So I'm reading the latest Ron DeSantis puff piece, this one in The New York Times ...
Now, with Florida defying many of the gloomy projections of early 2020 and feeling closer to normal as the pandemic continues to dictate daily life in many other big states, Mr. DeSantis, 42, has positioned himself as the head of “the free state of Florida” and as a political heir to former President Donald J. Trump....
Mr. DeSantis’s political maneuvering and extensive national donor network have allowed him to emerge as a top Republican candidate to succeed Mr. Trump on the ballot in 2024 if the former president does not run again. The governor’s brand of libertarianism — or “competent Trumpism,” as one ally called it — is on the ascent.
... and eventually I get to the passage that appears in every puff piece about DeSantis:
Mr. DeSantis has raised his profile despite lacking the gregarious personality that might be associated with an aspiring Trump successor. Unlike the former president, no one would describe the publicly unemotional and not especially eloquent Mr. DeSantis as a showman.
In a long love note to DeSantis published by Politico last month, the version of that passage was this:
Newly ascendant though he might be, the “future of the party” is just as standoffish and uncharismatic as he’s always been.
The Politico story, by Michael Kruse, included a lengthy chronicle of the author's struggles to get face time with DeSantis; Patricia Mazzei, the autrhor of the Times story, tells us that DeSantis wouldn't agree to an interview with her.
So why is the media so taken with DeSantis? We know that some in the media crave the caffeine jolt of Trump's daily Twitter abuse.
Admit it, you want to see Trump ragetweeting through this
— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) March 12, 2021
It's a federal crime not to give Trump his account back for at least the next twelve hours
— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) March 31, 2021
But they're not getting that from DeSantis. So what are they getting?
In the Times, Mazzei writes:
... the governor’s favorite foes are the “corporate media,” against whom he has scored political points....
[A recent] “60 Minutes” [story] focused on how Publix supermarket pharmacies received [COVID vaccine] doses and left out relevant details, including an extended response from the governor at a news conference.
On Wednesday, in Mr. DeSantis’s words, he “hit them back right between the eyes,” accusing “60 Minutes” of pursuing a malicious narrative.
He left without taking questions.
They don't even care if the next Trump is boring -- they just want him to be nasty. They want someone who (a) is seen as presidential timber and (b) will abuse them.
(The abuse has to be from the right, of course. When President Biden didn't hold a press conference for a couple of months, they were livid, not besotted.)
They could get the abuse they want from any number of Trumpian lunatics who appear to want to be president -- Donald Trump Jr., Rand Paul, Ted Cruz. But DeSantis is a guy who's liked by both Trump voters and the members of the old-guard GOP establishment, people who, we're told, have been secretly whispering their disdain for Trump for the past five years. So he has across-the-board appeal (among Republicans, who are the only real Americans) and he hates the mainstream media. No wonder the MSM thinks he's dreamy.
Republished with permission from No More Mister Nice Blog.