Where Things Stand: Match Made In Reactionary Chucklehead Heaven

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Two dudes who have advanced their careers, in recent years, by saying and doing things to rile people up as they curate their cult of personality points are teaming up to make an announcement that everyone already had on their 2023 bingo card.

You’ve got Elon Musk in one corner — a man who will say just about anything to elevate his brand as the free speech Messiah. And then you’ve got Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the other — Trump’s long-anticipated 2024 rival who has spent the last year using his Republican-dominated state legislature to pass outrageous, so-called “anti-woke” legislation packaged to appeal to the furthest-right MAGA voters and cushion his 2024 bid.

Both guys thrive on reactionary content, meaning it’s less surprising than it probably should be that DeSantis is teaming up with Musk to announce his presidential campaign on Twitter, the once usable social media platform that Musk has turned into a free-for-all hellscape. NBC and the New York Times reported today that DeSantis will announce his bid during a sit-down discussion between the pair on Twitter Spaces at 6 p.m. ET tomorrow.

Beyond the fact that this is a match made seemingly to appeal to a narrow cross-section of Joe Rogan bros and ultra-online debate club aficionados, the two have been scratching each other’s backs in weird ways in recent years.

Leading up to the Musk-Twitter trial — which eventually ended with Musk being forced to make good on his promise and buy Twitter — a trove of Musk text messages were made public. In one exchange from April 2022, Joe Lonsdale, the co-founder of Palantir who has his own history with racist and sexist remarks, texted Musk letting him know that he had just spoken to DeSantis about Musk’s plans for combatting supposed “arbitrary censorship” on Twitter and DeSantis was a fan.

“Haha even Governor DeSantis just called me just now with ideas how to help you and outrages at that board and saying the public is rooting for you,” Lonsdale texted Musk. “Let me know if you or somebody on your side wants to chat w him.”

“Haha cool.” Musk replied, sidestepping that invitation.

But the relationship apparently warmed from there. In November, Musk made headlines when he tweeted saying he was leaning toward supporting DeSantis in 2024 after claiming he had voted Republican for the first time in 2022.

DeSantis responded to the subtle nod of support by making a really, really weird but also designed-to-be-incendiary joke about Musk being born in South Africa.

Tomorrow’s chucklehead fest will likely produce the same caliber content.

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