It’s almost never safe to believe everything that a political candidate says on the campaign trail. Very few politicians ever live up to keeping as many promises as Donald Trump did from 2017 to 2024. A safer bet is to listen to what a candidate is saying to their donors if that information becomes available.
Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) is on the campaign trail saying he’s a “moderate” on gun control, for example. But he’s telling his donors that he’s a full-on gun grabber who doesn’t even want private citizens in red-state Arizona to own handguns. And we may have just had a big hint about Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s 2024 ambitions, through leaked conversations with his donors.
A reporter from Vanity Fair talked to Republican insiders and some of Gov. DeSantis’s GOP donors. The big question everyone on the right is asking this year is whether DeSantis plans to run against Donald Trump in the 2024 Republican primary. We know that Trump is definitely planning to run. He says so at every America First rally, even though he has not made a formal announcement yet (due to campaign finance rules).
Now, it’s possible that the Vanity Fair report is entirely garbage. You never know whether a reporter actually talked to an “anonymous source” these days or if they’re making a story up entirely – especially when that story is related to Donald Trump. But the report says that DeSantis has been privately telling his GOP donors that he won’t challenge Trump in 2024.
DeSantis has hinted in several ways that he might run. When his weak and ineffectual opponent in the current race for Florida Governor – Charlie Crist – challenged DeSantis during a debate on whether he planned to serve out his full term if elected, DeSantis sort of waffled. He didn’t give a straight answer.
When the FBI carried out its illegal raid at the home of Florida’s most famous resident in Mar-a-Lago back in August, DeSantis disappeared into his bunker for five days. When he reemerged, he hired a new public branding agency and a new team of political consultants. DeSantis then proceeded to make one of the weakest and most tepid statements of his entire governorship.
The FBI raid on President Trump’s home is such an unprecedented breach of “standards and norms,” not to mention the rule of law, that every American should have been outraged by it. All that Ron DeSantis could bring himself to say was that the FBI’s actions were sort of bad. Sort of.
That seemed to be another big hint that DeSantis might run in 2024. DeSantis is also the only figure on the right being considered for 2024 who comes even vaguely close to Donald Trump. He’s usually 20 or so points behind Trump. In straw polls where DeSantis is not included, all other potential candidates fail to draw 10 percent. Trump is heavily favored to win the nomination, so DeSantis is the only hope that Never Trumpers and the MSM have who stands any chance of beating Trump.
But there are good reasons for DeSantis to not run in 2024. If he finishes out his second term as governor of Florida, he’ll have 8 successful years of managing the most prosperous and free state in the union. That’s a pretty good track record. Not to mention the fact that he won’t be irritating Trump voters with a primary challenge in 2024. He’s young enough that he could end his governorship after 2026, and seamlessly start campaigning for president in 2028.
There’s also the fact that a lot could happen between now and 2024. If the criminal Biden regime throws Donald Trump in jail on some stupid misdemeanor charge and imprisons him indefinitely like a January 6er, it will be nice to have Ron DeSantis waiting on the bench.