DeSantis Will Bounce Back

There are no doubt people on the left, people in the corporate media, and yes, some who are supposedly “conservative,” rejoicing over the fact that Governor Ron DeSantis has left the 2024 presidential race.

The left never liked him because he crushed their disastrous agenda in the Sunshine State and, as he so aptly put it, turned Florida into “a refuge of sanity when the world went mad.”

The MAGA faithful used to love DeSantis until he became an impediment to Trump’s reelection bid, but now many of them will soon claim they never stopped loving him.

Over the next few days and weeks ahead, the pundits, the critics, and social media “influencers” will no doubt continue their nastiness and direct their vitriol at DeSantis—as they pathetically try to write off his future political aspirations as dead on arrival. They sure do love kicking people when they’re down, especially when that person is a Republican.

Nevermind that last I checked, DeSantis is still the incumbent governor of Florida and barely a year removed from a historic landslide victory. By the time he finishes what is sure to be a successful second term, it will almost be time to start thinking about 2028.

But that won’t stop people who have never run for office, never managed a campaign, let alone worked on one, from opining about what DeSantis should have done differently and telling us with their typical Ivy League gusto from the couch of their Chevy Chase apartment that he should never run for president again.

It goes without saying that the campaign could have done some things differently—even winning campaigns are not without their flaws.

In my view, the launch should have been done on a baseball field in his hometown of Dunedin, Florida, which not only would have paid homage to his baseball prowess and blue-collar roots, but it would have created a great backdrop with his beautiful family standing right beside him. Instead, we were treated to a glitchy, staticky, and imageless announcement on X that did crash the internet but, frankly, was hard to hear.

DeSantis’ messaging at the beginning of the campaign also could have been a little stronger. Yes, he did a fine job of articulating his successes as governor in Florida, particularly during the COVID lockdowns, but he should have rolled out his policy proposals that he would enact as president much sooner, and there needed to be a stronger case as to why the MAGA faithful should leave their guy. In DeSantis’ defense, he did eventually do that, but it is almost impossible to be critical of Trump without alienating some of his voters.

DeSantis also should not have avoided the mainstream media at the beginning of the campaign because it deprived him of reaching new audiences, particularly independent voters, which matters in the New Hampshire primary. The governor even recently admitted as much.

For the record, DeSantis is highly underrated at manhandling the leftist media. He bats away their dishonest premises with ease—calmly articulates the message that he wants to convey, not to the anchors but to the viewers—masterfully exercises his understanding of the Constitution, the vision of the Founding Fathers, and virtually any other topic—all the while showing how many fewer brain cells the interviewer has than the interviewee.

Finally, DeSantis may have benefited from announcing sooner and not allowing the Trump attacks to land unabated for months without a forceful response.

But while these suggestions may have helped steady the ship, the simple truth is, they probably would not have made a difference in the final outcome.

Are we supposed to pretend that DeSantis would have gotten a boost in the Iowa caucuses if only he had announced his candidacy on a baseball field? He did, after all, visit the famous Field of Dreams with his photogenic family in Dyersville.

And are we really to believe that if he had just gone on CNN more frequently or responded to that stupid question about “Trump’s character” the way Jake Tapper and other left-wing hacks in the media wanted him to, that that somehow would have propelled him past Trump? Please.

DeSantis did virtually everything that a presidential candidate was supposed to do. He visited all 99 counties in Iowa, built an exceptional ground game, and was endorsed by the state’s governor, Kim Reynolds.

He held town halls, he fielded lots of questions, and contrary to what the dolts at The New York Times write, DeSantis is an excellent public speaker who does indeed know how to fire up a crowd.

But the problem was that, just like in 2015, Trump’s opponents underestimated his strength within the Republican Party. The politicized indictments, the relentless attacks from the legacy media, and questions that still loom over how the 2020 election was conducted only made him stronger.

Travel to The Villages retirement community in Central Florida, or Park City, or Long Island, and most Trump supporters say the same thing. They love DeSantis and praise his leadership in Florida profusely, but they simply were not ready to part ways with Trump because he is a giant middle finger to the people that hate us, and this is in all likelihood his last hoorah.

On the other hand, most of the conservative base sees DeSantis as a very young, effective governor who, like Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, will have his shot at the White House again.

As Nixon once said, “Defeat doesn’t finish a man, quit does. A man is not finished when he’s defeated. He’s finished when he quits.”

So while DeSantis’ critics will continue to prematurely write his obituary, the governor will continue to fight the good fight and keep the faith in the Sunshine State.

And while the 2024 race to the White House may be over for DeSantis, the 2028 race has only just begun.

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About Carpe Diem

Carpe Diem is the pseudonym for a writer who was a speechwriter in the Trump Administration.

Photo: WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 23: Republican presidential candidate and Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis waves as departs the stage after delivering remarks at the Faith and Freedom Road to Majority conference at the Washington Hilton on June 23, 2023 in Washington, DC. Former U.S. President Donald Trump will deliver the keynote address at tomorrow evening's "Patriot Gala" dinner. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)