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Only DeSantis can stop DeSantis

Only DeSantis can stop DeSantis

Over the years, I have followed a number of politicians who hinted at running for President of the United States only to demur at the last moment.  Mostly they were driven by a desire to keep their names in the news and their influence at a peak.  It is the same reason that President Biden says he is running for re-election in 2024 – even though public sentiment and pundit predictions are heavily weighted against his running – or winning if he does.

President Trump has been sending out signals that he is preparing for a return to the Oval Office in 2024.  Whether he will run – or can win – is far from certain.

The most formidable potential candidate for 2024 is Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.  He is a very popular governor in a very important state – ironically, the same state that Trump now calls HIS home.

As is his nature, Trump measures a person based on how that person fits into his current plans.  Trump never develops long-term friendships – personal or political.  Consequently, DeSantis – who was described as “close to Trump” appears to be falling out of favor with the former President.

The reason is simple.  DeSantis is not only being mentioned as a potential presidential candidate in 2024 but there are also those who see the possibility of the Florida Governor actually entering the race against Trump.  On that possibility alone, Trump is starting to bad-mouth DeSantis – at least in private.

Trump seems also bothered that in various Republican straw polls, DeSantis is right up there with Trump in terms of popularity with the GOP base.  In a couple of polls, he took first place away from Trump.

For his part, DeSantis has done nothing to discourage speculation about a 2024 bid for the presidency.  He has been seen travelling to key primary states for speeches and get-acquainted sessions with Party leaders.

Trump tries to indirectly diminish DeSantis as a potential opponent by telling folks that DeSantis is nothing special – and would never have been elected Governor were it not for Trump’s endorsement.

In reality, DeSantis was – and arguably still is – a much more popular political figure than Trump – even in Florida.  DeSantis was a very popular member of Congress – having served from 2013 to 2018, when he was elected Governor.

Trump has every reason to worry about DeSantis.  I have expressed my opinion in the past that he would beat Trump in the race for the GOP presidential nomination – and even beat Trump in Florida.  I have also said that DeSantis should run – and that he should announce immediately, ahead of a definitive statement by Trump.

Trump cannot flip on DeSantis as he has on so many other leading Republican figures – including Vice President Pence, former Attorney General William Barr, and his own former UN Ambassador Nicki Haley.  DeSantis is already too popular with the base.  Treating DeSantis like a traitor would only backfire on Trump.

If Trump is on the fence about a run for a second term, DeSantis getting into the race could push Trump to bow out.  I personally do not believe that Trump is fully committed to another run – and the potential of losing in the primaries may be worse than not running in Trump’s view.

Trump cannot force DeSantis out of the race.  The only question is whether he can scare DeSantis into taking a pass this season.  After all, if you consider the ages of the current pretenders to the throne, DeSantis could run any time in the next 36 years.  He would be 79 years old in 2060.  Trump will be 78 at the time of the 2024 election – and Biden would be days away from his 82nd birthday at the time of the 2024 presidential election.

At this moment, DeSantis appears to have the best pathway to the presidency of any potential contender – including Trump.  Yes, I know that Trump and Democrats proffer the argument that he has a lock on the GOP and the 2024 nomination, but I say, “not really.”  Not only is 2024 a propitious moment for DeSantis, but it would also be a good thing for the Republican Party … and the nation.

Trump cannot beat DeSantis – so he cannot stop him.  Only DeSantis can stop DeSantis.

So, there ‘tis. 

Author Post Script: No sooner was this commentary uploaded than a new poll shows that DeSantis would beat Trump in the first-of-the-nation New Hampshire primary 39 to 37 percent.  With Florida likely in the DeSantis camp, we are beginning to see his pathway to the presidency – or at least the closing of Trump’s.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Tom

    I agree Larry! Trump is a narcissist. DeSantis is Trump’s worst nightmare because he is as popular as Trump, has proven government experience, and the story these days is more about DeSantis than Trump. And narcissists hate when the story is not about them! I agree with you that Trump is not “fully committed”. Narcissists only ever fully commit to themselves and what ever builds their false narrative. As and independent voter, I would like to see DeSantis run, and I think most of us independents feel the same that DeSantis can bring integrity and good moderately conservative policy back to the Executive Branch without all of the bluster and poor behavior of Trump. And I think DeSantis would win over many moderate and conservative Democrats that will flee if they see Trump again.

  2. frank Stetson

    So, there ‘tis. I think this story sucks Larry. Because it seems spot on, damn it.

    One point though: “He is a very popular governor in a very important state.” First, he won the governorship against a Black Democrat by .4%, about 33,000 votes on an 8,000,000-vote base; that’s an automatic recount in many States. It was the closest vote in Florida history that, frankly, we lost. We made mistakes. And if DeSantis swayed many Democrats, the final numbers don’t show it.

    In his putrid petri dish experiment called Florida, Desantis enjoys, as of February, a 58% approval rating. That’s pretty good. However, in May, Disney was more popular than DeSantis, by a mere not-statistically-valid 3 points, but that should make DeSantis take notice for the national stage since it will be amplified North of the Panhandle. We’ll see how this current Florida covid surge smears him, the kid vaccine dust up blows back, the Jefferson DOE scandal, the corporate tax giveaways, and his other antics to fuck Florida on behalf of the national stage affect him. So far, Floridians seem to love the results. Murdock media has also anointed him their new poster child so the national spotlight is upon him now staring with the glow of Murdock Trumplicant msm.

    For the country, in March, only 70% of Republicans even knew who DeSantis was. While Trump’s popularity falters, DeSantis, in March, had a 10-point popularity advantage, amongst Republicans, over Trump. Under the current environment, that’s just going to get better for DeSantis. However, if Trump gets serious about running or if his donations dwindle, and he leans in on DeSantis, his popularity might fade faster than Don’s spray-on tan on a cloudy day. Many a friend or foe has been swamped in that muddy gutter.
    Democrats may need to lean in on social media to bring Trump tweet world back again about that time :>)

    I think Dems would rather face Trump than DeSantis. I have said DeSantis favors policies more extreme than Trumpism, but unlike Trump, he has political savvy and skills. He certainly has the popularity and curiosity wind behind his back right now, but, in actuality, he has faced little scrutiny, little pushback, from a national spotlight. But he is strong enough, and he knows it, to stand up and face Trump. He may be the only Republican out there who can, and is willing, to do that right now. If Trump continues to fall, others will emerge making Ron’s run more interesting, more fluid, but right now —– he’s the guy.