Ron DeSantis: The Student Bests the Master

The excitement Trump generates among his own people is commensurate with the rejection he receives from everyone else.

One of the first lessons students in marketing classes learn is the importance of managing their future clients’ expectations. This happens in politics as well. The Republican tsunami that was intended to flood Congress after Tuesday’s election has been reduced to a tiny wave. Republicans are struggling to take control of the House of Representatives, while their hopes regarding the Senate have vanished after the Pennsylvania seat went to the Democrats. In this election, conservatives aligned themselves with the former President Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again movement after Trump vampirized the Republican Party. This election was going to be Trump’s revenge on the results of the 2020 presidential election results and provide the necessary stepping stone for seeking reelection in 2024. The New York real estate developer did not pick candidates for their political acuity, but for how committed they were to MAGA and to the claim that the 2020 presidential election was rigged, but he has shot himself in the foot. Trumpist candidates performed well in traditionally red states, but not in swing states — those which oscillate to the right or to the left — and which tend to hold the key to the White House. The midterms have shown that the excitement Trump generates among the Republican base is commensurate with the rejection he receives from the rest of American society. What should have been a stellar night for the businessman became a nightmare. He ended up “screaming at everyone” and blaming his innermost circle—even his wife, Melania—for the poor outcome.

The data coming from Florida did not help improve Trump’s mood. Republican rival, Gov. Ron DeSantis’s 20-point win underscored the dwindling results for the MAGA crowd even more. DeSantis was not only reelected, but accomplished the feat of anchoring this coveted swing state to the right. The New York Post, which was once Trump’s newspaper of choice, placed DeSantis on the front page, with the headline, “DeFuture.” The 44-year-old DeSantis could secure two consecutive terms for Republicans, a circumstance that is impossible for Trump who is nearly 77 and has already served one term.

DeSantis, with a conservative profile, has managed to distance himself from the man who endorsed him like few others, and without engaging in any close combat. Furthermore, he isn’t hiding his ambition and is willing to call Trump a loser, which clearly irks the former president. For DeSantis, the race is just beginning. As opposed to 2020, the Republican governor could benefit during the primaries in which the number of candidates is limited. Aside from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s hints at running, not many conservatives have the appetite or the stature to compete with the toxic former president. DeSantis has every chance of being the student called to best his master. Joe Biden is rubbing his hands in the face of a bloody battle that could wear out the two Republican candidates, but a future victory by the Florida governor would also add pressure to the Democrats to find a new leader.

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