DeSantis takes unofficial pre-presidential campaign tour to Iowa

by mcardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is either about to run for president or he has the most conveniently coincidental book tour in the history of the United States. 

Friday, ostensibly to promote his book, “The Courage to be Free,” the potential Republican presidential candidate appeared in Iowa where he gave a speech in which he decried “wokeness” and, according to a report by Bloomberg, began informally assembling a staff of Republican operatives to help him in Iowa were he to, hypothetically, choose to run for the highest office in the land. 

The latter development was unofficial and certainly not as rhetorically charged as the governor’s speech – DeSantis was not even personally involved in the talks with potential staff – but any move in the direction of a declaration of candidacy is a major development in the world of Ron DeSantis. 

As to the former, DeSantis’ speech was, whether one likes or dislikes the message, definitively on brand for a governor whose stock in trade is fighting against progressivism and political correctness.

“We will never surrender to the woke mob,” DeSantis said at the Rhythm City Casino Resort in Davenport. “Our state is where the woke mob goes to die.”

DeSantis boasted of getting results for Floridians in numerous areas, saying, “We get things done, and in the process, we beat the left day after day, week after week, month after month.”

But the governor’s biggest message to the strongly conservative state was that he was a winner. 

Not even DeSantis’ most ardent critic can accuse him of squeaking out a victory over Charlie Crist in last year’s Florida governor’s race. Indeed, the once-battleground state swung so severely to the right during DeSantis’ first four years that it now appears to be a Republican stronghold. 

And he achieved the swing with the active opposition of former President Donald Trump, who has been on a monthslong quest to damage DeSantis and who also wants credit for Florida becoming a deeper shade of red. 

Getting credit for Florida could be key in a state like Iowa, where Gov. Kim Reynolds, who joined DeSantis on stage, told NBC News that Republican voters primarily want to win back the presidency from Joe Biden. 

“I think that’s where we’re at in Iowa. And probably, honestly for most of the country,” NBC quoted Reynolds as saying. “They want to make sure that we’re putting our best foot forward so that we’re successful in 2024.”

Polls suggest Iowans still largely prefer Trump to DeSantis, and to any other candidate, but his numbers have dropped slightly as Republican voters get more options. 

Iowa’s Republican Caucuses are slated for Feb. 5, 2024, and will continue to be the first presidential primary for Republicans. The first Democratic primary for 2024 will be on Feb. 3 in South Carolina.