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Donald Trump officially began his presidential campaign for 2024. After announcing his candidacy in November 2022, he dodged speeches and rallies for a few months. The former president broke that drought last Saturday, when he held events in New Hampshire and South Carolina. Among his campaign promises, he did not miss the opportunity to send a message to Ron DeSantis.
Trump’s election was no coincidence, since the two mentioned states will be the first to vote during the primary calendar. The former president presented his electoral platform and his campaign teams in both states, and then dedicated a few words to the governor of Florida.
First, the former president celebrated being up in the polls to be the next Republican nominee for President. “If If he runs, that’s fine. I’m way up in the polls,” he began. He then assured that, should DeSantis decide to enter the race, “I do think it would be a great act of disloyalty because, you know, I got him in. He had no chance. His political life was over.”
The former president is referring specifically to the 2018 Florida gubernatorial election, when he officially endorsed DeSantis and boosted his candidacy. At that time, Trump campaigned with him and defined the then-congressman as “a special person who has done an incredible job.”
The former president’s support was a key piece in DeSantis’ path to the governor’s mansion in Tallahassee. When he beat Andrew Gillum by 0.4%, in one of the closest races of the cycle. Four years later, DeSantis’ campaign built exclusively on his gubernatorial accomplishments and the support of Floridians gave him re-election with a historic nearly 20% win over Charlie Crist.
“We reject woke ideology. We fight the woke in the legislature. We fight the woke in the schools. We fight the woke in the corporations. We will never, ever surrender to the woke mob. Florida is where woke goes to die,” the governor exclaimed in his re-election speech.
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DeSantis, Trump and uncertainty in the run-up to 2024
So far, Trump is the only Republican to announce his presidential candidacy. And no wonder. Few Republicans are willing to face the former president in a primary. Only Mike Pompeo and Nikki Haley have expressed interest in putting their names on the ballot.
However, the name that could change the equation is Ron DeSantis. Despite being behind in the polls, he is the only one who has surpassed the former president in the polls and is seen as the Republican with the best chance of prevailing in a future presidential race. A primary between the two would become the first to feature two heavyweights since 1976, when Ronald Reagan challenged President Gerald Ford.
As if that were not enough, DeSantis indirectly flirted with a possible candidacy. For presidential hopefuls, releasing an autobiography close to the election is almost a textbook move. In other words, if a person publishes a hopeful book less than 3 years before a presidential election, chances are he or she intends to put his or her name on the list.
Precisely, the governor announced the launching The Courage to be Free. It is a book that will cover DeSantis’ 44 years, his time in baseball, the U.S. Navy and Congress, until he became one of the most influential governors in the country. According to Fox News, it will also detail his childhood, his academic career and his service in the Navy, after he volunteered in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
Joaquín Núñez es hincha de Racing Club de Avellaneda y licenciado en comunicación periodística por la Universidad Católica Argentina. Se especializa en el escenario internacional y en la política norteamericana // Joaquín Núñez is a fan of Avellaneda's Racing Club and has a degree in journalistic communication from the Universidad Católica Argentina. He specializes in the international scene and American politics.