The doomed-from-the-start 2024 presidential campaign of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is failing to gain any new ground with Republican voters. It doesn’t help that Joe Biden has arrested Donald Trump, thus making the most popular American president in history a martyr. The problem that is quickly dawning among the multi-million-dollar consultants who are swirling around the DeSantis campaign is that the cringe meter for the governor is off the charts. He comes across as weird, wooden, and awkward when he tries to talk to people one-on-one.
The DeSantis campaign got off to a rocky start with its glitch-filled audio announcement launch on Twitter. That caused the hashtag #DeSaster to trend on Twitter until Elon Musk, who has endorsed DeSantis for 2024, took it down.
Things on the campaign trail haven’t been much better. In Iowa over the weekend, DeSantis was filmed laughing maniacally when a voter remarked about the high cost of driving a vintage Porsche. It was akin to the Howard Dean scream years ago. That aired on C-SPAN and was immediately turned into about a thousand different memes on social media.
Then, DeSantis was off to a rodeo in Oklahoma. The governor there announced the presence of Ron DeSantis with the fanfare of trumpets playing in the background. The short, prepared marks of DeSantis to the crowd were awkward and stilted. It looked like he’d never been to a rodeo or seen real cowboys before.
In perhaps the weirdest campaign endorsement ever, former Republican Congressman Jim Bridenstine from Oklahoma told a small campaign rally that he used to take showers in the basement with Ron DeSantis when they were in the House of Representatives together. Not that we’re judging or anything. It is Pride Month, after all.
DeSantis also exploded with rage at a reporter during an event, calling his temperament into question. When Donald Trump gets into it with reporters, he remains calm and in control, even as he continues to trigger them while delivering a wink to his followers who are in on the joke. DeSantis didn’t handle this recent exchange with the same type of skill.
Needless to say, the establishment RINO billionaires who have already poured around $500 million into Operation Jeb 2.0 are starting to break out in a flop sweat. Not that this is a huge surprise. Lots of politicians who look good in scripted environments—with prepared marks on a teleprompter that they’ve practiced in front of a mirror—become stilted and awkward in one-on-one situations.
Ron DeSantis is just not a “people person.” That doesn’t mean he has not been a fantastic governor for Florida, because he has. DeSantis may be the single greatest Republican governor of any of our lifetimes. That doesn’t change the fact that you need “people” skills to convince voters that you’re the guy in a presidential race.
Not to worry, though! The consultants that have surrounded DeSantis to encourage him to challenge Donald Trump have a plan. (The million-dollar consultants always have a plan. And they’re terrible at their jobs.)
They’re going to send Ron DeSantis to Smile School! Behind the scenes, the consultants are already coaching Ron DeSantis on how and when to smile when conversing with real human beings. Let’s hope they can turn things around quickly for him, because it’s getting embarrassing at this point.
Maybe they can also teach him to never issue that maniacal laugh again, like in Iowa. And one additional piece of advice that we’ll offer to the DeSantis campaign for free is this. Maybe don’t have Jim Bridenstine tell that showering story again. Call it a hunch.