The DeSantis Moment: Florida's Governor Emerges As Possible Trump Successor

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is quickly establishing himself as the Republican best positioned to inherit the mantle from former President Donald Trump if the latter exits electoral politics.

DeSantis has taken up the major themes of the Trump presidency — defending national sovereignty, assailing Big Tech, excoriating political correctness, pursuing economic reopening during the pandemic, and getting tough with China — and married it to a relatively popular gubernatorial record in a major state.

“Four years is a political lifetime,” said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell. “That said, if Donald Trump chooses not to run for president in 2024, there is no question that DeSantis, assuming he wins reelection in the Sunshine State in 2022, will likely be the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination.”

Still, Trump will be 78 in four years. DeSantis is only 42. The two men are political allies. And they now reside in the same state. “Florida under DeSantis has been heralded as a beacon of freedom by conservatives, and with Donald Trump residing at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach and Republicans locked out of power at the federal level, Florida is now seen as the center of the Republican political universe,” O’Connell said.

“Gov. DeSantis’s leadership during the pandemic has earned him plaudits in conservative circles across the country. When other big-state governors were stressing lockdowns and stoking fears, DeSantis was pushing to reopen safely, and it paid off. His goal was to minimize death and suffering while maximizing openness,” O’Connell added. “And it is not just Republican voters who recognize DeSantis’s success and meteoric rise, there is a reason why the Florida governor is being hammered by the dominant liberal media. He is succeeding by following the science and the data and making media-anointed pandemic heroes like Govs. Newsom and Cuomo look like amateurs in terms of doing what is best for their constituents.”

Read more from W. James Antle III at the Washington Examiner

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published this page in In The News 2021-03-03 12:42:25 -0500
Analysis & Political Strategy