The Republican party seems to be fractured into two distinct sects: those who continue to stand by Donald Trump no matter what the costs, and everyone else.
The “everyone else” category is divided among the other Republican contenders for the presidential nomination. Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, Mike Pence, even Vivek Ramaswamy – all would be viable and solid considerations for the GOP presidential nomination with a strong chance of beating Joe Biden in the general.
However, none of the candidates are formidable or even really stand a chance other than Ron DeSantis.
While many Republicans – even some die-hard MAGA voters – like DeSantis, however, they wish he would bow out of this race and leave it to Trump.
Why Don’t Republicans Want DeSantis to Run?
Many Republicans, particularly those in Florida (namely my mother) who love DeSantis as their governor, rather he finish out his term in Florida and wait to run in 2028. In doing so, they contend, Republicans could potentially secure, three terms – twelve years – of solid right leadership.
What would really be great is if Trump chose DeSantis as his running mate! That would almost ensure twelve years of red ruler bliss.
You can quote me on this: it will be a cold day in hell before Donald J. Trump, should he secure the nomination, chooses Ron “DeSanctimonious” as his partner in crime on the 2024 ticket.
It’s War in the Republican Party
While many Republican voters support Ron DeSantis, the “no one else but Trump” contingency is going after him with a sort of vehement vigor that is typically reserved for a member of the opposite party.
DeSantis alluded to this when he called out Trump for going after the wrong guy. “I am going to focus my fire on Biden and I think he should the same. He gives Biden a free pass.”
It’s almost sad to see the diehard MAGA people continue to idolize a man they believe is “above the fray” of politics, unwilling to see any of his flaws. Some of the most disturbing photos I’ve seen on the internet compare Trump to the Messiah.
These types of Trump supporters deserve the same criticism typically saved for those on the left, like John Kerry, who believe they are truly part of an anointed class.
It’s one thing to criticize policy, another to stoop to name-calling and baseless personal attacks as Trump is so apt to do.
Of course, politics has become the greatest show on earth and all of this could simply be two men engaging in the political theater the public so desperately craves.
However, an alliance between the two frontrunners – once friends, now foes – seems to be a ship that has long since sailed.
DeSantis Won’t Take Second Place
Antics and name-calling aside, the partnership that would give some Republicans wet dreams is a demotion for DeSantis, plain and simple.
DeSantis’s greatest strength is as an executive. Period. As he’s demonstrated in Florida, his signature is getting things done.
Not only does he make promises, he keeps them. He knows the law and the Constitution well enough to know where he can exert authority and where it’s simply not in his best interests to do so.
Relegating him to second in command would not allow him the leverage to do what he does best: lead.
Even if the top two GOP candidates weren’t locked into a bitter duel to the death for a seat at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Trump would never pick DeSantis, as he is, like himself, a white male.
When the president fits that debauched description to a “T,” notoriously, a VP candidate needs to be anything but that.
Some have speculated Kristi Noem, the popular conservative governor from South Dakota, Kari Lake; the controversial senate hopeful from Arizona; and of course, Nikki Haley, have strong vice president potential. All have proven themselves to be quite loyal to Trump, with the exception of Haley who will have to go on the offense against him at some point during the primary race.
Any one of these choices would be politically expedient for different reasons and help Trump skirt the all too familiar misogyny allegations.
While Vice President would be a worthy and well-deserved title for any of these women, it’s not one DeSantis would, or should, be eager to claim.
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. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.
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