Here’s How Ron DeSantis Can Still Win – Florida’s Governor, Ron DeSantis, began the 2024 Presidential Election as the candidate most to watch out for.
Just a few months after officially announcing his campaign to become the GOP’s next presidential candidate, it seems like he’s floundering.
Yet, DeSantis still has a $100 million war chest.
What’s more, DeSantis is a fighter.
Ron DeSantis Needs to Push Back
Don’t listen to the garbage the Trump Campaign is spewing about the Florida governor. He’s a very competitive person and the governor has an amazing record of success in Florida. There’s still time for DeSantis to repair whatever damage his campaign has suffered over the last few months.
Unfortunately, the failures of DeSantis’ campaign thus far have made it so that he must knock his debate performance out of the political park. That’s all right, though. My measure of DeSantis is that he performs well under pressure.
There are a few things the governor can do to reverse the negative spiral he’s endured over the last few months since officially announcing his bid for president.
The first thing he can is to stop hiding from the media. Since announcing, DeSantis has avoided the media like the plague. And I don’t just mean the mainstream media. I am referring to hostile media.
Specifically, since he’s currently competing in the Republican Party’s Primary, DeSantis must go to hostile media on the Right.
Start Doing Hostile Media on the Left and Right
There is an assortment of podcasts and shows that the governor should be trying to do that are pro-Trump, but which have large audiences. It might seem daunting to DeSantis to charge headlong into the belly-of-the-beast.
The Patrick Bet-David (PBD) Podcast is a Miami-based podcast that has a massive—and growing—audience. Although PBD is certainly not hostile to DeSantis, the crew over there are not DeSantis supporters. One can expect the hosts of that podcast to ask hard but fair questions of the Florida governor. Despite being Florida-based and having a massive audience, though, DeSantis has avoided appearing on PBD’s podcast for over a year (even though they’ve invited him repeatedly).
This is a huge mistake.
DeSantis is a smart guy. He can handle himself. Governor DeSantis would acquit himself with honor in answering their questions for three hours, without equivocation.
DeSantis finally showed up on the Megyn Kelly podcast and performed well. Since that appearance, though, DeSantis has again avoided tough media hits. Sadly, he’s not in a position where he can be picky. He needs to reset the narrative around him.
Only the governor can do that. No amount of campaign staff shakeups can do that.
In an ideal world, DeSantis would appear on Tucker Carlson’s internet program. The governor might also deign to appear on an overtly pro-Trump show, such as Steve Bannon’s War Room or Charlie Kirk’s program.
Anticipating that these will be mostly hostile interviews, DeSantis should come in prepared to defend himself and push back on Trump—while advocating for his positions.
Maybe it goes badly for DeSantis. Then again, just maybe, DeSantis starts to look like the fighter I know that he is. It’s a risk. But fortune favors the bold and the Fabian Strategy that he’s been employing against the orange ogre isn’t going to work.
Trump is an unusual political beast. Organization is key, but leadership is essential. And a willingness to throw a punch goes a long way—especially with GOP voters. Should that punch land well, it could move the needle in DeSantis’ direction more than any donor check ever could.
Vivek Ramaswamy, one of the Keebler Elves vying for the GOP nomination in 2024, has tied with DeSantis in the polls precisely because he’s been unafraid to avail himself of any and all media opportunities. In fact, he does best when he’s on hostile, partisan shows.
DeSantis could do the same. But time is running out for him.
Ron DeSantis’ Only Shot
Contrary to what those around him think, 2024 is truly DeSantis’ only shot at the White House.
Yes, DeSantis is young. He’s still got four more years in Tallahassee as governor. But he’s aggravated the Trump supporters too much and by not being more available to the press and taking the fight harder to Trump publicly, he’s allowed for former President Trump and his team to define DeSantis.
Plus, his struggles in the campaign and the amount of money he’s been given, should DeSantis prove unable to make it beyond the Iowa GOP Primary, will ensure that no donor will take seriously his possible campaign four years from now.
Beyond media appearances, Ron DeSantis needs to start issuing meaningful policy statements.
The scuttlebutt is that there’s a rough draft of a China speech floating around the campaign. He should polish it up and give that speech. In that speech should be bold policy declarations. Clear calls to defend Taiwan and why it’s important should be articulated.
If DeSantis wastes his time and energy giving campaign speeches that say nothing, he won’t move the needle. There is little room in these things for nuance. Even if he ultimately has to scale back his bold statements as president, he needs to win the campaign. During a campaign, few care about the intricacies of policy, particularly Republican voters. They want bold, simple declarations that move the soul.
Boldness Needed, Action Required
He must replicate boldness across the board with each policy speech he gives, whether it be on China, the border, or the environment. More than that, DeSantis must now fixate on his plans to deal with an ailing economy, to combat inflation, and how to protect our broken borders.
America needs a bold leader. More to the point, the GOP yearns for a fiery tribune. Trump has superficially met that desire. Vivek Ramaswamy has cynically courted this desire on the part of many gullible voters (and equally cynical Trump supporters looking to weaken DeSantis) to propel his obvious brand-building campaign. DeSantis must go for the hearts as well as the minds of the visceral Republican voters.
Time is running out. By implementing these strategies soon, he’ll stand a chance. If he keeps doing what he’s been doing, say goodnight, and get ready for a second term of “Sleepy” Joe Biden in the White House.
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 (Encounter Books), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (July 23). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.
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