"View" host: The brain power of Harris/Buttigieg would obliterate Trump or fascist "DeathSantis"

Yeah, look. We’re all guilty of truly terrible takes sometimes.

But most of us don’t have those takes carried live to a national television audience. And get paid exorbitantly to do so.

You would think Sunny Hostin would want to practice a little more quality control with her opinions than the average Resistance Twitter rando under the circumstances. Maybe workshop them with friends before the show.

Ask basic questions like, “Is there any merit to this ‘DeathSantis’ nickname I keep hearing or is it just online douchery?”

I can’t tell what she means here when she says Harris/Buttigieg would “obliterate” the Republican competition. Does she mean on an IQ test or does she mean at the polls in 2024? I can’t speak to the former but I have some strong opinions about the latter.

Gov. “DeathSantis” got his bachelor’s degree from Yale and his law degree from Harvard. He may not speak six dozen languages like Mayor Pete, the Rhodes scholar, but I doubt he’s getting “obliterated” by anyone in a battle of wits.

And I guarantee that neither he nor Trump is getting obliterated by Harris or Buttigieg in an election. In fact, if we get a Harris/DeSantis match-up in 2024, I’d wager that Republicans win the popular vote outright for the first time in 20 years.

On paper, there’s some logic to a Harris/Buttigieg ticket. Black voters have never much liked Buttigieg but presumably would be won over by the prospect of electing the second African-American president. Suburban voters may be underwhelmed by Harris’s performance as VP but could take a shine to Mayor Pete’s next-gen high-achiever vibe. Harris/Buttigieg would neatly encapsulate the Democratic establishment in many respects — highly educated, culturally progressive, visibly representative of important demographic groups like racial minorities and gays.

But they’d leave most working-class voters cold. The rightward trend of Hispanics would accelerate. The Democrats’ enormous disadvantage among rural voters would deepen. And I suspect DeSantis is mainstream enough to convince many suburbanites who switched to Biden in 2020 on “Anyone But Trump” grounds to switch back.

Rich Lowry writes today, astutely, that it’s because Harris is such a weak candidate that Dems are thinking seriously of propping Biden up for one last run in 2024.

Kamala Harris has the authenticity of Hillary Clinton, the charm of Al Gore, and the common touch of Adlai Stevenson…

Harris could have run as an ideologically interesting, tough-minded former prosecutor in the 2020 Democratic nomination fight — a little like Eric Adams in the New York City mayoral primaries last year. Instead, she got sucked into the idea that the winning lane would be a couple of ticks to the right of Bernie Sanders. She co-sponsored his “Medicare for All” proposal, before making a confusing hash of her position when she realized the political implausibility of the plan…

Harris is a politician who always seems to be reading stage directions out loud. Her laugh, a target of critics, usually sounds forced and highly deliberate, at times bordering on inappropriate affect. It’s a valuable political skill to seem at ease even when reaching for the brass ring at the highest level of American politics. Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama all had this ability. Harris has shown no indication that she has it or will develop it.

It’d be one thing if Biden had had a tremendously successful presidency so far, as that might lead voters to see a little “more of the same” appeal in Harris. Instead, the “more of the same” tag is a curse to her. And would be made worse by running with Buttigieg, landing not one but two top officials from President Inflation’s administration on the ticket.

As for Newsom, I invite you to re-read last night’s post. Hostin is entitled to her personal preferences, of course, but thinking that the governor of California is the solution to the image problem from which Democrats currently suffer among the national electorate is so far out of touch with reality that you’re left wondering how much thought she puts into these riffs. It’d be like me making the case for the GOP to nominate Liz Cheney in 2024. It’s not that it’s “wrong” so much as it’s so disconnected from the facts on the ground as to amount to embarrassingly rank wishcasting.

Oh, and as for the “DeathSantis” thing, Florida currently ranks 18th out of the 50 states in COVID deaths per capita, behind Democratic-led purple jurisdictions like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Nevada. It’s fine to dislike DeSantis’s laissez faire pandemic policies but it’s misleading to imply that they’ve led to an unusually high number of deaths. And shortsighted inasmuch as some of those policies produced rather important benefits.

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John Stossel 5:30 PM | July 13, 2024