MAGA Chaos: Ron DeSantis Will Not Seek Trump’s Endorsement

Per Politico today:

According to four people connected to the governor and former president, DeSantis has not asked Trump for a formal endorsement and isn’t planning to. It’s a clear sign that DeSantis, who more than four years ago was a little-known congressman from northeast Florida, has risen high in the GOP stratosphere.

Note the attribution, “four people connected to the governor and the former president.” That is the MAGA that the nation is used to seeing, the interconnecting web, everyone linked to everyone else, seamless, and unbroken. Trump, obviously, was the ruthless spider in the center, indiscriminate, capturing any person or dollar fluttering by, letting nothing go. Ever.

No more.

This has been coming for quite some time, MAGA has become more than one man. It is split. Perhaps if Trump was a normal person, a normal candidate, he could’ve kept it going. But the baggage is getting heavy even for him.

As was reported just a few days ago, there is a growing consensus that Trump is running in 2024, to get revenge for these hearings as much as anything, and job one within the Trump camp is to burn DeSantis to the ground. DeSantis is one of the few MAGA Republicans who never agreed to forgo a run if Trump entered the race. It was not an oversight, it was a roadblock. Both camps seem to understand the dynamic. DeSantis must believe he’s outgrown Trump and he may be right. Back to Politico:

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has plenty of advantages ahead of his November reelection. More than $100 million in the bank. A growing statewide Republican voter advantage. Massive popularity with the conservative base.

What DeSantis doesn’t need and isn’t requesting: former President Donald Trump’s endorsement.

Correct. To the extent that Florida was ever a “purple” state, it hasn’t elected a Democrat to a national or gubernatorial office in recent memory and though it’s conceivable that DeSantis could face a worthy challenge from a Democrat, he has no worries on the Right. So the last thing DeSantis needs is Trump’s endorsement.

It is the refusal to even ask that will likely infuriate Trump. Trump would rather be hated than ignored. If he is hated at least he matters. Trump might well have been looking forward to denying DeSantis something even Trump knows is pro forma in Florida.

But it is the national impact, not the Floridian drama, that is newsworthy. MAGA world has effectively split. DeSantis sees himself as prominent as Trump and as electable as Trump. The claims are legitimate. Despite the fact that no one can know who would win a primary, two takeaways are a given. First, it doesn’t matter one iota that Trump gave DeSantis his start. Loyalty and all the usual whiny Trump justifications only matter when Trump is punching down.

Second, a possible DeSantis presidential run makes it far less likely that Trump will run at all. Trump’s decision had surely only considered the strength of the Democrats and whether Trump could defeat Joe Biden or a successor. Trump would, of course, fear one loss. But if Trump has to earn the Republican primary through a hard run across the country, not only does that mean spending (rather than collecting) far more money, but it means Trump has two opportunities to lose. It would seem safe to say that Trump fears a loss far more than he needs another win.

As for Democrats? The MAGA split is a gift from all the dogs in heaven. The MAGAs have earned the coming identity crisis. Does MAGA equate to one man, a continued cult of personality? Or one movement, bordering on religion? Is MAGA nothing more than the rejection of everything luringly Left and all that is awake?

We know the answer in Florida. Outside of Florida, MAGAs may not be as quick to embrace DeSantis. The left can and will fantasize about Trump burning it all to the ground and running as a third-party candidate, letting DeSantis have the RNC and McConnell. But it is probably best that the left not get its hopes up too high. MAGA is only big enough for one man and they’ll battle that out on their own. But given that the old boy isn’t young and the young boy can pull off acting every bit as old and soulless, it would be hard not to put money on DeSantis if forced to choose right now. “Right now” happens to also coincide with the period before Garland makes his move, whatever it may be.



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