News is like the weather. If you don’t like it, wait 24 hours and it will likely change.
So it goes with Ron DeSantis’ bid for the Republican presidential nomination. About two weeks ago, the DeSantis–Disney duel was splashed all over the front page. Attention to the popular governor of Florida has died down in the wake of other pressing news items – the G-7 meeting in Japan, debt ceiling talks, and of course, Lauren Boebert’s divorce – prompting some speculation that DeSantis is done before the battle even begins.
But just because something isn’t making news, doesn’t mean it’s not happening.
This morning, the New York Post claims that DeSantis will announce his candidacy next week, citing two sources with knowledge of the decision.
While many news outlets have been downplaying DeSantis support among donors, it seems they’ve been waiting quietly in the wings until the official announcement. In the same Post article, the source says, “DeSantis’ official announcement will be followed by a staggered rollout of endorsements that have been held in reserve until he gets in the race.”
Should Ron DeSantis Wait Until 2028?
Many have claimed DeSantis is not ready to run for the top office in the country. Seriously? Was Trump primed for presidential duties when he ran?
DeSantis brings a wealth of executive experience to the role, as well as a personal past not nearly as sordid as Trump’s. The public, as well as his own team, won’t have to worry about a never-ending list of indiscretions bubbling their way to the surface. DeSantis will carry an agenda to the Oval Office, along with a team already committed to his vision and goals for the country, which will result in a less volatile and more focused administration.
Having been recently re-elected, DeSantis’ current gubernatorial tenure is up in 2027, which could overlap nicely with the 2028 presidential campaign.
Many residents of Florida would prefer if DeSantis sat this one out and continued to rack up successes in their home state until Trump is no longer eligible to serve as president.
Clearly, that is not happening.
Trump Continues to Trash DeSantis
Meanwhile Trump continues to trash DeSantis, his only real competition for the Republican nomination.
He continues to take credit for DeSantis’ victory in Florida’s gubernatorial race in 2018, saying, “Ron’s not a winner because Ron, without me, wouldn’t have won.” Trump adds, “If I would have left it alone, he would have lost by 30 points or more.”
Trump also jumped on the opportunity to slam DeSantis over a Republican mayoral loss in Jacksonville, Florida.
“Wow! In a big upset, the DeSanctimonious backed Republican candidate for Mayor of Jacksonville, Florida, LOST,” wrote Trump. “This is a shocker. If they would have asked me to Endorse, he would have won, easily. Too proud to do so. Fools! This is a BIG LOSS for the Republican Party. Remember, ‘Rob’ only won because of me!!!”
According to the most recent poll from this week, Trump’s tactics may be working. Trump leads DeSantis in a Rasmussen Reports poll on Wednesday by 45 points. Other polls show a smaller spread, with the average around 35 points. Either way, that’s a bit of ground to make up.
Trump may maintain that DeSantis is not a winner, but we’ll never know until DeSantis actually steps in the ring. It may not be a knockout, and the fight may get bloody, but it seems DeSantis has been training for this bout for some time now.
DeSantis Is Just Warming Up
It’s easy to trash an opponent when they don’t hit back. I don’t expect this to remain the case once DeSantis enters the ring. DeSantis has shown he’s not afraid to fight back against Trump, and in a classier way than his opponent, as evidenced by his classic underhand jab when asked to comment on Trump’s indictment for hush money payments. “I don’t know what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair. I can’t speak to that.”
And like Trump, DeSantis is not one to stand down and be bullied by the media.
DeSantis jumped at the opportunity to fill the gap Trump left when he had to cancel an appearance in the important primary state of Iowa last week due to weather.
DeSantis said if Republicans make 2024 a referendum on Biden’s failures, they’ll win “across the board.” He followed up by declaring if Republicans “get distracted, focus on the elections in the past or other side issues … Democrats are going to beat us again.” Another sneaky shot at Trump.
He also directly countered Trump’s “loser” blow with his own emphasis on winning stating, “there’s no substitute for victory … We must reject the culture of losing that has infected our party in recent years. The time for excuses is over.”
While Trump is still the heavyweight of the GOP, don’t count Ron DeSantis out. I don’t think he’s even begun to fight.
Jennifer Galardi is the politics and culture editor for 19FortyFive.com. She has a Master’s in Public Policy from Pepperdine University and produces and hosts the podcast Connection with conversations that address health, culture, politics and policy. In a previous life, she wrote for publications in the health, fitness, and nutrition space. In addition, her pieces have been published in the Epoch Times and Pepperdine Policy Review.