Many are questioning why Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) would jump into the presidential race when former President Donald Trump (R) has been the Republican Party’s main man for the last eight years.
Others believe that a DeSantis presidential campaign would “split the party.”
“Why doesn’t he wait for ’2028?” or “Why doesn’t he join up with Trump?” have been prominent questions in Republican circles.
The answer is that Gov. DeSantis has most likely done his homework.
Regardless of how you feel about DeSantis, Trump, or any other candidate, the fact of the matter is that political figures need to strike when they’re hot.
For instance, take a look at events that unfolded involving former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) just a little more than a decade ago.
In November 2012, Christie’s approval rating was 75% in the blue state of New Jersey. 75%. That meant that half of the Democrats in the state supported him alongside full Republican support.
For perspective, DeSantis’ highest approval rating was at 62% in March of 2019. It was 59% in April of this year.
However, Christie decided not to run, and his quest for the White House was stale in 2016 against the Trump campaign. Moreover, he was afflicted with the repercussions of the Bridgegate Scandal.
Who knows? While it is unlikely that Christie would’ve beaten Obama, if he would've run in 2012 and won the Republican nomination, it would have served him a lot better to have the elated name recognition in 2016.
The Wayne Gretzky quote comes to mind: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
The second historic political event that reinforces the idea that DeSantis made the right move is former President Obama himself.
In November of 2004, Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate with 70% of the vote. He went from the Illinois State Senate directly to the U.S. Senate, representing the Land of Lincoln in the process.
He then was able to challenge Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary and we all know the rest.
One presidential candidate struck while they were hot and won. The other one didn’t and lost.
This doesn’t mean that DeSantis is going to win. It’s very possible that he could crash and catastrophically burn down in this election.
But keep in mind that former President Ronald Reagan attempted to primary President Gerald Ford, and he turned out just fine.
It is doubtful that Ron DeSantis will look back on his life decades from now and say, “If only I had waited until 2028.”
DeSantis might lose, but history shows he would’ve been a bigger loser if he didn’t run in the first place.