DeSantis positions himself as keeper of Trump’s legacy

Bill Whalen, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, said: “He benefits from the same model that Trump benefited from, which is a lot of media criticism. The media castigated him day and night for his handling of coronavirus versus California but then, when he can point that he has better numbers than California, he can say ‘Ah ha!’ That is something that Trump voters love to hear when it’s at the media’s expense.

“He is starting to check off boxes that will be important to Trump voters in 2024. One of those is obviously your handling of the pandemic; he doesn’t pray at the altar of Dr Fauci.”

Like Ronald Reagan and George W Bush before him, DeSantis would be running for the Republican nomination with executive experience as a state governor and could pitch himself as a Washington outsider.

Whalen added: “So he could say, just as Trump did, ‘I’m not part of the problem, I’m part of the solution’. It’s just so fundamentally awkward if you’re Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz or even Josh Hawley or Ben Sasse – the legions of senators all looking to run – to divorce yourself from Washington and Congress.”