Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s commencement into the presidential race proved more turbulent than expected, stirring up discussions and even causing a flip-flop in endorsements. A governor known for his unyielding stance on individual liberties and strong leadership during crisis, DeSantis experienced an initial setback in the form of a bumpy Twitter campaign launch.
DeSantis announced his candidacy on Wednesday, and while some media outlets were quick to label the rollout as “glitch-filled” and a “flop”, it’s clear that it’s too early to discount his presidential run based on a minor misstep. As many seasoned politicians know, the road to the White House is long and winding, and not without its share of bumps.
In a somewhat surprising turn of events, the initial turbulence caused a shift in support from the governor. A previously-DeSantis-backed New Hampshire group, Never Back Down PAC, had garnered the support of 51 Republicans from the New Hampshire legislature. However, some of these endorsements saw an about-face in the wake of DeSantis’s campaign kick-off.
Most notably, New Hampshire State Rep. Sandra Panek, who was listed among DeSantis’s supporters, switched her endorsement to former President Donald Trump. In her statement, she emphasized the need for a “proven winner” like President Trump to reclaim the White House, casting doubt on DeSantis’s ability due to the rocky start to his campaign.
Further solidifying support for Trump, State Rep. Juliet Harvey-Bolia, who had previously indicated support for both candidates, withdrew her backing for DeSantis. In her endorsement for Trump, she lauded his past record and suggested DeSantis as a potential candidate for 2028 instead.
Trump himself joined the chorus of critics regarding DeSantis’s campaign event, suggesting that the misstep could be challenging to overcome. But DeSantis, resilient and undeterred, did not offer apologies. Instead, he focused on the attention that the campaign has garnered, hoping that the buzz will pique the interest of potential supporters.
Despite the initial turbulence, it’s essential to remember that DeSantis has demonstrated admirable leadership and tenacity in his role as governor. His firm stance on issues like individual rights and economic prosperity embodies conservative values, a crucial aspect for many supporters. One hiccup does not define a campaign, especially at such an early stage.
And while there are some negative narratives being spun about DeSantis’s campaign launch, it’s critical to remember that a conservative is more than their campaign rollout, but their values, record, and ability to stay steadfast in their commitments. The race to 2024 is still on, and as DeSantis’s journey unfolds, we look forward to seeing how this stalwart leader continues to embrace and champion conservative ideals.