While I was flying a plane somewhere over the mid-west this evening, Ron DeSantis finally made his much-anticipated presidential campaign announcement. Unfortunately, we’ve got no in-flight internet on our birds, so I’m disconnected when I’m up there and missed out on all the initial fireworks.
But from what I can gather, DeSantis demanded so much attention that he broke Twitter for about 20 minutes before he and Elon Musk were able to continue their Twitter Spaces conversation. I’m being assured that means the Florida man’s launch was a total disaster, effectively ending his campaign before it starts. Joe Biden even had his handlers fire off a silly tweet about his donation link working. Of course, he won’t have over 760,000 trying to click on it at once, so perhaps that’s not such a good comparison by the president.
Do you want to know what I think, though? I think that’s all cope.
DeSantis lit the political world on fire tonight, finishing his conversation with Musk only to secure what seemed an awful lot like a quasi-endorsement from conservative hall-of-famer Mark Levin. He then went over to Fox News where he shared his vision for the nation and what his top-three priorities would be.
In short, how can a launch be a disaster if the entire political world is talking about it? If the goal was to garner attention, and that’s always the goal of a campaign launch, then it was mission accomplished and then some. Remember Donald Trump’s old axiom that there’s no such thing as bad press? That applies here. DeSantis is the man of the hour in a way that never would have been accomplished by yet another boring, cookie-cutter rally launch (sorry Tim Scott, but it’s true).
Further, we have the first fundraising numbers of DeSantis’ official campaign, and he brought in a whopping $1 million in just a single hour during his initial announcement. You can expect that total to keep skyrocketing throughout the night and into tomorrow.
Does any of this mean DeSantis is now the nominee? Of course, not. There is a ton of the primary season left in front of us. In fact, it didn’t really start until tonight. No one cares about Tim Scott, Nikki Haley, or whoever else is technically running. They are sideshows to the main event. It was always going to be DeSantis vs. Trump, and the bell just rang to start the first round.
What can’t be denied, no matter who one may end up supporting, is that DeSantis is going to command a ton of attention going forward. People can debate why, but he is the center of the political universe as of this moment, and politicians, from Biden to Trump, are left reacting to him. That’s a fresh dynamic, and it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out. I suspect that as long as DeSantis remains the primary target for all sides, he will become more popular among the GOP electorate.
Things are about to get really fun, and GOP primary voters have a choice. They can enjoy the ride and recognize that intense primary battles are a good thing, or they can cry and whine that their chosen candidate isn’t being coronated without a fight. I’d suggest we all take the former path.