The Lonesome Tale of Meatball Ron

on December 13, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Florida Governor-elect Ron DeSantis (R) sits next to President Donald Trump during a meeting in the Cabinet Room at the White House on December 13, 2018. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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There’s currently a flood of members of Congress from Florida endorsing Donald Trump and not Ron DeSantis. I’m trying to keep up with how many are just from the last couple days. I think it’s five new Trump endorsements either officially announced in the couple days or reported as on the way. It all comes right after DeSantis visited DC to round up endorsements or at least get former House colleagues not to endorse Trump. Not yet at least.

It’s a rebuke and a humiliation, almost certainly choreographed by Trump. It’s all part of the story of DeSantis’s collapsing campaign, a story much of the press still won’t quite accept. But there’s a specific part of this I want to highlight for you.

A number of these endorsements reference Trump making a personal call requesting the endorsement, or being on hand for some favor in the past. Rep. Stuebe of Florida told Playbook that Trump called him at the ICU after he was in an accident with a tree back in January. DeSantis never called. “To this day I have not heard from Gov. DeSantis.”

There’s a lot of “Don was there for me when my pet iguana Fred died” kind of stuff. By implication, if not always explicitly, they make clear that DeSantis didn’t do any of these things.

For most reporters and many political people this is pushing on an open door. DeSantis is rather notoriously not a people person. He’s socially awkward. He’s not a glad hander. So these stories ring true about DeSantis and they may well be true. But I strongly suggest not taking them at face value. Is Trump really a shoulder to cry on? He’s definitely a guy who works the phones. But these very much look like stories crafted to fit a specific narrative and ones geared to speak in the Trumpian language of humiliation.

I mean, the bottom fell out of DeSantis’s in-state endorsements right after he finally made the ask. That’s no accident.

Another example, this one from Texas. Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX) said this on Twitter last night: “Today, after careful consideration and a positive meeting with Governor DeSantis, I have decided to endorse President @realDonaldTrump for 2024.” This isn’t a statement of fact. It’s a coldhearted humiliation. Ron DeSantis did the best he could. And I’m actually mentioning his best shot as I announce that I’m doing exactly what Ron begged me not to do: endorse Donald Trump.

All of these statements have the fingerprints of Donald Trump all over them.

Ron brought three fingers to a gun fight. Stick a spork in him. He’s done.

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