Regardless of your preferences, if you have developed them, on who should or definitely should not be the Republican nominee for president in 2024, you have to give full marks to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who on day one of his official candidacy has united three groups of people in this country that I frankly never thought would never find common ground – Only Trumpers, Never Trumpers, and regime media. It’s quite an accomplishment, actually, but one that over time will hopefully demonstrate for the vast majority of Republican primary voters that all three groups are not generally persuasive, and will hopefully be kicked to the margins where they belong when the voting stops and the nominee is chosen.
After months of speculation and caginess by Governor DeSantis, and after navigating through one of the most consequential and effective legislative sessions not just in Florida history, but just on policy metrics alone more significant than anything any state legislature in the Union has been able to produce, the timing was right for DeSantis to jump into the presidential field. He’s got an initial pile of cash with which to transfer into a campaign fund, he’s got an impressive slate of early primary state endorsements and campaign staff, and now that the legislative session is over and the weather is good in Florida, he’s got the time to spend on the campaign trail in front of the coming debates in July and August.
DeSantis will appear on Fox tonight with his buddy and former Congressional colleague Trey Gowdy (they both served on House Judiciary in the 115th Congress), and he’ll do a long radio hit with the Great One, Mark Levin. This follows the initial announcement on Twitter Spaces with Elon Musk, which started late, was an audio only stream, no video, and was glitchy with server issues. Trump world reveled in the technical issues on Twitter Spaces, but the fact is that the server issues only happened because the demand to listen and experience it were far higher than anything they expected. That’s actually a pretty good thing.
For weeks, regime media has mostly ignored Donald Trump, or if they do cover him, using him as a touchstone to force every other potential GOP candidate to have to answer for all the reasons they despise the former president. Case and point. South Carolina Governor Tim Scott, who the crazy left hates for no other reason than he’s a black Republican, jumped into the presidential fray with his own rollout Monday. He held a rally, made his announcement, appeared on Fox, but also did a sit-down with NBC News’ Tom Llamas. Love him or hate him, Scott is an immensely likeable person, very charismatic, about the most positive, optimist candidate you’ll ever hear on the stump, and has actual policy ideas for the future that deserve debate and consideration. That’s not what Llamas and NBC News were interested in. They spent the bulk of the time asking Scott about Trump.
This went on and on. When Scott became exasperated with the line of questioning and tried to say you could ask me about my issues and what I bring to the table, Llamas pivoted to the most divisive issue he could muster – Scott’s pro-life position as being too extreme for the country. It was a crap interview, but one we have come to expect, regardless of who the Republican candidate is. That would be magnified for DeSantis, who to date is the biggest challenger to Donald Trump for the GOP nod in ’24.
Regime media has long been in the tank to do hit job stories on DeSantis, regardless of what the actual facts are, because media knows a popular conservative governor without the baggage of Trump, who is also 40 years younger than Joe Biden, won’t be much of a contest in the fall. And the concept of another Republican administration terrifies media. It should. From the “Don’t Say Gay” law, which has been repeated so many times by media it has become this generation’s “I can see Russia from my house” hit on Sarah Palin. Palin never said that line. Tina Fey, portraying the former Alaska Governor and GOP vice presidential nominee, said it on Saturday Night Live. But no matter, the media basically absorbed it into their narrative while putting their thumb on the scale in the election of 2008. The parents’ rights bill in Florida does not mention anything about treatment of gays. It doesn’t say ‘don’t say gay.’ That is all conjured up myth that media and the left wants to be true, because it fits their narrative about DeSantis and conservatives’ social values.
The latest example of media narrative that is flat-out false is this notion that a Florida school has banned “The Hill We Climb”, the poem ready by Amanda Gorman at Joe Biden’s inauguration. The New Republic reported the poem had been banned. MSNBC said the same thing. The Daily Beast, Politico, Axios, USA Today, all had pieces that reported it as though the talking point from progressive hive mind had come out in a memo the day before saying this is the hit job story of the day, go write it up. It simply is not true.
The poem in question, “The Hill We Climb”, is not only not banned in Florida (you can buy it anywhere books and/or poems are sold, not only is it not banned in that school district (it’s available in every one of the district’s libraries, as far as I can tell, it’s not even not banned in the library at the school in question in Miami-Dade County. It’s still in that school library. It’s simply on a different shelf. Instead of it being on a shelf for elementary age kids, K-6, it’s on the middle school shelf – grades 7-8. That’s it. That’s the story. That’s the event that caused the media to collectively get the vapors at life in Ron DeSantis’ Florida authoritarian hellscape, with one notable exception, CNN. They actually reported the story accurately, to their great credit.
The poem was deemed to be not age appropriate for young kids. Makes sense. It’s not. It’s got indirect hate messages in it. Kindergartners and first graders don’t need to deal with this, yet, and wouldn’t understand it in the first place. However, if a kid in 6th grade wanted to check it out at the library, and their parent consented, the book is there to check out, and it’s just on a different shelf in the same library. Now CNN reported Gorman’s reaction, feeling gutted by the decision. I am less concerned about Ms. Gorman’s gut than I am that media, with the CNN exception, took a story that they knew to be false and just circulated it without an ounce of pause. Tell me why again DeSantis would grant any regime media outlet the first bite at the apple of his campaign launch? The chance they’d be fair is about the same odds Joe Biden will still be alive to see the end of his second term – not high.
Even former Governor John Kasich, Never Trumper extraordinaire, on Meet the Press with Chuck Todd conducted a drive-by on the book banning.
It’s not true. And yet to Kasich, and people like Bill Kristol, who despise Donald Trump with the heat of a thousand suns, suddenly are shifting ever-so-slightly on Trump to the new evil incarnate, DeSantis.
"DeSantis has not found a way to criticize Trump and separate himself from Trump…So the guy has not figured out a sense of comfort with himself as a candidate, a sense of confidence…He has all the boxes checked…but he's not feeling it."https://t.co/X7fIV3L5u5 pic.twitter.com/IUz3m1wwy6
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) May 24, 2023
It’s almost as if Never Trump really wasn’t about being Never Trump at all, but just about being against any brand of conservative that adapted to a more combative stance on issues.
The loyal regime media in the White House press room served up a softball to Karine Jean-Pierre today on the subject of the non-book banning as though it were really being banned. Jean-Pierre, who usually is as useless as a hubcap on a tractor, sure had an opinion on this subject.
Again, no fact-check. I think Glenn Kessler must be on personal leave after exhausting himself on a Tim Scott fact-check on border crossing stats. Instead, the subject came up on Twitter Spaces when Elon Musk brought it up. DeSantis talked about the latest hoax the media concocted.
Kasich, by the way, in this same interview today with Chuck Todd, harkened back to the good old days of Ronald Reagan, saying that the Gipper was a happy warrior, and that we shouldn’t be focusing on all these divisive culture issues. Yes, these cultural issues are divisive. And we are paying the price right now for having abandoned the cultural battlefield. It’s about time we actively reengage. Reagan won on the three-legged stool – national security, economic sanity, cultural issues. Kasich wants to abandon one of those legs, because it’s a loser. Tell that to Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin. It’s not the message that’s a loser. But the message does have to be delivered by the right messenger.
And speaking of messenger, this is just one of a series of Truth Social messages the former president dropped today in the wake of the DeSantis announcement.
Donald Trump on Truth Social ahead of Ron DeSantis’ official 2024 Presidential campaign announcement pic.twitter.com/Z02L90zugO
— ALX 🇺🇸 (@alx) May 24, 2023
Apparently, he’s been too busy attacking DeSantis, essentially siding with the Marxists, communists, and radical left lunatics, to notice it’s been a steady drumbeat of criticism for months. As for defeating them to make America great again, does that mean he is at least now admitting he didn’t defeat them last time? DeSantis will face a gauntlet for the entire primary season, part of which will be navigating Donald Trump baiting him to get into a street fight, and media baiting him to take Donald Trump’s bait. Surrogates can do that work. DeSantis should keep leaning into what changes have to be made to stop the damage to the country from Joe Biden and the left, and how he’ll get that done just like he’s done thus far in Florida. We rarely get through a day without Donald Trump talking about Donald Trump. I don’t think any of us really need Ron DeSantis talking about Trump every day as well.
Governor DeSantis does seem to be launching a campaign that has a depth and breadth to it, from a personnel standpoint. They do seem to have a national strategy for how to campaign and win delegates and get the nomination. Trump’s campaign seems to be the former President’s id, and then beyond that, it’s staffed in a more haphazard way. That strategy worked for him in 2016, but not so much in 2020. Time will be the judge whether it will work in the first five states – Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada, Florida. But the true takeaway from the DeSantis launch today, bugs and all, is that if the most negative reaction and ugliness to it is coming from Only Trumpers, Never Trumpers and regime media openly lying about events in order to smear DeSantis right out of the gate, the Florida governor is probably resonating with the vast majority of Republican primary voters, the ones he’ll need to come out in droves to turn the page on the last two administrations.