presidential track record.
Leftist Culture has destroyed every people it has ever dominated. Why would any one support it?
American Culture is the most successful in history. The 1st of the 1st World cultures, the one all other 1st World cultures had to emulate to become affluent 1st World countries.
May 24, 2023 at 8:08 pm
DeSantis is like trump of 2016 but with a clear mind, young at heart and body, carries no past ‘baggage’ with strange women other than his wife, and no links to woke religion now currently and highly in vogue in US.
DeSantis has the credentials to kick democrat senile folks in the butt and the US public needs to give him the opportunity to prove his worth.
DeSantis probably would be be able to apply the brakes on biden’s policy of employing mistakes to correct ailments confronting US and world.
It is time to stop the biden crime syndicate, the woke consciousness and the mistakes of democrats wishing to flood the US with migrants from near countless places.
DeSantis is the man to apply the brakes and prevent the train from careening into the abyss or the nearest swamp.
Robert Del Genio
May 24, 2023 at 11:10 pm
Weichert says DeSantis “intends to defeat Trump with the best strategy possible: better organization.” So he’s off to a great start with his grand announcement on Twitter. Right from the start, the announcement was plagued with problems and technical glitches that forced it to start late — and while there were originally some 700,000 people in the space, viewership plunged as it became apparent it wasn’t working properly.
The debacle resulted in widespread mockery from people of all political persuasions across Twitter.
Yes, Brandon nailed his better organization and if that’s any indication of how his campaign will be run, it will be a very short run.
May 25, 2023 at 2:53 am
He`s going nowhere. Bought out by the Republican corporatist billionaires, Bush family, Romney, Karl Rove, etc. He ticked off tons of people who elected him governor that`s why he didn`t announce in his hometown in Florida. His career is over.
May 25, 2023 at 5:45 am
He is weak on foreign policy and needs an update. I heard an interview with him about Ukraine, and he didn’t show any insight.
May 25, 2023 at 6:56 am
Waging a culture war against Disney and losing doesn’t sound like Desantis has what it takes to me. But like Daniel Davis is the village idiot about Ukraine, Brandon is the moron about Politics at 1945. 1945 seems to keep giving these guys a chance to show just how dumb they are.
May 25, 2023 at 8:04 am
“Better organization” but can’t properly launch his campaign. Nice job, meatball.
May 25, 2023 at 9:58 am
Ron Desantis is a clown. Everyone with half a brain knows that he is not qualified to be president…of course neither is Lump.
May 25, 2023 at 11:57 am
Let’s see, brandon: creo que no sólo pareces malo sino que lo eres. Your grandparents fought (I HOPE(and doubt)) against the nazis and mob like trump and de santis. Where have you come, neo-Nazis? From the storm of the capitol?
In any civilized country, you would already be in jail.
May 25, 2023 at 8:26 pm
DeSantis: the Uniparty choice
All you need to know about this phony is who are on his team: Paul Ryan. Chris Christie. Lizzy Cheney. George Bush. Jeb! Bush. Karl Rove. Little Billy Kristol.
He’s the exact reincarnation of John McCain. In fact, McCain’s wife and daughter are HUUGE supports.
DeSantis: A RINO’s RINO.
He’ll stab us in the back and give all illegals amnesty. You heard it here first.