FLorida has seen a different side of Ron DeSantis these past 10 days. At the forefront of the state’s response to Miami’s condo collapse, and now coordinating operations as Hurricane Elsa sweeps through the Caribbean, the rabidly Trumpian Republican governor appears a firm but calm leader in the face of multiple unfolding crises .
On Thursday, with Joe Biden in town to comfort grieving family members, DeSantis provided a moment neither supporters nor opponents thought they would ever see: high praise for a Democratic president with whom he has often clashed.
For some, it is a masterful performance of turning political plates. Seen as a possible heir to Donald Trump’s polarizing brand: “same inflammatory policies minus inflammatory tweets” in the words of the Miami Herald – DeSantis seems increasingly to be positioning himself for a White House run in 2024.
Of course, there is the small question of whether the former president wants his old job back. But with DeSantis now beating Trump in conservative polls and already raising millions of dollars on the national stageSome analysts believe that a DeSantis run, or even a Trump-DeSantis fine, is more likely than not.
“He’s not just auditioning for the role of Trump, I think he ordered Trump masks for the campaign,” the professor said. Larry saturday, Director of the Center for Policy at the University of Virginia.
Sabato cautions that Trump could still be a factor in whether DeSantis, who will seek a second term at the Tallahassee governor’s mansion in next year’s election, will announce his candidacy.
“Trump can wait until very late and DeSantis can’t [yet] to have an electorate so independent from Trump that they could run anyway and win, ”he said.
“In fact, it would provoke the ire of Trump, his family and his cult forever.”
Regardless, recent DeSantis moves in Florida have followed the Trump doctrine almost to the letter and offer clues as to how a DeSantis administration would work. All signs are that it would push for a new far-right Trump agenda, only without Trump in office.
There have been attacks on the right to vote and the transgender community; the controversial interference in the indoctrination perceived by radical left professors of university students; and the enactment of a law, blocked by a federal judge this week, preventing social media companies from banning political candidates.
The day after the Miami condo tragedy, the governor adhered to his Trumpian principles by sending dozens of staff from three state law enforcement agencies otherwise, to “support” the Republican governors of Texas and Arizona “in response to the security crisis on the southern border.”
This week he revoked a vote of Key West citizens, the jewel in the state’s ecologically fragile island chain, to ban giant cruise ships from berthing. Political opponents viewed the move as a takeover by DeSantis; Meanwhile, the Miami Herald reported in April that DeSantis had received nearly $ 1 million in campaign contributions from the owner of the pier that receives most of the city’s cruise ship traffic.
And known to critics as Ron DeathSantis By refusing to shut down Florida at the height of Covid-19, the governor navigated a path through the pandemic that proved popular with Trump’s base in other red states.
“The bottom line of what’s happening here is that he’s auditioning for the Republican nomination for 2024 that has forgotten about Florida,” said US Congressman Charlie Crist, a former Florida governor seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge DeSantis on next year. Guardian. (The interview was conducted before the severity of the Miami disaster was known.)
“Florida is a state of decent, kind and compassionate people, and he’s so into Trump’s trap that he’s lost sight of him in search of the Oval Office.”
Crist, vice president of the congressional LBGTQ + equality bench, was highly critical of DeSantis’s anti-diversity stance, which mirrors that of the former president.
“On the first day of Pride Month, he signs the law that transgender children cannot participate in sports, which is cruel to me,” said Crist.
“On the second day he decides to veto funding that the Republican Legislature designated for victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting, their families and loved ones to receive emotional support and care. “
Meanwhile, much of Crist’s recent ire has been directed at DeSantis’ acceptance of Trump’s big lie, the falsehood that Biden’s presidency is somehow illegitimate after a “stolen” election. DeSantis signed a comprehensive and restrictive electoral reform bill in May, live on Fox News, despite hailing the 2020 presidential election as one of the smoothest, safest, and safest in Florida history.
“To deny that fact, as the leader of the state of Florida, the third largest state in the country, the most indecisive state in the country, if you are not in touch with the facts and in the truth, what are you in touch with?” Crist said.
“It is as if the far right is generating fake news and he is leading the charge.”
TO blunt editorial Last month in the Miami Herald he called DeSantis “better being Donald Trump than Trump himself” and highlighted several policy areas in which the governor appears to have complied with the former president’s wishes.
They include your signing of new Florida riot law in April, despite the state escaping the violence that clouded Black Lives Matter protests elsewhere last summer and prompted Trump to demand “law and order” across the country.
“He’s trying to fix problems that don’t exist,” Crist said.
For his part, Trump, whose book The Art of the Deal DeSantis once read to his son in a infamous 2018 campaign ad, you have nothing but praise for your apprentice. “He has done a great job as governor,” he told Fox News in April. “Is a friend of mine”.
Neither DeSantis, who, like Trump, enjoys a troubled relationship with the media, nor his staff responded to a request for comment.
Sabato, the political analyst, believes DeSantis is a perfect fit for the Republican base, but is nervously waiting for his teacher’s voice.
“That is true for all the candidates, they are walking on tiptoe among the tulips,” he said. “And since he’s doing that and the other candidates are doing that, no one really has an advantage.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism