Ron DeSantis’ Path To The Presidency
There is far too much road ahead to be predicting the fate of any political figures in the 2024 presidential election. But we can consider the opportunities and challenges that a potential candidate for the presidency might face. Such is the case with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
If we were really at the start of the 2024 election season – and if former President Trump had decided not to run for a second term – there is no doubt that the leading candidate for the Republican nomination would be DeSantis.
First, he is a very popular governor of an especially important battleground state. He is well-liked by both moderate and conservative Republican voters – including the Trump base. Polling suggests he also has an appeal with independent voters.
In many ways, Ron DeSantis is a central casting candidate for the presidency. He is handsome and well spoken. He has that unique ability to disagree without being disagreeable. And he has the ideal family – a beautiful wife, former television personality Casey Black, and three adorable children. He may be the only potential Republican candidate who we can say is truly Reagan-esque.
While he is a principled conservative, DeSantis has shown an ability to “work across the aisle.” That means he is building an impressive record of positive accomplishments in the Sunshine State.
Because of his conservativism – and his friendship with Trump – he is constantly targeted for partisan criticism by the folks on the far-left fringe – Democrats and in the media. This could prove to be an additional asset since DeSantis is far more popular than his far-left fringe critics.
Since it is obvious that Ron DeSantis is eyeing the presidency, the only question is his strategic path.
The first major issue is Trump. Will the former President make a bid for a non-consecutive second term in 2024? If he does, it is very unlikely that Ron DeSantis would challenge him for the presidency. That would transform Trump from a DeSantis fan to a brutal and vicious adversary. It would cost DeSantis the support of much of the Trump hardcore base. Much like Trump and his base turned on his most loyal supporter, Vice President Pence.
But DeSantis is young enough to look past 2024. At 42 years old, DeSantis could conceivably be a candidate in any of the next nine presidential elections – stretching out 2052, when the Florida Governor would be 77 years old.
There is also a possibility that DeSantis would be Trump’s running mate in 2024, should the former President win the GOP nomination. If you apply traditional thinking, that would be a good move. Vice presidents are almost always contenders for the presidency – although their track record of success is surprisingly poor.
We are not in traditional times, so it might be prudent for DeSantis to decline any offer to run for Vice President on a Trump ticket. As Vice President, DeSantis would have to be a trailer hitched to Trump’s careening cruiser. It did not end well for Pence.
If Trump were to run and lose – either the nomination or election – Ron DeSantis might have to wait until the 2032 presidency on the chance that the new President elected in 2024 – Republican or Democrat – could serve eight years. Obviously, I am assuming that President Biden will not be running again in 2024.
Politics is a fickle business. We have seen men strive to be President for most of their adult life – Al Gore or John Kerry – and not make it. And we have seen others seeming to come out of nowhere and move into the White House – President Jimmy Carter and President Barack Obama. And some were handed the presidency by fate without ever seeking the office. Think President Ford.
As we learn from Ecclesiastes and song, “To every thing there is a season … a time to break down and a time to build up.” There is in political life, a time to disrupt and a time to bring together. Trump was certainly a disrupter of the Washington political establishment – with half the nation seeing that as good and necessary.
But out of the chaos, there is a time for a consensus leader. Someone to form a renewed common political culture and consensus – and restore the comity of the people. DeSantis could be that person.