Governor DeSantis’s star keeps rising

DeSantis has an unmistakable political glow about him. Whether being treated like a star performer at a massive country music jam in Florida or being one of the top people on Donald Trump’s radar should Trump win again, people like what they see.

On Sunday, Florida held the largest music festival in America since February 2020. The Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam, in Panama City Beach, saw more than 20,000 people gather together for the three-day country music festival. Big stars were appearing: Lynyrd Skynyrd, Luke Bryan, Brooks & Dunn, Chris Stapleton…and Ron DeSantis. Yup, DeSantis dropped by for a quick visit and got the same star treatment as the named performers:

“We chose freedom over Fauci-ism” is a great line and an even greater idea.

President Trump has reflected the same positive vibe for Ron DeSantis. At the end of April, when Maria Bartiromo asked Trump whether he’d consider DeSantis for a potential running mate, Trump had good things to say about DeSantis and said that he’d consider him as a running mate:

Back then, though, that seemed like a completely hypothetical scenario because Trump wasn’t talking about running again.

However, on Monday, when the possibility of Trump running against seemed less hypothetical and more like something he might actually do, Stuart Varney again posed the DeSantis question. And again, with more specificity, Trump expressed interest in considering DeSantis as a 2024 running mate:

“Sure I would … I would certainly consider Ron,” Trump, 74, told Fox Business‘ Stuart Varney in a phone interview Monday.

“I was at the beginning of Ron,” he said of the 42-year-old former Navy officer who graduated both Yale and Harvard Law School.

“I was the first one to endorse him when he came out as a congressman that a lot of people didn’t know, and my endorsement helped him tremendously,” Trump said.

“And I know him very well. He’s a great guy,” Trump added.

The fact that Trump didn’t instantly say something like, “No, if I run again, I’m having Mike Pence at my side,” reflects a few things. First, Mike Pence isn’t a rock star and, after the way he shepherded Florida through COVID, as well as his successful battles against tech companies and cruise lines, DeSantis is.

Second, Trump may be bitter over Pence’s implying that he thought Trump was at fault for events on January 6.

Third, in addition to sour feelings between the two men, Trump supporters are not going to support someone who accepts the Democrat line about that day.

My own take is that Trump was a brilliant president, that he won the last election and, regrettably, that I’ll feel uncomfortable voting in 2024 for a man who will be 78 when he takes office. Trump has remarkable vigor, both physical and intellectual, but my experience with my mother and the people in her elder care facility is that, just as babies turn into toddlers and then young children with incredible rapidity, some older people, sadly, decline with equal rapidity.

Having a demented president is dangerous enough now without asking for it a second time. And no, it’s not fair that he got cheated out of a second term, but life isn’t fair. All of America also got the short end of the stick when Trump was cheated out of office.

My preference two years before presidential campaigning begins (and two years is a lifetime in politics) is for Ron DeSantis to head the ticket, with any number of highly qualified young Republicans to stand as his Vice. Trump would act as kingmaker. As for Ted Cruz, whom I’ve always liked, I would love to see him on the Supreme Court. Indeed, if John Roberts felt that retirement was a good idea, I think Cruz would make an awesome Chief Justice.

IMAGE: Trump and Ron DeSantis. YouTube screengrab.

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