Trump vs. DeSantis: Let The War Games Begin

These “war games” have an evolving high-stakes dramatic plot with hulking characters that could have sprung from the minds of Hollywood screenwriters. We begin “season one” with the protagonist’s backstory.

Donald J. Trump is a 75-year-old former President of the United States who has been indicted twice for one term and lost the popular vote in 2016 and 2020. But his fragile psyche (some say narcissistic) prevents him admit defeat in re-election before President BidenJoe Biden Florida Republicans Vote To Limit Vaccine Mandates Bill Honoring 13 Service Members Killed In Afghanistan Heads To Biden’s Desk Overnight Defense And Homeland Security – Presented By Boeing – Pentagon Promises More Transparency In air strikes MORE, whom Trump considers weak, inferior and mentally challenged.

“Loss” is a trigger word since losing is a non-existent concept in the mind of the former president. Therefore, to make up for and rationalize the loss of Trump’s official re-election, he and his most loyal supporters repeatedly say that the election was stolen, which became known as the “Big Lie.”

Then, on January 6, 2021, the Big Lie came to life when Trump inspired a group of his followers to “stop the robbery.” Congressional leaders are currently trying to determine the exact role Trump played when some of his supporters attacked the United States Capitol. As a result, Trump was swiftly impeached a second time by the House of Representatives on January 13. But the Senate acquitted him on February 13, and Trump was not barred from holding public office.

Shortly after Biden’s inauguration, Trump began flirting with avenging his stolen “victory,” continuing to raise mega-million Republican voters while maintaining his status as the unofficial leader of the Republican Party. Last month a Quinnipiac University Survey found that 78 percent of Republicans surveyed thought Trump should run again, but 94 percent of Democrats and 58 percent of independents disagreed.

Trump also faces a host of legal challenges stemming from charges against his business empire, his conduct after the 2020 election, and fights for executive privileges with Congress regarding the events of January 6.

“Season one” concludes with Trump’s recent Fox News interview in which he said he had made his decision to run again and “I think a lot of people will be very happy … I will probably announce it after the by-elections. ”

The “second season” begins with Trump’s antagonist: the popular governor of Florida. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantis Florida Republicans vote to limit DeSantis vaccination mandates to offer new correctional officers a bonus of up to 000 The Memo: The Abbott vs. O’Rourke will echo across the country MORE – which channels Trump’s fighting spirit of “win at all costs.” He is an ambitious 43-year-old Naval Reserve officer, Yale- and Harvard-educated, Bronze Star winner who hears echoes of “Hail to the Chief.”

Although the governor is running for what could be a very close 2022 re-election, DeSantis travels the nation raising millions dollars, confirming his status as the rising star of the Republican Party most likely to end all the drama of the Trump era.

But DeSantis owes its title to then …President TrumpDonald Trump On The Money – Biden Warns Oil Industry Memo: Gosar Censored, But Toxic Culture Rises Cleveland MLB Team Officially Renames Guardians Friday MORE. When he was initially preparing for the August 2018 GOP gubernatorial primary, DeSantis was an unknown congressman from Northeast Florida. That changed after he caught Trump’s attention on Fox News and received his initial surprise. approval on December 22, 2017. Reciprocating Trump’s love affair, DeSantis and his family starred in an embarrassing television commercial.

Three years later, the commercial reflects what Trump said in June On Fox Business, “I was at the beginning of Ron. I was the first to endorse him when he came out as a congressman that a lot of people didn’t know about. My endorsement helped him tremendously. “

In the 2018 election, DeSantis released a 0.4 percent margin of victory, but now enjoying national attention, a potential threat to Trump’s desire to avenge his 2020 defeat with a 2024 victory. Of course, Trump-world is ready to jump: “Given that Ron DeSantis owes so much his nomination as his gubernatorial pick to Donald Trump, I don’t think he should now use Florida as a stepping stone toward challenging the former president in 2024, “he warned Roger stoneRoger Jason Stone Memo: Democrats May Regret Prosecution of Bannon DeSantis Floats Police Force Formation To Crack Election Crimes Stone Says He Will Run For Florida Governor If DeSantis Doesn’t Audit MORE in an email responding to my question about the DeSantis / Trump conflict.

Note that Trump pardoned Stone shortly before leaving office, perhaps explaining Stone’s recent statement that DeSantis should I promise not to run for president in 2024 if re-elected in 2022.

Then, on November 12, Politico reported that Trump is “angry at DeSantis” because the governor “has not yet joined the other 2024 hopefuls in declaring that he will not run for president if Trump runs.”

DeSantis surely wants to avoid a higher ranking on Trump’s enemy list, but it is doubtful whether the governor will consent. However, the governor is supposed to want to campaign with the former president in his adopted home state.

Rather, Trump risks helping DeSantis win re-election by a wide margin, propelling the governor into a primary fight for the 2024 Republican nomination that Trump wants handed over to him.

So expect early battle lines to form between the GOP’s past and future in late February in CPAC in Orlando, Florida. For example, will CPAC event chair Matt Schlapp choose Trump or DeSantis as the keynote speaker? After all, DeSantis is the governor of the host state on the 2022 ballot.

I posed that question to Schlapp, who emailed me: “Stay tuned for announcements from CPAC speakers in Florida. All the keynote speakers will be there. “Yes, but in what hierarchical order? (Schlapp wisely avoided answering.) But added:” Governor DeSantis should focus on Florida, where he is showing America what a smart and respectful governor can do. to do to combat socialism from Washington. Everyone should focus on 2022. “

But the media will focus on who wins the informal 2024 Republican presidential nomination poll. The “third season” of the Trump vs. DeSantis begins at CPAC 2022.

Myra Adams writes on politics and religion for numerous publications. She is a contributor to RealClearPolitics and was part of the creative team for two Republican presidential campaigns in 2004 and 2008. Follow her on Twitter @MyraKAdams.

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