For Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the timing couldn’t have been better.
In a campaign for re-election with national consequences, DeSantis made a pitch for voters to turn out for him in November, citing the razor-thin victory in 2018 that put him into the governor’s office — and made the Sunshine State the envy of the country when it came to the coronavirus lockdowns.
And the news this week out of California, with the once-Golden State on the verge of being paralyzed by a power failure of its own creation — and Gov. Gavin Newsom exposed again as the incompetent he is — made for a perfect contrast for the DeSantis campaign.
“Had that election come out differently, this state would be in way, way worse shape. I don’t think anybody would dispute that,” DeSantis said during a visit to Hillsborough County, according to the Tampa Free Press.
“You would’ve been California, Illinois and New York, all rolled into one.”
All three states have the perennial problems of regions dominated by Democrats, the result of leftist priorities that border on the insane.
But when it comes to the sheer magnitude of its misgovernance, California takes the title, as a heat wave taxes its power grid beyond its capacity — and exposes how shallow the Democrats’ infatuation with “green” energy really is.
And of the three, only Newsom saw fit to maybe get a running start in running for president in 2024 by having the gall to air ads in Florida in July accusing DeSantis of being a bully, claiming “freedom is under attack” in Florida and urging the state’s residents to move west.
DeSantis hit back hard at the time, as the New York Post reported. But on Wednesday, the news of California’s power problems gave DeSantis a new opening. And he struck.
“I hear a lot of people chirping about Florida from California. They’re so worried about Florida. They can’t even keep the power on in California, are you kidding me?” — @RonDeSantisFL pic.twitter.com/xpo9jR4fZt
— Team DeSantis (@teamrondesantis) September 7, 2022
“I hear a lot of people chirping about Florida from, like, California. They’re so worried about Florida,” DeSantis said. “They can’t even keep the power on in California. I mean, are you kidding me?”
“Once all the people that want to move to Florida move out of there, then maybe they’ll have adequate power. It’s just ridiculous.”
As usual, there were plenty of punks on social media who turned out to attack DeSantis. (Ever wonder if the patriots in Ukraine would be sickened by the weasels that sport the blue and yellow banner on so many Twitter accounts?)
But DeSantis had plenty of fans, too.
That should leave a mark!
— Science4Freedom (@ScienceNFreedom) September 8, 2022
Florida for the win
— Paul Garcia (@PaulGar64761898) September 8, 2022
California’s solution to their power needs pic.twitter.com/H5BD1Y1JHM
— Jopher (@JopherBReal) September 8, 2022
Ridiculous is right.
Newsom’s tenure in Sacramento is topping off more than a decade of Democrats controlling the legislative and executive branches in California. The results are predictable — crime and drugs rampant, an epidemic of homelessness that would shame the Third World and a one-party government that grows increasingly totalitarian (as the coronavirus pandemic proved).
Florida, meanwhile, which has had a Republican governor and legislature for the entire 21st century (save for a brief period when turncoat Charlie Crist tried to run for Senate as an independent while still holding the governor’s office), has been the picture of a thriving economy and a state that stared down the COVID-19 crisis without destroying itself or its citizens’ liberties in the process.
DeSantis’ success in handling COVID-19 has helped him build a national reputation, plus taking on progressive prosecutors and the woke corporate giants at Disney, standing up for parents’ rights over their own children’s education and generally showing himself to be the kind of politician conservatives can support.
Newsom, of course, as a Democratic hack right out of Hollywood central casting, can claim none of that.
And the state of his state shows it. California’s population actually declined last year, for the first time in recorded history. That’s not an accident.
Given the current political climate and the realities of the human condition, it’s not impossible that either or both of these men could be their party’s nominee for president in 2024. (That’s not a comment on either the merits or political strength of either former President Donald Trump, 76, or — God help us — President Joe Biden, 79. Just pointing out that actuarial tables exist for a reason.)
As in life itself, though, nothing is guaranteed in politics.
DeSantis defeated his opponent that year — former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum — by only 33,000 votes out of more than 8 million cast. That’s less than half a percentage point. (And consider how Gillum turned out, proof again that the Lord works in mysterious ways.)
And besides putting former President Donald Trump in prison (or rooting through Melania’s underwear again), there’s probably nothing Democrats nationally would like more than to see DeSantis defeated for re-election this year — particularly by the bloodless, opportunistic, former-Republican, career politician Charlie Crist.
Republicans, in Florida or nationwide, can’t be too complacent about a DeSantis victory.
But DeSantis has a record to run on, while Newsom’s four years of failure are a national embarrassment that would disqualify him for dog catching if he were anywhere outside the People’s Republic of California.
DeSantis also has a boxer’s sense of timing — knowing when hitting an opponent can do the most damage.
And in that news conference, with California’s power failures making headlines nationwide, the timing couldn’t have been better.