DeSantis Drops Out of 2024 Presidential Race, Throws Support Behind Trump

Retiring Ron DeSanctimonious: Roughly 48 hours before the New Hampshire primaries, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis dropped out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination, leaving the contest to former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and former President Donald Trump.

DeSantis ran a disappointing campaign all around, failing to do much with his admittedly solid anti-lockdown reputation, choosing to enjoy the pitched battle of the culture war instead and positioning himself as further right on many issues than Trump. Many political analysts have theorized that he misread demand for such a candidate and that his timing was off—the COVID era was just slightly too long ago for him to realistically tout his record to any effect. He also seems to have picked a particularly bad and far-too-online team of campaign advisors, who were plagued by scandal.

“The political stock of DeSantis rose considerably during the pandemic. He benefited from having recognized earlier than most that the massive restrictions imposed on society in the name of fighting Covid did more harm than good,” writes National Review‘s Philip Klein. “Add this to his legislative wins on traditional conservative issues (taxes, school choice, gun rights, and life), his demonstrated competence during hurricanes, and landslide reelection, and there was reason to believe that he was somebody who could cobble together a winning coalition in a Republican presidential primary.”

“Rather than trying to out-flank Trump with the too-online fringe of the GOP, DeSantis could have courted the much larger segment of Republicans who were disgruntled by the government’s handling of the pandemic, unsettled by inflation (which was triggered in part by overspending), and unsure about Trump’s ability to overcome all that baggage,” writes Reason‘s Eric Boehm, adding that this “would have required a willingness to target Trump’s faults and failures directly—something DeSantis often seemed unwilling to do, lest he alienate Trump’s legions of fans.”

But no, DeSantis never really found his footing—even with the help of his hilarious cowboy boot lifts that he won’t fess up to.

Trump makes weird promises to voters: On the campaign trail in New Hampshire, Trump is telling the good people that their energy prices will be halved one year after he takes office. (This seems unlikely to happen.) He also spent the weekend claiming he’ll tell the U.S. Navy to do a “full fentanyl blockade” (again, the mechanism by which this will happen is totally unclear) and said that, if elected, Haley will fail to “secure the border or stop the fentanyl that is killing thousands of New Hampshire citizens.”

Trump also congratulated DeSantis on running “a really good campaign”—yet another Trump lie!—and said he’d retire that “DeSanctimonious” nickname at long last. (Probably related: DeSantis threw an endorsement Trump’s way.) Magnanimous!


Scenes from New York: Passover needs to CENTER (clap) MORE (clap) PEOPLE OF COLOR (clap) apparently.


QUICK HITS

  • China is investing in chipmaking infrastructure, per Bloomberg.
  • Team Biden/Harris is touring the country to celebrate the 51st anniversary of Roe v. Wade and to tout the administration’s staunchly pro-abortion-access record. Harris’ first state on the tour is Wisconsin, not coincidentally an important state for Biden to win.
  • Political turmoil brewing in Germany. (I’ll be in Berlin next week and will report back if I notice anything interesting on the ground, provided my faculties haven’t been altered.)
  • Your daily dose of sanity, in the form of Camille Paglia:
  • Two U.S. Navy SEALS “vanished during a Jan. 11 raid in which the U.S. military seized a cache of Iranian-supplied missile parts and other weaponry bound for Houthis—which CENTCOM has said the rebels have used previously to conduct attacks on commercial shipping vessels in the Red Sea that have severely disrupted the global supply chain,” reports Axios. This was off the coast of Somalia, where piracy has long been a huge problem. They were declared dead yesterday, per U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM).
  • Yes: