Guy Who Lost 2020 Election Pretty Sure He Can Beat Fellow Florida Man Ron DeSantis
If Donald Trump decides to subject America to another presidential run in 2024, he's confident he'd mop the floor with his primary opponents, who wouldn't even bother showing up because who likes being used to mop floors? They're not always clean.
A normal person who had his ass handed to him in the last presidential race would consider a quiet retirement, but Trump's not a well-adjusted normal person. He promoted -- and is still promoting! -- a Big Lie about the election he obviously lost, a Big Lie that's brought about violence and death, and he's not about to pass the MAGA torch to even one of his most sycophantic supporters.
In fact, Trump specifically dismissed Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis. He doesn't think his fellow Florida man poses a serious threat to his big 2024 comeback special. He told Yahoo Finance:
"If I faced him, I'd beat him like I would beat everyone else," Trump declared, even as he said he doesn't actually expect a showdown.
"I don't think I will face him," he predicted about what DeSantis and other Republicans would do if he got into the race. "I think most people would drop out, I think he would drop out."
You know, this doesn't seem very confident. It looks like Trump is demanding the field be cleared for him. During the lead-up to the 2016 Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton was accused of wanting a “coronation" instead of a “contest," but the reality was that most mainstream Democrats held back because they could read polls and didn't want to embarrass themselves. Trump is the one who just lost his last major election, and his 2016 victory over Clinton was arguably a fluke — thanks, James Comey! (And Russia!) Sure, in the 2016 GOP primary, Trump stomped Jeb! Bush, “Little" Marco Rubio, and living charisma black hole Ted Cruz, but back then no one could've guessed how awful Trump's presidency would turn out — well, except for Hillary Clinton, who told us in graphic detail every day of the campaign.
Last month, Jim Jordan claimed Trump was definitely going to run again. The one-term loser was “about ready to announce after all this craziness in Afghanistan."
EXCLUSIVE--> Jim Jordan: President Trump, he's gonna run again. Pete: You think so? Jordan: I know so. Yeah, I tal… https://t.co/gQLYvrLK28— The Undercurrent (@The Undercurrent) 1630679770.0
Trump ordered the withdrawal from Afghanistan and even demanded President Joe Biden leave earlier. Obviously, in the open sewer that's Trump's mind, he assumes that if he were president, the withdrawal would have gone without a hitch. But anyone could say they'd have done a better job. That's currently my opening line at cocktail parties.
However, DeSantis and pretty much any other Republican can still run on Afghanistan, but without Trump's obvious baggage. The question is whether any Republican wants to bother. The MAGA cult is unwavering in its support for Trump, and maybe it's preferable to just skip the inevitable death threats and wait until 2028.
It seems like this is DeSantis's strategy. He announced last week that he's seeking another term as Florida governor. We guess he hasn't done enough long-term damage to the state's public health. He said he can't even think about 2024, which is so very far away.
"I'm not considering anything beyond doing my job," DeSantis said on "Hannity" Thursday night. "We've got a lot of stuff going on in Florida. I'm going to be running for reelection next year and we're also working on a lot of things in the state beyond just the governor's race."
Oh, and what important issues facing Floridians command his attention? Well, he wants to make sure more anti-mask crusaders wind up on school boards across the state, so "parents have the ability to send their kids to school the way they want to," which is presumably maskless and full of coronavirus.
He also told Sean Hannity he wants “to make sure people are not supporting critical race theory." That sounds like he's going door-to-door selling revisionist history textbooks. He'd probably do a better job at that than he is as governor or would as the next awful Republican president.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."