DeSantis in 2028? There's a Problem

And that problem is 'DeSantis himself,' writes one observer, one of many to dissect the campaign
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2024 8:50 AM CST
Updated Jan 27, 2024 12:45 PM CST
DeSantis in 2028? There's a Problem
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a campaign event at Hudson's Smokehouse BBQ, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024, in Lexington, S.C.   (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

Ron DeSantis is out, and the post-mortems are in. (They actually began before the Florida governor dropped his 2024 bid.) A sampling from Monday morning:

  • "The conventional wisdom is that the dream of a DeSantis presidency has merely been deferred until 2028," writes Alexander Nazaryan at the Daily Beast. But Nazaryan is skeptical, given that the same problems that doomed him in 2024 aren't going away—primarily "DeSantis himself." He doesn't seem to like people or, despite his governorship, be cut out for politics.

  • DeSantis seemed "entirely unaware of the delicate balancing act of coalitions necessary to defeat Mr. Trump," writes Nate Cohn in the New York Times. He treated the GOP establishment and moderates with disdain, his views in sync with Trump on pretty much everything. He gambled he would win on "Trumpism without Trump," but the former president's followers preferred the original, not an alternate version.
  • An analysis at NBC News sees the campaign as doomed from the start. It over-hired staffers early and burned through money, only to resort to mass layoffs later. And remember the botched launch with Elon Musk? "When they decided to do the Twitter Spaces launch, maybe then at that point, I knew they were stupid," says a former adviser to the DeSantis super PAC Never Back Down. A telling anecdote from the piece: In the days leading up to Iowa, the head of Never Back Down spent a lot of time ... working on a jigsaw puzzle, notes the piece, which includes a photo.
  • "From the lackluster start to the campaign to his initial lack of fight toward all his opponents, it reflected a man whose heart really wasn't in it," writes Jennifer Oliver O'Connell at RedState. More specifically, she adds that his physical tics—"the head bobbing. The hesitant and insincere smile. The stiffness"—should have been fixed before he launched.
  • At the Washington Post, veteran political writer Dan Balz uses the word "woeful" to describe the DeSantis campaign. "Ill-prepared to make the jump from state to national politics, he misjudged things repeatedly," writes Balz. "He started as a poor performer and never was able to overcome the early mistakes. He said he would do for the nation what he had done for Florida. That turned out to have minimal appeal."
(More Ron DeSantis 2024 stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.