Dem 51
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GOP 49
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DeSantis 2028?

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) apparently missed the memo that "candidate quality" does not apply only to Senate races. It also applies to the presidential race. Consequently, he is already working on his 2028 campaign. What he seems not to understand is that he has the Wrong Stuff and is a terrible candidate. Unless he can get a complete personality transplant, he is probably going to do just as badly in 2028, especially if he has to face upbeat candidates like Govs. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA), Brian Kemp (R-GA), and Chris Sununu (R-NH), among others. Kemp is not a certain candidate in 2028 though, because he might decide to challenge Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-GA) in 2026 instead of running for president in 2028.

People close to DeSantis say that he is actively thinking about how to maintain his national profile. He will be governor of Florida until Jan. 2027, at which time he can switch to being a full-time candidate. While he is governor, he can get millionaires and billionaires who have business before the state to pony up for his campaign fund so that it has tens of millions of dollars before his term is up. He can easily stay in the news as governor by asking the legislature to pass bills to fight woke and then signing them with fanfare. He can call press conferences whenever he wants to and draw a big crowd. There are many things he can do to stay in the news and stay relevant up until his last day as governor, when he can switch instantly to campaign mode.

He has learned a little bit from his campaign fiasco. One thing he did right was to create a state political committee that can take in unlimited donations that can later be funneled to a super PAC. He is doing that again. One thing he is doing differently now is being nice to his big donors. In the past, he took their money but didn't give them the time of day. Now he is busy making thank-you calls to his big donors, to show them how important they are and how much he loves them. They like that, even if most of them can see through his act.

One thing DeSantis has not done is talk to Donald Trump since he dropped out or asked Trump how he can help his [Trump's] campaign. He has also criticized Trump's search for a running mate and has criticized conservative media for kowtowing to Trump. This led to one of Trump's top advisers, Chris LaCivita, to criticize DeSantis' weight and eating habits and call him "a sad little man." It is weird for DeSantis to pick fights with Trump. He doesn't want to be veep and is not looking for a cabinet position, but sucking up to Trump in hopes of getting Trump's endorsement in 2028 seems to us to make more sense than criticizing the notoriously thin-skinned former president. It goes to show that DeSantis has a tin ear and no hearing-aid manufacturer can correct that. (V)

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