DeSantis Faces Major Test as Governor and 2024 Candidate

DeSantis Faces Major Test as Governor and 2024 Candidate

As a strong Category 3 hurricane, Hurricane Idalia landed in Florida on Wednesday morning, knocking out electricity for hundreds of thousands of people and creating dangerous floods in some areas of the storm-prone state.

DeSantis Faces Major Test as Governor and 2024 Candidate

Although it is still too early to determine the extent of the hurricane’s destruction, DeSantis’ handling and response to the disaster will be closely watched by his political rivals and potential supporters.

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There are numerous televised press conferences that DeSantis and his emergency team hold each day. The governor spoke about the hurricane’s path, possible evacuations, school closures, power disruptions, and how the state planned to react while appearing exhausted.

DeSantis has so far set his combative tendencies aside and concentrated on the storm and its aftermath, much as he did after the deadly Hurricane Ian last year.

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DeSantis also dismissed a query regarding previous President Donald Trump‘s failure to mention Hurricane Idalia during a hurricane briefing on Wednesday morning in Tallahassee by responding, “That’s not my concern.” When asked how he would balance the current duty with his presidential campaign, he deemed the matter “important” and responded, “You do what you need to do.”

Longtime Republican strategist David Kochel, a veteran of numerous GOP presidential campaigns, said, “The stakes are always high when it comes to things like a hurricane response. There’s usually more to lose than to gain, though. He’s always been seen as a competent leader, so he carries those expectations with him. I think that’s one of the reasons he won a landslide in 2022.”

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Bryan Koon, who oversaw Florida’s emergency management division under Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), DeSantis’ predecessor in the governor’s workplace, said the public’s evaluation of DeSantis’ management of the hurricane will “depend on what damage has occurred.” He also indicated it might take a few days or weeks before he’s prepared to run for office once more.

However, Koon argued that portraying bipartisanship is crucial because it “cements the vision that you are a leader and that, after you are elected, you will be a president for all Americans.” He stated, “This will be an opportunity to start demonstrating that now,”

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Koon added that the governor will have the chance to engage in retail politics once the storm has passed by assessing the damage, assisting with the disposal of debris, and offering financial support.

Koon claimed, “It’s a chance to, depending on how you handle it, humanize yourself, and become more relatable and engage with normal Floridians.”

The campaign’s spokesperson, Andrew Romeo, told reporters in a memo before Hurricane Idalia made landfall, “This is the strong leadership in times of crisis that Americans can expect from a President DeSantis.”

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In a crucial period for DeSantis’ presidential campaign, the hurricane hit Florida. After seeing a recent decline in poll results, the governor has reorganized his campaign staff to gain traction in the race.

It also occurred just after the first GOP presidential debate, which witnessed a surge in campaign donations for DeSantis and at least one poll that indicated he might win.

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DeSantis generally received great praise for how he led the state through Hurricane Ian, one of the deadliest storms in American history that claimed more than 140 lives and left billions of dollars in damage, which struck the state last year.

Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida and a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination made his name by addressing topics related to the culture war. But to be seen as a leader in one of his campaign’s most crucial moments, he must embrace bipartisanship and civility.

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About the author

Nancy Beverly

Nancy Beverly is a prominent political journalist and editor at World-Wire, known for her sharp analysis and deep understanding of global politics. With a Master's degree in Political Science, she excels in breaking down complex political issues, making them relatable to the public. At World-Wire, Nancy crafts compelling political narratives covering everything from local governance to international relations. Recognized for her expertise, she received the 'Excellence in Political Journalism' award in 2021. Nancy's work not only informs but also enriches her readers' understanding of political dynamics.

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