55 things you need to know about Ron DeSantis


He called his 2018 election “the most important election in our state’s history.” His margin of victory over Democrat Andrew Gillum was just 32,000 votes in a state of more than 21 million people.


He resolved to rule like someone who had won big. “I asked my transition people to give me a list of all the governor’s powers – constitutional powers, statutory powers, customary powers. What can I do myself? Why did I need the legislature? he said last year in a speech in Tallahassee at a Boys State convention. “You have to be aware of where all those pressure points are.”


The terms of three liberal justices on the state Supreme Court ended concurrently with his term as governor, and he replaced them with more conservative justices, which “reduced a barrier to my legislative agenda remaining ” “, as he put it. Since then, he has appointed four other such judges to the court. He is an admirer of Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas. He called Thomas “our greatest living judge” and praised him for his “steel-infused spine”.


In his first 14 months as governor, he prioritized Everglades restoration, raised teachers’ salaries, pardoned the Groveland Four in a long-running racial injustice case, allowed legalization of medical marijuana by the state and named a Democrat to head the Division of Emergency Management. “We were elected by the hair of our chinny-chin-chin,” Matt Gaetz, the Florida Republican congressman who chaired the DeSantis transition, recently told TIME’s Molly Ball, “so the goal…was to grow the universe of DeSantis supporters in the state of Florida and do better with non-white voters, independents, suburban voters and young people.


Covid changed it.

“As a country, as a culture, Covid has divided us,” said David Jolly, the Republican former congressman from the Tampa Bay area who is now a freelancer and MSNBC analyst, “and he had to choose a side”. He did.

After initially instituting a month-long stay-at-home order, he has permanently and pugnaciously reversed course, pledging no more lockdowns, insisting schools be open and in person, touting the vaccines at first, but then banning any mandate. Mocked and hated by the left, he became a hero on the right. Fueled since by contempt for his enemies, he has doubled and tripled on an imperious, anti-“woke” posturing of culture-war as public policy – the anti-LGBTQ, anti-race rhetoric and rhetoric DEI and legislation, the heavy hand on the K-12 education front at New College Sarasota, the flight of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, the six-week abortion ban, the ongoing struggle with Disney even as it pisses off sequel donors and C-executives…


He removed the elected chief prosecutor in Tampa, citing a pair of statements Andrew Warren had signed with dozens of other prosecutors around the country that criticized the criminalization of abortion and health care for people. transgender. “This,” Warren told POLITICO, “poses a unique threat to democracy.”


In an unprecedented move, DeSantis last year unilaterally redesigned Florida’s congressional districts to be more Republican, diluting black voting power.


He almost entirely avoided mainstream journalists and spoke almost exclusively to center-right outlets like Fox News or mostly sycophantic startups.


“The governor of Florida has a pair,” said golf balls he sold on his campaign website when he ran for re-election last year.


There were more than 225,000 more Democrats than Republicans in Florida at the start of DeSantis’ term as governor. There are now more than 380,000 more Republicans.


“We have rewritten the political map,” he said in his victory speech last November.


“He must resist becoming the protagonist of his own Greek tragedy,” Mac Stipanovich told POLITICO in Tallahassee late last year, suggesting that DeSantis’ greatest enemy is not Trump. “It’s pride.”


“I don’t really spend a lot of time reflecting on myself,” he told POLITICO in his office in the summer of 2020. “My perspective is, what more can I do?”


One of his top aides in the governor’s office once compared him to the robot in the movie “Short Circuit.” Johnny 5 takes in information at comical speeds while asking for more. “Seize! No more entry!”


He had three chiefs of staff during his three terms in Congress.


He has had three chiefs of staff so far in his five years as governor.


DeSantis’ extended orbit is littered with disgruntled former assistants. “They use people like toilet paper,” a top Republican strategist once said. vanity lounge of DeSantis and his wife. There is an unofficial “support group”.


He’s been called by Trump so far “Ron DeSanctimonious”, “Meatball Ron”, “Tiny D” and also sometimes …”Rob.” It will only intensify.


“He’s running for president,” former Florida Democratic Senator Annette Taddeo told POLITICO in 2021, “from the minute he was elected.”


No. He’s been running for president for much longer than that. “His goal was to be President of the United States,” one of his Little League teammates once said. Tampa Bay Weather. “I never doubted,” said another, “that he could be president.”

Sources: POLITICO, POLITICO Magazine, TIME, NBC News, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Tampa Bay Times, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Associated Press, The Baffler, The Washington Post , New York Post, Daily Mail, Yale Daily News, Daytona Beach News-Journal, Florida Politics, Florida Phoenix, Business Insider, Al Jazeera, ProPublica, Dreams of Our Founding Fathers: First Principles in the Age of Obama, by Ron DeSantis; And The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Plan for America’s Renewalby Ron DeSantis.


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