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Newsom-DeSantis Tilt Looks to Be Locked and Loaded

For a while, it looked like the planned debate between Govs. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and Gavin Newsom (D-CA) was a go, and that all that remained was to hammer out a few small details. Then, as recently as last week, it looked like it was dead in the water, because the two sides couldn't agree on things like what kind of audience to have, if any. Yesterday, it was announced that it's back on... apparently.

Assuming it happens, it will take place on Thursday, November 30, at a venue in Georgia that is TBA. Sean Hannity will moderate, and the 90-minute event will air on Fox during Hannity's timeslot (as well as 30 minutes of some other Fox entertainer's timeslot, since Hannity is only an hour long). These things often end up at universities, of which there are several excellent candidates in Georgia. Sometimes they end up at presidential libraries, as will be the case with this week's Republican candidates' debate. However, we are inclined to doubt that either DeSantis or Hannity would be willing to set foot on the grounds of Jimmy Carter's library, and that's the only one in Georgia. So, presumably that option is off the table.

It's not terribly surprising that, in the end, this (probably) came together. It's something of a no-lose situation for Newsom. If he does well, he elevates his national profile. If he does poorly, there's plenty of time for people to forget that prior to his potential 2028 presidential run. As to DeSantis, he is running out of opportunities to make a dent in Donald Trump's polling lead, especially given that he won't actually attack The Donald at the Republican debate. Maybe by laying into a hated pinko socialist abortion-loving trans-enabling Soros lackey, DeSantis can score some points with the base? December is holiday season, of course, and the Iowa caucuses are on January 15, so this could well be the Floridian's last big chance to move the needle.

Now you have probably noticed, throughout this item, we've hinted that it's not quite a done deal yet. That is because while everyone is saying it's a done deal, Newsom was careful to note: "We've agreed to the debate—provided there is no cheering section, no hype videos or any of the other crutches DeSantis requested. We want a real debate—not a circus." Meanwhile, when Fox was asked to confirm there would be no audience, the network declined to do so. And so, this may well fall apart after all. We'll see. (Z)

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