Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, a more presentable Trump

Keith Cunningham is a Republican, a real one. The 74-year-old retiree from Florida wears a cap defending the right to bear arms, his wife, suspicious of the media, demands to see our ID and, in the garage of his house, overwhelmed by Hurricane Ian , in the bay of Fort Myers, he says he is ready to let go of Donald Trump for the presidential election of 2024. “Trump had great policies, but he didn’t want to shut it down and that pissed everyone off,” he confides this Sunday in October, before praising the qualities of Ron DeSantis, the Republican governor of the State of Florida.

“DeSantis has the same ideas, but he shuts it up. » A more presentable Trump, less exuberant but just as conservative, even reactionary, is the perfect candidate for the White House, according to many conservatives in Florida.

Ron DeSantis, 44, is currently the only credible alternative to Donald Trump within the Republican Party. A suitor on whom very few would have bet in 2018, when he was elected by a wire governor of the “Sunshine State”. At the time, this slightly plump man was only an obscure representative in Congress from Florida. The local Republican elite was not counting on him. Cleverly, Ron DeSantis frequented the studios of the conservative channel Fox News, understanding that the path to power passed less through visits to supermarkets than through Donald Trump, the president around whom all politics in the United States was concentrated.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Who is Ron DeSantis, the Republican who could face Donald Trump

Thus, watching on Fox the young representative speak well of him, Mr. Trump ended up supporting him, at the end of 2017: “Congressman Ron DeSantis is a brilliant young leader, Yale and then straight to Harvard, who would make a GREAT governor of Florida. He loves our country and is a real FIGHTER”, had tweeted the president, who helped him win the primary hands down. DeSantis went so far as to air a campaign spot in which his 3-year-old daughter built Trump’s desired wall along the Mexican border with studs.

Trumpist before the hour

Ron DeSantis then has the perfect pedigree to take off in politics. This Catholic born in Florida, son of a television installer and a nurse, studied history at the prestigious Yale University and distinguished himself there by becoming captain of the baseball team. He studied law at Harvard then joined the Navy in 2004. In 2006, the young lieutenant traveled back and forth to the Guantanamo base, where he was supposed to verify that the rights of prisoners, as defined by the Pentagon , are respected. He became an adviser to the Navy Seals special forces and was deployed to Iraq, where a photo shows him in combat gear in front of a tank.

You have 71.14% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.

Leave a Comment