More Twit than Tweet

25 May 2023


Cogito Ergo Non Serviam

DeSantis Joins Presidential Race

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis threw his hat into the ring at 6 pm last night Eastern time to be the Republican nominee for president. He did so on Twitter in a chat with the owner of that platform Elon Musk. The audio-only announcement was deliberately out of the ordinary according to the campaign. This journal takes the view that this was a dreadful decision that will do more harm than good for the governor. As a guy with weak social skills and no real name recognition outside of Florida and political addict circles, he blew a chance to let Americans get to know him. Although that may have been the whole point.

Mr. DeSantis is currently running second in the polls to Donald Trump, and the former has little appetite for attacking the latter. For whatever reason, the governor will not come right out and say things like “the 2020 election was not stolen.” Many believe this is a mistake, but the campaign seems to be wagering that Mr. Trump will not make it to the convention. Among all of his legal cases, there may well be one that kills of the Trump campaign. If and when that happens, the DeSantis effort will be the beneficiary. Were he to go after Mr. Trump directly, that might not be the case.

That is a nice hypothesis. It rather depends, however, on Mr. Trump not coming after the governor. It rests on the hope that the governor comes through the process relatively unscathed. What is more likely is that the former president is going to dirty Mr. DeSantis up as much as possible as early as possible.

"Announcing on Twitter is perfect for Ron DeSantis," a Trump adviser told Fox News Digital. "This way he doesn\'t have to interact with people, and the media can\'t ask him any questions."

He has already dubbed his rival Mr. DeSanctimonious (pity that few MAGAtts know the meaning of the word). He has condemned the Florida response to COVID. He has stated that Mr. DeSantis was out-maneuvered by the Disney Corporation, losing to Mickey Mouse. This is probably going to stick early and hard. Should Mr. Trump flame out in the months ahead, it is likely that the MAGAtt base will not fall in line behind Mr. DeSantis. "We can\'t have Trump, but we don\'t want you" will be the attitude of many. One expects this to get very nasty very quickly.

The launch itself was a disaster. Technical problems persisted throughout the 20 minutes of the event, which made Twitter seem like a really weak platform. The campaign played it off saying that they had so many people getting on that the servers were melting. In truth, the 600-700,000 who listened in amounted to fewer participants than a simple interview on Fox, AON or Newsmax would have commanded – and a major network would have swamped the Twitter numbers. If the idea was to do a soft launch, it might count as a success, but soft launches in politics lose elections.

When one got passed the bad sound and other hitches, the governor did not perform particularly well either. He read (and it was clear he was reading) a gutless speech that suggested he had little interest in being there and doing that. He seems to have the ambition to be president, but it also seems he is unwilling or unable to do some of the things that requires. He is ambivalent about the job of candidate, and it shows.

The latest poll in Iowa came out this morning. Donald Trump leads Ron DeSantis by about 40%. That is not going to shrink if the governor continues in the current manner. If he does not start punching the former president, if he does not attack directly, his campaign is over. Based on yesterday\'s effort, donors can start looking for an alternative to the DeSantis alternative.

© Copyright 2023 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.

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