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People Who Knew DeSantis Expected Him to Fail

Reporters from The Washington Post interviewed 30 people close to Ron DeSantis. Somewhat to their surprise, they discovered that many people close to DeSantis expected him to fail or at least have big problems as a national candidate. One of them, who allowed his name to be used in the article, is Joe Gruters, the former chairman of the Florida Republican Party. Gruters said that DeSantis treated him badly during the 4 years when he ran the state party. DeSantis rarely invited him to meetings or events and tried to purge his staff. That's not how a governor is expected to treat the official head of his state party. Gruters said that DeSantis doesn't trust anyone outside his inner circle. Gruters, who is also a state senator, said of DeSantis: "The more he is met by people, the more they are not going to like him The more he's out there, the more his numbers go down. It's not a good long-term scenario for him. I fully expected the downfall of his campaign a long time ago." Gruters is basically painting DeSantis as an arrogant, unlikable, Mr. Know-it-all who trusts Casey DeSantis but not a lot of other folks. You can't hide that when you are under the biggest microscope in the world.

One Florida official described an aloof governor who believes in "all sticks and no carrots." He said with DeSantis, it is "my way or the highway." Another said DeSantis was an insular governor who didn't even bother talking to members of his own cabinet. Another said that when DeSantis was a congressman, he went out of his way not to make friends with any of the other Republican congressmen from Florida. Another said he rarely connects with donors or supporters and doesn't like to be around people or go to events. He also doesn't send thank you notes or call donors. Many of the Florida officials saw what happened coming.

Most members of the Florida House delegation are backing Trump. Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) said that when he suffered a serious injury, DeSantis didn't call to ask how he was. Trump did. That's when he decided to back Trump. Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) said: "In terms of building relationships with other members, it wasn't his strong suit. He just doesn't do that." Lt. Gov. Jeannette Núñez had a different explanation. She said the congressmen were afraid Trump would endorse their primary opponents. Of course, that doesn't explain why the governor is an arrogant, aloof loner who knows everything better than everyone else. Some of the people who actually support DeSantis told the Post that they had to be supportive of him because they had business interests in the state, but that actually, they didn't like him. That's the "sticks" part. One nominal supporter said: "People in Florida, even his public supporters, are not feeling exactly sorry for him. There's a sense of, 'it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.'"

When DeSantis' predecessor as governor, Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), called or texted to help out with hurricanes and the like, DeSantis never answered him. They haven't spoken in years except very briefly at official events. One might think that a new governor would be happy to get advice from the previous governor, particularly one from his own party. Not DeSantis. When he visits parts of the state, he never asks local leaders, like representatives, state senators, and mayors to join him. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez (R) related a story that when DeSantis came down to do several events in Miami, he wasn't invited, even though he is a Republican.

Many state legislators have endorsed DeSantis, but others told the Post that is because the governor has the power to veto specific items in the budget. They anonymously said that they knew that failure to endorse him would result in items for their districts being unilaterally vetoed, with no recourse and not even a warning.

The article goes on and on. The general impression is that DeSantis is a small-scale dictator who dislikes people and expects to get his own way all the time. He has all the bad characteristics of Donald Trump but none of the good ones (being entertaining and at least being nice to his supporters). Is it any surprise that many of the people who know him foresaw that when he got on the big stage, he was going to have a lot of trouble? Heck, we don't even know him, and we foresaw it. (V)

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