It WILL happen….
The old-timer ‘Loser’….
The younger upstart …..
Getting ready to fight for the crown of leadership over a party that is fighting change and its reality….
A Governor taking care of a tragicity and sorrow…..
A ex-President trying a revenge comeback for HIMSELF….
The winner gets to lead a bruised and scared party…
Become the media ‘King of the Mountain’….
Does the younger upstart just step aside?
Or does he fight for the top ?
Florida is the gravitational center of Donald Trump’s MAGA-ified Republican Party, so it’s not surprising that the Sunshine State’s pugnacious Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, wants to be Trump’s rightful heir. Since his 2018 election, DeSantis has thrilled the GOP base by governing like a mini Trump. He defied public health guidelines during the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic last year and kept Florida virtually free of a statewide lockdown. In May he perpetuated Trump’s 2020 election lie and signed a restrictive voting rights bill live on Fox News. And last month he dispatched Florida law enforcement agents to Texas to “secure [the] southern border.” According to one recent conservative poll, DeSantis beat Trump with a 74% approval rating (Trump scored 71%).
But in the wake of the Surfside condo collapse, DeSantis’s claim to the MAGA mantle is facing its biggest test, with DeSantis putting management of the tragedy ahead of Trump’s need for blind loyalty. On June 30, the conservative Washington Examiner reported that DeSantis’s team was furious that Trump intended to hold a MAGA rally in Florida while the search for survivors continued (DeSantis didn’t attend the rally). On July 1, DeSantis appeared alongside President Joe Biden and praised him for the federal government’s response to the tragedy. (The moment recalled the greeting between New Jersey governor Chris Christie and Barack Obama after Hurricane Sandy.)
In recent days I spoke with a half dozen GOP insiders about the recent flare-ups between DeSantis’s and Trump’s camps. The sources agreed that DeSantis and Trump are on an inevitable collision course as the 2024 GOP field takes shape. “There’s going to be a blowup,” a prominent Republican said. “Trump fucking hates DeSantis. He just resents his popularity,” a Trump confidant told me. Asked for comment, Trump spokesperson Liz Harrington said: “Governor DeSantis has shown great respect.”
Part of Trump’s irritation with DeSantis is that Trump famously claims credit for anyone in his orbit who gains attention. “Trump tells people, ‘I made Ron,’” the prominent Republican said. “Trump says that about a lot of people. But in this case it’s actually true.” According to sources, then congressman DeSantis cultivated Trump’s support during the 2018 gubernatorial primary by hanging out at Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel. “Ron basically ran his primary campaign out of the hotel. He buttonholed Trump supporters and his friends,” the prominent Republican said….
“Heading into 2024, DeSantis is primed to push Trump off the throne,” former Trump adviser Sam Nunbergtold me. “Trump surely sees this coming and will ultimately offer Governor DeSantis a joint ticket.” …
…In the two weeks since a 12-story condo tower in this coastal community suddenly crumbled, killing at least 78 people, DeSantis has stood somberly with local officials, including Democrats, as they assessed the damage. He nodded in agreement when Biden visited and hailed their joint appearance as a sign that those with opposing political views can work together in a crisis. And he even skipped a rally in Sarasota headlined by former President Donald Trump, whose early endorsement was crucial in helping DeSantis win the governor’s race in 2018.
Since that victory, DeSantis has often taken his cues from Trump. But as he prepares for a reelection bid next year that could propel him into a presidential campaign, the tragedy in Surfside is exposing voters to a different side of the governor. He’s still the conservative populist who rarely parts with Trump. But unlike the former president, DeSantis is showing that he can tone down some of his most extreme partisan rhetoric during a disaster….
Still, DeSantis’ actions present a sharp contrast with Trump. The former president often threatened to withhold aid to Democratic officials who criticized him, including Govs. Gavin Newsom of California and Andrew Cuomo of New York. At other times, he appeared insensitive or clumsy in his response to people’s suffering. During a visit to hurricane-damaged Puerto Rico, for instance, Trump tossed rolls of paper towels into a crowd of residents.
Mac Stipanovich, a former Republican campaign strategist, said DeSantis is “less frightening than Trump” to some voters even as he steadily courts the former president’s base.
DeSantis “has a finely tuned sense of what is the best red meat, on any given day, to throw to the MAGA base and he does it with some skill and no shame,” Stipanovich said. “Soon as we’re beyond the window of this tragedy, everybody will be at each other’s throats once again.”…