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Keep Focused and Ignore DeSantis vs. Trump
And we’re off! Governor DeSantis has made the unofficial, official. I did not listen but some accounts I have read indicate that the announcement may not have gone smoothly.
But that is irrelevant — DeSantis is in and is the only declared candidate anywhere close to challenging President Trump for the Republican nomination, and thus DeSantis vs. Trump is going to dominate infighting at least until some primary returns are counted.
But it is a distraction.
The presidency of Joe Biden has created enormous problems for the nation and they will continue unabated at least until January 2025. The problems are so many — legal, financial, cultural, national security — that one Progressive strategy seems to be paying off: if you present enough targets, you can’t shoot them all. And, if so, the Progressive contagion can be arrested at best but not defeated.
So it is going to take some prioritizing. Where do you start? What set of initiatives if the Progressives are turned out of federal power will have the most impact on restoring the nation?
The Republican nominee has to be able to address this and make the case that (1) he/she can persuade the voters that the Progressives cannot be allowed to stay in charge, and (2) the specific prioritized steps he/she will take to have the greatest impact on the totality of problems the Progressives have created.
Personally, I think Vivek Ramaswamy has a very good handle on this and is thinking in this way. But his profile is too low. I have contributed to his campaign and encourage others to do so to make sure he is in the picture and makes it into the debates. But I concede that it looks to be between DeSantis and Trump. But whichever side you choose, the enemy is the Progressive ideology as empowered in the Administrative State and its allies in corporations (specifically media, financial and technological) and academia, and the weakened judiciary.
And keep in mind that in order for the Progressives to be turned out of power, we need two things: (1) the ground game will need to be strong, any method of pulling together votes that is legal in the post-Covid world must be used by Republicans whether we think it correct or not, because the Progressives will be doing even if we don’t, and (2) we will need to get the support of voters to whom Republicans have traditionally not appealed. President Trump has been the absolute best at doing this, DeSantis needs to demonstrate that he can do so outside of Florida to even be considered to be the Republican standard bearer.
So as the candidates stump, evaluate them against the challenges described above. Are the attacks on Progressivism clear and persuasive? Do the planned actions address the most important problems? Does the candidate evidence a real connection to “common folk” — reflecting their priorities and concerns? Does their campaign organization have a handle on the new vote collection rules?
Personal snark between candidates is irrelevant. But be aware that some of the rhetoric is a stand-in for a larger question, e.g., when Trump claims that DeSantis is “disloyal,” he is really raising a question of whether DeSantis can be trusted to do what he promises to do; when DeSantis says he doesn’t know anything about how to pay off a paramour he is making an issue about judgment. President Trump has the advantage in that exchange because the voters can see his track record as President after his moral missteps, the voters are just now hearing promises from DeSantis at a national level that he hasn’t yet had a chance to fulfill or break.
There will be more of this — so much more. And the only way to get through it without pulling apart is to stay focused on the purpose of the General Election, to not get caught up in the nastiness of the back and forth. Instead, we need to evaluate how these exchanges demonstrate that the candidate is making the best case for victory in 2024.Published in General
Nice analysis Rodin. I hate to say it, but President Trump has started this primary in left field and hasn’t made it back to the infield yet. I do not understand his inability to stay on target and away from the weeds of personal and vindictive attacks. He has done nothing but exhibit snark toward DeSantis for months now. If he can’t raise above childishness, it’s difficult to hear his message.
I saw DeSantis interviewed by Trey Gowdy on Fox, and I thought he did a great job. I heard some complaints after the fact, that he didn’t go after Trump, but he did talk about steps he would take the first day he enters office. It will be interesting to see if DeSantis draws blood when he criticizes Trump.
Good post and little disagreement other than “Trump the absolutist best” at appealing to voters. Last 3 elections say otherwise. He did a good job. But clear DeSantis is a solid conservative. Will be an interesting race.
IMO, the most critical first step is to restore American energy production and that means oil and gas, as well as coal and nuclear power plants.
A second priority would be to restore Trump’s policies on the border and immigration.
Third, rein in or dismantle the FBI, which has become a domestic Stasi.
Then, in the second term . . .
I find that the best thing both men could have done was to put together a united front.
Instead, in addition to the media tearing down the reputations of both men, the next months til the Republican convention will involve the 2 candidates tearing down each other.
Trump was fond of “making America great” and of doing things that are historic firsts.
Having the guys pose a united front would have been historic.
It would have rallied the troops, rather than turning us off.
Besides that, as a united front, the major issue going forward is having the 2024 election being as secure as our banking and credit card interactions.
The above requires a huge deployment of resources, including talking points. But since it looks like it will be all DeSantis vs Trump, and Trump vs. DeSantis, as far as the Republicans go in Nov 2024, you can fogettaboutit!
I am happy to hear that DeSantis didn’t go after Trump.
Now if Trump’s people would take a valuable lesson from that, I’d be over the moon. (I have already gotten one robo call from the R Party, attempting to establish who I would vote for in 2024. I hung up after 60 seconds.)
A good friend of mine was the president of our elementary school’s parents’ council. We raised a fair amount of money, and each spring, the teachers would approach us to help with funding their various worthy field trips. One night, my friend said to one of the teachers, “I think that’s a fantastic idea, and we wish you well. But we raise money from the entire school’s efforts, and we believe we should spend it only on projects that affect the entire school.” Some bells went off in my head that have never stopped ringing. What she said organized my thinking.
Candidates should divide their rhetoric into two parts: one for their own general “What I will do” presentations and the other for answering specific questions about the various issues on the table at any given moment.
Candidates should stay in the safe middle of the road on the issues they can’t affect in reality if they are elected. From the middle lane, they can maneuver safely. :)
I did not hear DeSantis’s speech, but I wish he would pull a Reagan and talk just about three topics that are on the minds of all Americans: inflation and the cost of taxes and energy and healthcare; the cost of maintaining our government bureaucracies; and foreign policy and how that will pertain to our military families.
Trump’s 2016 speeches were really interesting to me. He is absolutely an amazing campaigner. He stayed roughly in the middle of most things. He was funny. But when he did get into the specifics, he was a very sharp arrow. He won me over on the Iran Deal. Wow. He is brilliant in defining issues narrowly and briefly and therefore memorably such that people can understand what he’s saying. His ability in this area could be the result of his lifetime in the media. He did have a successful television reality show for a long time. I never watched it, but that could be where he honed this particular ability. It’s good marketing, frankly. He knows what he’s doing. I’d put his instincts on how to get a message across to the public ahead of nearly all other political handlers and advisors.
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The only other point I want to make is that it is appealing to close the Trump book, let bygones be bygones, and so on. Look at Trump and DeSantis as if the last six years of the horrific persecution and prosecution of Trump, including the J6 protestors, never happened. But I can’t do that. I hope the Republican Party can’t either. Especially given the content of the Durham Report. Most recently, the Obamas walked out of the White House with several million documents that no one ever looked at. Trump is presently being indicted by the DOJ for having some small number of classified documents in the pile he took home with him.
This is not about Trump. We are officially a two-class country: Democrats are in power, and they are not subject to laws that probably shouldn’t be there anyway but that exist for harassment purposes. To me, it seems that the Democrats are trying to make the Republicans into second-class citizens now, guilty of domestic terrorism just for breathing American air. I’m not exaggerating. Look at the Red Speech Biden gave a while ago in Philadelphia.
This is terrifying. I don’t think it can be separated from this coming election. I really don’t. Personally, I will be voting Trump because I don’t want to live this way.
PS: It does not bother me that he talks about himself in this context because he can’t talk as easily or accurately about other people. He knows what’s been done to him by the Democrats. He’s the only one who can describe it. And keep at it. I can’t pretend the six years of continuous assault on Donald Trump didn’t happen. For me, it’s Waco and Ruby Ridge, Emilio Gonsolves, and other big events.
Exactly! Restore our energy independence and reduce the cost of energy which would lead to lower inflation within six months and this country would be humming again. Biden has set the new rules. We are now allowed to use our military at the border. Use them and close it down!
That said, this is also the time to help candidates refine their messaging. Trump will need the most correction as he basically throws things out to see what people cheer at rallies. Others will use focus groups and polls to see what is resonating. DeSantis is going to spend money on the ground game in IA and NH and we won’t hear anything about that. Trump will try to earn media by saying crazy things. I expect DeSantis to do many, many interviews (which is hard work) and to get better with his sales pitch. Maybe he will be as good as Vivek, who comes across as the CEO salesman. Time will tell.
Well, until DeSantis actually gets the totals of non-traditional Republican voters in other states the statement about Trump is not refuted. Not because I am a Trump fan, just because it is fact.
Very true. When he says we are the targets they just have to get him first, it resonates. This country cannot ignore the abuses inherent in his persecution, which when successful will be quickly deployed on everyone else.
He received more votes than any other sitting president. You must look elsewhere for why we lost.
Trump motivated both his supporters and his opponents. No one voted for Biden; all of his votes were a vote against Trump.
No, they were against Trump, against Republicans, and most of all, against our ideology and agenda. They hate him because he won. People need to understand that. They voted for someone who says meaner things, is corrupt, lies habitually, and whose morality is questionable. Don’t anyone tell me it was Trump himself. We always say Democrats are projecting. When people on our side tell me why the Democrats hate Trump, they are projecting, too. If they don’t admit why Trump is hated, they won’t know what they are up against. And yes, I know there are Democrats easily manipulated by the leftie spin. The proverbial “suburban women” come to mine. They are a great argument against suffrage.
@cdor posted this on another thread:
I think this is really good news. Really good news.
Metoo. I am impressed.
And one reason I am impressed is that he did it in a way that the government media can’t ignore.
This really resonates with me. But we need to follow this and see whether it continues to be a theme in his campaign. If he wavers or dissimulates on this point it would be a terrible omen.
I know. God bless him. I mean that as the prayer it is. Wow.
What good news.
That statement being made by a person with his political stature and prestige puts the Democratic Party on notice. It’s the hand saying, “STOP!”
The best news I’ve had in a long long time.
It says a lot of good stuff about him that he said it at all at this time and said it so firmly.
He’s objective even when life is coming at him full tilt.
There’s right and wrong, and it doesn’t matter whose name is attached.
What a great way to start this holiday weekend.
It sounds like the beginning of the end to this two-year nightmare.
The task for many politicians is to sell naked ambition as “public service”. This is particularly true of politicians who have spent most of their lives moving sequentially through elected and appointed political offices. Rightly or wrongly DeSantis needs to persuade us that this is more than ambition. It makes no sense that he would be running to implement Trumpian policies when Trump is in the race. If so, he would be an ally not a competitor. So where do his policies differ and why should we prefer them?
This has always bothered me.
To people who are ticked off at Trump’s really negative reaction, I would say that DeSantis’s running is very aggressive, and it is personal.
So we are left with which one can get it done.
I think that’s what it will boil down to in the end.
But I don’t blame Trump for reacting so strongly. DeSantis’s running is about Trump, not the issues.
Well, except for the “corporatism” thing that DeSantis is concerned about.
That’s an issue, but the answer is deregulation, which Trump accomplished hugely. Trump really gets this problem and its cause and solution.
Since he just started his run, I think it’s too early to say. Clearly, with the lies Trump is putting about DeSantis’ work in FL, it’s all about DeSantis for him. And it’s ugly. On Buck and Clay, Buck said he knew a lot of people in Trump’s camp, and some of them are not helping Trump; he called them clowns (and he likes Trump). From the ads I’ve seen from Trump’s camp, they’re not impressive.
I don’t know if his policies need to differ very much. Competency and effectiveness in implementing them for the long term might be a distinguishing feature. He doesn’t need to go around bashing Trump for that to sink in.
And that would be his biggest strength. If he can keep the high ground that will serve him well. His earlier “wait and see” approach and throwing an elbow at Trump after Vivek called on him to condemn the then-pending, now real, BS New York indictment of President Trump, was not a good look. President Trump will try to goad him. If he succeeds, DeSantis will come off looking bad because fighting with non “wokesters” is not DeSantis’ brand.
I understand your point of view, but it’s really clear to both Trump and me that DeSantis is the aggressor here and that this is a personal attack on Trump. DeSantis’s entire run is a personal attack on Trump. Trump is reacting intelligently but unfortunately spitefully. I wish it would stop, but neither of them will. DeSantis isn’t saying anything negative about Trump right now. He’s in the “give the devil enough rope and he’ll hang himself” mode at the moment, I’m sure. DeSantis is creating the image of himself that he wants to be out there: magnanimous and mature and stable–in other words. not Trump. But his run is about Trump the person, not Trump the president or candidate.
This would be very clear to people if the reverse were the situation. If DeSantis had been in office for four years and replaced by a Democrat and then decided to run again and Trump was then challenging DeSantis, Trump’s aggression would be very obvious to people.
The best evidence of this was DeSantis’ earlier deflections of questions about a 2024 run by stating he wouldn’t run if President Trump did. President Trump declared but the shadow candidacy of DeSantis started in earnest. There are reasons to want a President DeSantis instead of a President Trump, but it is hard to deny that DeSantis has publicly flipped on his support for a second term for President Trump. The question is why?
Who would know why the flip except for DeSantis himself?
Maybe he thinks it is in the nation’s interest to do so.
Maybe his earlier reticence to run had not as much to do with his valiantly supporting the elder R Party leader, but with a logical idea that he could not handle doing it?
Maybe now he has the monetary support & enough support from his FLA constituents that he is no longer reticent.
Then if the monetary support indicates that he is going to sell his soul for that support, so another question about DeSantis arises.
Of course many questions surround Trump as well. Why ‘d he promise his base in 2016 that once elected, he ‘d keep Rob Kennedy Jr close to the Oval Office as a health advisor? But then he got in & scrapped Kennedy for a Pfizer executive.
Had he kept Kennedy by his side, he might have known that by his stepping forward and declaring that COVID was a pandemic deserving of his declaring it a National Emergency, he was handing the nation over to FEMA.
Long story short: politicians all flip!