Sunday, April 14, 2024

Trump’s Strange Reaction to the DeSantis Candidacy

On Wednesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, and the reaction from his most formidable opponent, Donald Trump, was… odd.

Trump took to Truth Social to blast DeSantis in a number of posts that highlighted what Trump perceives as DeSantis’ disloyalty. A couple of slick videos looked like ads waiting to be run on national TV. Perhaps the most damning of the group was a video showing DeSantis reading a children’s book, where he tells a little girl to, “Make America Great Again.”

Head Scratching Posts

All of that would have been considered standard fare for a presidential campaign, especially when the opponent is Donald Trump, but there were two posts in particular that raised eyebrows and left both DeSantis and Trump supporters shaking their head in disbelief.

The “red button” Trump refers to was first raised in the initial phase of the unusual relationship between Kim Jong Un and Trump when they were both saber rattling. Trump’s response to Kim threatening to nuke the U.S. was to remind him that his (Trump’s) button was bigger, more powerful, and it actually worked.

Twitter Loses Its Mind

Naturally, as the “red button” Truth post went viral, Twitter lost its collective mind. From claims of dementia, to praise for his genius, the Twitterverse struggled to figure out the meaning of it all, especially the reference Trump made to Kim as someone who was “soon to become my friend.”

The other post might have been even more bizarre, if that’s possible. It mocked the disastrous announcement of DeSantis’ candidacy on a special Twitter Spaces event hosted by Elon Musk. Plagued by glitches, audio dropping out, lost streams and people talking over each other, it provided the exact kind of embarrassing fodder Trump thrives on. According to Trump’s version of the rollout, besides Elon Musk as MC, the audience included George Soros, Dick Cheney, Adolph Hitler and Satan. The audio includes a lot of loud coughing, throat clearing, silence and arguing that is mostly dominated by Hitler.

The day following the DeSantis announcement, 27 of Trump’s top 30 Truth posts focused on “Rob,” as Trump now calls DeSantis, in one form or another. Clearly, Trump plans to unleash the hounds of hell for a very specific reason. Throughout his career, Trump has repeatedly demonstrated a very wide and deep soft spot for one particular quality.


When loyalty is given, Trump returns it in spades, but when he feels like he’s been betrayed, he fires off all the megatonnage with the intent of turning his opponent into the political version of Bakhmut. Couple that with the perception that DeSantis is this cycle’s Jeb Bush in terms of threat assessment, and you begin to understand just how quickly this campaign is going to become ugly trench warfare.

Trump Gains the Upper Hand as Usual

In a stunning display of political savvy, Trump once again deflated DeSantis’ momentum and stole the day. The curiosity surrounding the Truth posts was purposeful and ensured the above-the-line stories the following day on the blogs that matter would focus on Trump. Whether the stories are positive or negative is almost immaterial. They’re talking about Trump, not DeSantis, and that was the goal.

Round one: Trump.