Why Trump Attacks DeSantis
Let us list together the 19 reasons....
A big help…..
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Why are Donald Trump and Team Trump going tong and hammer after Ron DeSantis now, in March 2023, well before the Sunshine State topper is expected to become a formal candidate?
The reasons are many. Some obvious and some less so.
There’s no doubt these attacks are real and a concerted strategy. The manifestations are abundant, but my favorite so far is this Roger Stone tweet:
Here, then (with a likely 96-hour minimum delay in meaningful Gotham City indictment watch…), in no particular order, are the nineteen reasons Trump & Co. are going hard after DeSantis. Note that many of these factors are interconnected.
1. Halperin’s Seventh Rule of Presidential Politics: New negative information represents a high percentage of what voters and reporters know about an undefined candidate fresh on the national stage. New negative information about a newbie is thus typically more impactful than the basic bio. John Kerry windsurfing in 2004 was a devastating metaphor because the electorate was just getting to meet the chap. The DeSantis rocket ride has been fueled almost exclusively by his Florida record and rhetoric. He is, in fact, largely unknown to the media and the public. Team Trump understands that if they supply and amplify negative facts and spin now, those elements could lock in perceptions forever.
2. Donald Trump bores easily, and these past few years he has been bored without full contact high-stakes playoff games -- so this kind of politics jazzes him up.
3. Team Trump knows that the biggest complaint/concern many Republican voters have about Trump being the nominee are put in sharp relief by the indictments threat–-because of both fatigue over Trump’s bad behavior and worry that the press, Democrats, and public will never stop badgering Trump on the campaign trail and beyond. Promoting negative attacks about DeSantis in the media changes the subject.
4. Team Trump ferociously wants to keep DeSantis from becoming the consensus alternative to their guy.
5. There is a spirited under-the-radar competition between Trump and DeSantis for the support and allegiance of donors, pols, and early state strategists and activists, even before DeSantis becomes a formal candidate. For the folks on Team Trump, it is urgent to sow doubts about their rival while the bazaar is open and busy.
6. Polling momentum is everything. Until the attacks, DeSantis was riding high in the polling, even leading Trump in some surveys. Now, as you all know, Trump is back with the Big Mo.
7. The media currently is sparked by the “King Kong versus Godzilla” storyline, giving Team Trump the opportunity to feed the (press) beast.
8. If you looked at the DNA of Trump adviser Chris LaCivita under a powerful microscope, you would know cutting moves and competitive spirit create the space where he lives.
9. Winning presidential candidates control the public images of both themselves and of their rivals, and Donald Trump knows this.
10. Attack attack attack is what worked for Trump in 2016, and his 2024 campaign is self-consciously trying to replicate and reprise what made winning magic the first go round.
11. Team Trump lives by the dictum “What’s mine is mine and what’s yours we will negotiate.”
12. Trump is convinced DeSantis has a glass jaw.
13. Trump is fascinated by gossip about anyone who stands in the way of what he wants – and fascinated by how to use such gossip for political advantage. Trump knows a lot of gossip about Ron DeSantis.
14. Nicking DeSantis enough to put blood in the water spurs aspiring Third Men and Woman to go after the Florida governor as well.
15. When the voting starts, Trump needs a busy field of four or five candidates who each can pull anywhere from 5% to 15% -- so he wants to drive DeSantis down right now to encourage folks not to drop out.
16. Team Trump wants to force all the bloggers and influencers who have been MAGA in the past to pick sides now – and to pick Trump.
17. Donald Trump knows what Joe Biden knows: He can’t win a referendum up or down but he still can win the election if voters don’t compare him to the Almighty but instead compare him to the (battered) alternative.
18. Team Trump knows that most of the Dominant Media is a pack of lazy lemmings. While members of the press might not bother with deep investigative dives on DeSantis on their own, they will cheerfully give wide pick up to pre-packaged storylines against the Sunshine State guv.
19. DeSantis is not sufficiently staffed up to reply or counterattack to serious assaults with rapid response.
And don’t look for these Trump efforts to abate, especially when they are yielding results, such as the changes in polling and headlines like this from Politico:
Also, Trump will have ample opportunities to take shots Saturday night at his Waco rally and in his Monday interview with Hannity.
To be continued….
* The New York Post with reporting that is neither shocking nor surprising (if you are a human being):
While Donald Trump is energized about his possible arrest and indictment, his family is not excited, a source tells Page Six.
We reported this week that the former president is in “high spirits” — and that his team is “pumped” — over all the media attention he’s getting, as they think it’ll rile up his base.
However, a source tells us his wife, Melania, isn’t showing the same enthusiasm.
“She wants to be away from it. She wants to protect [their son] Barron,” 17, says a source.
“Melania is lying very low,” the insider continued. “She hasn’t been coming out for the dinners and events at Mar-a-Lago. He is acting like everything is normal, but she hasn’t been social.”
* Reuters with reporting that is neither shocking nor surprising (if you are a Wide World of News reader):
Democratic sources say Biden has frustrations about some of her work. He is also convinced that neither Harris nor any other Democratic hopefuls would be able to beat former President Donald Trump if he is the Republican nominee, a factor that has influenced Biden's inclination to run again, one former White House official said….
Some Democrats, including people who have worked in Biden's West Wing, expressed disappointment that Harris has not stepped up more on critical issues, taking advantage of her platform and inoculating herself -- and her running mate -- against the criticism that could overshadow their next campaign.
"I think this is actually one of the fundamental strategic challenges for (Biden) ... how to navigate this," said one Democrat with close ties to the White House, noting the implausibility of replacing Harris on the presidential ticket. "It's almost impossible for them to make a change….”
[S]ome who work in or have worked in his West Wing said her engagement on policy was lacking.
"A point of tension in their relationship is that I don't think that the president sees her as somebody who takes anything off of his plate," a second former White House official said, adding a "fear of messing up" had led Harris to be late to the game on important issues.
* Add Peggy Noonan to the list of those who think the Stormy Daniels matter should not be the basis for the first presidential indictment ever and the New York Times to the list of those who think the documents obstruction of justice case is the biggest legal and political danger Trump faces. PS: OMG the Times has a LOT of reporters on the Trump beat right now.
* Great yarn: The New York Times turns a reader tip into the confirmed discovery of a missing portrait of Donald Trump.
Piers Morgan is joined by Governor of Florida and potential Republican contender for White House Ron DeSantis, for an exclusive and uncensored tell-all interview. They cover everything from his critiques of former President Donald Trump, his opinions on Vladimir Putin and banning TikTok to stop the Chinese government harvesting data from US citizens. Piers also goes on to ask about media reports accusing him force feeding inmates while serving in Guantanamo Bay, find out what DeSantis says in this hour long interview with Piers Morgan Uncensored. Find out if Ron DeSantis really did eat a chocolate pudding with his fingers...