Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Das Boots

As long as we are on the subject of Ron DeSantis, let's talk about something we never expected to be writing about when we woke up yesterday: the Governor's boots.

It's really pretty remarkable that there are multiple answers to the question: "What was the kerfuffle over Ron DeSantis' boots?" And the latest of those involves the theory that he's got lifts hidden inside his boots that are so aggressive that he's essentially wearing secret stilettos.

There aren't too many clear, close-up pictures of DeSantis' footwear. That might not be purely coincidental; if there are shenanigans going on, the Governor might well try to avoid pictures of his feet. However, if you look at video footage, the boots really do look unnatural:

Ron DeSantis' boots. The toe area looks flat and empty.

It sure doesn't look like there's anything in the part of the boot where the toes and most of the foot should be. It's suspicious enough that Politico tracked down three cobblers who are expert in boot lifts, and they all said there is no question that DeSantis is using them.

Assuming this is true—and we concede, we are convinced—then it speaks once again to how poorly-tuned DeSantis' political radar really is. Yes, there's an old chestnut that, in the TV era, the taller candidate always wins. That is mostly just a statistical quirk, like the thing about the Super Bowl and/or the last Washington Commanders game before the election predicting the winner. Certainly, the taller candidate did not win in 2020, as Joe Biden is about an inch shorter than Donald Trump. If DeSantis thinks that his 5'11" frame is not quite imposing enough on TV, then fine, wear the lifts for the debates and any other event where candidates' heights will be easily compared. But even in that case, it's kinda silly, and in any other context it's outright dumb. Not only is it not treating the disease that's killing DeSantis 2024, it's not even treating one of the symptoms.

Meanwhile, even if it's not true, the fact that the story caught fire says something about perceptions of the candidate. Specifically, it says that people suspect that the Governor is manipulative, and also that he's got strange priorities. That's what makes it so easy for people to believe the story is true, and to pass it along. And people do not generally prefer to vote for candidates who are manipulative and have strange priorities. (Z)

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