To make a strong 2024 case for Governor DeSantis, he first needs to win reelection 2022. It should go without saying but Ron DeSantis has no chance of being a serious 2024 contender if he loses his 2022 re-election bid to be governor of Florida. So, first thing’s first. In the context of the 2022 race, think about what’s happened within this 60 Minutes debacle. Not only was CBS News and 60 Minutes shown to be fake news, but so were DeSantis’s two leading 2022 challengers, Nikki Fried and Charlie Crist.
As I mentioned yesterday, state and local news media have been derelict of duty in covering the false and slanderous claims of Fried and Crist alleging the bogus pay-for-play claims. Rather than demanding proof of their claims, and rather than honestly investigating and rigorously vetting those claims, they simply reported them.
The first way Ron DeSantis is in a stronger position today is that now the truth Florida’s news media failed to reveal is out for all Floridians to see. And the two biggest purveyors of the lies at the root of CBS’s false reporting are DeSantis’s two most prominent challengers. That’s a political win-win on the first race DeSantis must win. Yes, DeSantis likely is in a better 2024 position today because of enhanced 2022 prospects first and foremost.
Beyond Florida state politics it likely helped as well. After winning reelection in Florida, the next election he’d have to win in 2024 is the Republican Presidential Primary. Whether in CPAC polling, or national polling, Ron DeSantis was already the top choice among Republicans not named Trump. DeSantis exposed the corruption at 60 Minutes and CBS News in a way that even Donald Trump himself was never able to. There’s no doubt this would only enhance his leading status within Republican primary circles.
However, the biggest wildcard in 2024 Presidential discussions isn’t whether Joe Biden will run for reelection again, it’s whether Donald Trump will run again. For the moment, DeSantis’s toughest 2024 challenger wouldn’t be whoever runs in Joe Biden’s stead in my view, it’d be Donald Trump if he were to run. While I’ve not discussed this until now, I’m of the view that if Donald Trump feels that the Republican Party will turn back to the Romney’s and McCain’s of the party he’ll run.
If however, a candidate that will grow his movement to both reform the Republican Party and put America First takes the helm, I think he’ll support them. I believe that one of Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump will run for president in 2024. I don’t believe both will. Perhaps the biggest win for Governor DeSantis coming out of the 60 Minutes hit piece is that it's taken him even closer to being not just the leader of Florida but of the Republican Party. And I believe he’s the only prominent Republican Trump truly trusts with his movement.
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images