Repub Running against Trump is more of a risk for DeSantis than peaking too soon

Buick Electra

TB2K Girls with Guns
This seems to be Trump's warning shot (what he truthed out today] to DeSantis.


Running against Trump is more of a risk for DeSantis than peaking too soon, said a GOP strategist who was betting big on the Florida governor​

  • The midterms are ahead but there's plenty of speculation about who'll run for president in 2024.
  • The most talked about Republicans are former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
  • A seasoned GOP operative told Insider why he thought the matchup would hurt DeSantis.
It's one of the most gossiped-about stories in politics: Would Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis challenge former President Donald Trump for the 2024 Republican nomination for president?

On the one hand, running against Trump comes with a lot of risk. Trump will get vicious and will get loads of media attention, and in the end GOP competitors might only have a Trump-branded nickname to show for it all. Just ask "Low-Energy Jeb," "Little Marco," and "Lyin' Ted Cruz."

On the other hand, politicians know that sometimes the difference between winning and losing is all about timing. For example, there's broad consensus now that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie missed his moment to run for president.

And if anyone is having a moment right now, it's DeSantis.

But at least one GOP operative — John Thomas, founder and president of the political advertising and strategy group Thomas Partners Strategies — thinks it's better for DeSantis to wait than to try to challenge Trump in 2024.

"I wouldn't advise him to go head to head with Trump," Thomas told Insider. "It's not gonna go well for DeSantis."

Until recently, Thomas was independently readying a political action committee to support DeSantis running for president.

But now he predicts DeSantis would be unsuccessful if he tried to challenge Trump. If DeSantis were to run, he said, he wouldn't have to just compete with Trump's name recognition and donor network.

DeSantis would also risk seeing what would happen if Trump's followers suddenly viewed him as anti-Trump. Right now, DeSantis is seen as not just pro-Trump but as being Trump 2.0, Thomas said. To run against Trump, he said, DeSantis would have to convince Trump's core electorate to break away from him.

"Right now he can have his cake and eat it too," he said. "He can be Trumpy and supportive. But he would have to argue that he's better, or Trump is bad. And that is a fault line that is probably a bridge too far for the Republican electorate in 2024."

During the last two years, DeSantis has been able to use Florida governor's perch to get headlines, but he'll be term-limited out by 2026, which raises the question of what he'd do to remain a GOP big shot ahead of a 2028 run.

Thomas, who also ran one of the main advertising efforts in support of then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh's Senate confirmation to the Supreme Court, acknowledged that by waiting until 2028 DeSantis may risk peaking in 2022, the year he's widely expected to win reelection in Florida.

But Thomas said the only question DeSantis should be asking is whether he thinks he can win.

"My humble strategist advice would be you can't win in a head to head against Trump today, unless there was just some kind of seismic shift," he said. "And you just have to hope that there's another moment or you can create a another moment."

The problem, Thomas said, is Trump's knack to define his opponents. If DeSantis runs and loses, but is scarred from a 2024 primary, then he could be "pretty much dead on arrival" for 2028, Thomas said.

"Trump can end careers," he said. "I think he revels in it."

Plus, plenty of other Republicans are planning to get into the 2024 race regardless of what Trump does. That means they could all go after DeSantis with opposition research to take him down, Thomas warned.

With such a large number of candidates running, Trump could take 30% of primary voters — essentially his "ride or die" base, as Thomas called them — and still win the nomination.

"I don't see how you go to to toe with Trump if Trump wants it," said Thomas, a 20-year campaign veteran who has worked in every state but Alaska. "The loyalty is so deep with Trump."

Pro-DeSantis political action committee put on hold

The loyalty factor is part of the reason Thomas paused his plans for a DeSantis political action committee for president. He said he saw the way that Republicans rallied around Trump after the FBI searched his Mar-a-Lago home for classified documents, and saw how Trump-endorsed candidates had been largely successful in the primaries.

"It's pretty safe to say that Trump is that difference-maker in primaries," he said. "He's still got it. He still has this vice-like grip on the Republican electorate."

Before the FBI search, Thomas said, he was looking at focus-group findings showing that "there were the beginnings of cracks in the grip Trump had on the Republican electorate." Voters were saying they were ready for someone new, but someone with a Trump agenda, he said.

But now he calls the Mar-a-Lago raid "the nail in the coffin" to conclude that arming DeSantis up for fighting Trump "would not be productive or successful."

"It turned Trump into a victim," he said of the search, "and caused people who liked him and might have softened on him to now run to his defense, and they now want Trump back front and center because he's the one that the establishment and deep state fear the most and are trying to stop."

DeSantis has stressed that he's focused on reelection in Florida this November, and hasn't said whether his future plans include the White House. But he's widely rumored to be eyeing the White House because of his ability to generate national headlines, his work stumping for candidates in other states, and the astounding amount of campaign cash he's raised for his gubernatorial race.

It's also not clear what Trump will do in 2024 or how his various legal entanglements will play out. While he has flirted with the possibility of announcing early, the former president could easily wait until the middle or even end of 2023 to reveal his intentions and still have plenty of time to qualify for the primaries.

Thomas, who hasn't talked to the DeSantis campaign about a 2024 run, said the Florida governor "appears to be going through the motions" and "has nothing to lose up until the day that President Trump announces." Then, Thomas said, DeSantis has to be ready to "catapult him to victory" in a way that would lay the groundwork for him becoming the "heir apparent" in 2028.

"DeSantis is doing the right thing, which is helping other candidates, currying political favors, doing his best to preserve the option," Thomas said. "And who knows? Maybe Trump doesn't run. But if he does run, I find the argument not persuasive to the Republican electorate that Trump shouldn't be the nominee, particularly when a lot of the Republican electorate think the last election was rigged."

Thomas does have one caveat, he said, and it has to do with the 2022 midterms. DeSantis could have an opening in 2024 if Republicans lose big in November, he said, particularly if most of the Trump-endorsed candidates lose their races.

"DeSantis could make an argument saying, 'Trump is wonderful, he's the grandfather of the party, but we need somebody who is a fighter and a winner, and Trump doesn't have that mojo," he said. "We have got to take back power, and I'm Trump 2.0. I share Trump's values.'

"He can push Trump aside basically by saying, 'We have got to win and that's the No. 1 thing here, and you're not going to be sacrificing anything on the agenda,'" Thomas said.

While Thomas thinks that could be a compelling argument, he isn't sure it'll work and warned it wouldn't be easy.

"Even then," Thomas said, "It's a tough go against Trump." [END]

Buick Electra

TB2K Girls with Guns
I'd like to see Trump 2024 and Kari Lake 2028.

President Trump Shares Article About a Trump v DeSantis Matchup

September 17, 2022 | Sundance | 63 Comments

The ‘cut to the chase‘ aspect of whether Ron DeSantis is planning to run for the GOP nomination in 2024 is made clear when you realize just how much money the Florida governor has amassed. A standing total exceeding $200 million.

That $200 million is not only a staggering amount far beyond the need for his virtually certain governor’s victory, but also the largest amount of campaign money ever assembled by a governor in the history of politics {citation}. Meg Whitman, California ($176 million), and Jay Pritzker, Illinois ($176 million), were both multi-millionaires and funded the majority of their war chest. Almost all (96%) of DeSantis’ money is coming from multinational corporations, hedge funds, Wall Street firms and billionaires {citation}.

For those who are unfamiliar with the strategies of political funding, there is a timing that also highlights the intent. A conspicuously aligned timing that coincides with the Trump raid on Mar-a-Lago. Campaign finance reports are required and filled out quarterly. DeSantis had a massive war chest assembled through August 5th.

That finance revelation was immediately before the August 8th raid, before the week in the bunker, and before DeSantis reemerged August 14th with a new national branding team and communication change.

DeSantis took in even more billionaire donor checks with the national kick-off.

Everybody familiar with politics knows what that level of preparation and strategy means. DeSantis wasn’t amassing money of that scale, and simultaneously launching a new national branding campaign, for a state reelection bid. He was/is preparing for a 2024 presidential run. The only question was whether DeSantis had direct knowledge of the August 8th raid on Trump in advance, or whether he was just told not to ask questions and follow the advice of his new GOPe team. The latter is more likely.

That said, the best laid plans of mice and men were disrupted by the MAGA response to the Trump raid. As noted in the article shared by President Trump today, the professional republican donor class had -not accidentally- done a great job using their piranhas to nibble away at Trump’s support prior to the August 8th raid. However, the raid rallied the base of MAGA back to defend Donald Trump.

By the time DeSantis came out of his pre-planned bunker phase (Aug 8th through Aug 14th) the support for Donald Trump had surged again. The professionally republican handlers launched the national DeSantis campaign into indefatigable pro-Trump headwinds. DeSantis Inc stuck to the plan, but the benefit they anticipated was not there.

Unfortunately for DeSantis there’s no good way to retreat from the 2024 strategy his handlers and donors have mapped out. They have pushed him ‘all-in.’ I don’t think it’s possible for DeSantis Inc to back-down after accepting all that GOPe money, unless there is a way for them to return or redirect it.

The article President Trump shared today is a good contextual article describing the accuracy of the Trump -v- DeSantis landscape as it existed on August 29th, the date it was written.

One of the citations in the article points to John Thomas who was prepared with a pro-DeSantis PAC if the republican plan against Trump had succeeded.

As noted, the plan didn’t succeed, and with the outcome of the fulcrum event, the Mar-a-Lago raid, not having the desired effect, Thomas has now abandoned the idea of using the PAC to advance DeSantis.
[More - 1st post - @ link]

Troy R

Senior Member
I dont see Trump winning anything. The world Elites will make sure of that.
Better Hope Abbott in Texas doesnt lose to Beto O'Rourke...