Hey look, this is an interesting C&P from Hullabaloo. Why is it that those who attack others who appear to be different actually do similar things or are similar? You typically find this out years later. I don’t know . . .
He’s Nixon in high heels . . .
Suzy Barker, a native Iowan dressed in an orange-and-blue University of Florida hoodie, waited in a crowd of fellow Republicans on Friday morning to meet Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida.
She smiled widely and pointed to her hoodie as she told the governor that her son attended college in his home state. Mr. DeSantis — dressed in a dark blue suit with a light blue, open-collar shirt and black boots — stood on the opposite side of 10 metal bike racks separating him from the crowd. He gave a slight nod to Ms. Barker and told her about his state’s new “grandparent waiver” that gives tuition breaks to out-of-state students whose grandparents are Florida residents.
But Ms. Barker, a 50-year-old teacher who had driven about an hour to see the Florida governor in Davenport, does not have any other family in the Sunshine State, and she narrowed her eyes in confusion at his response. Here she was at an event promoting Mr. DeSantis’s new book, shoulder to shoulder with a crush of Iowans eager for face time with the anti-“woke” darling of right-wing America, and he was talking waivers.
Mr. DeSantis quickly scribbled his name with a black Sharpie in her book and smiled. “Go Gators,” he told her as he moved on to the next person awaiting his signature.
The interaction underscored both the promise and the potential pitfall of a presidential bid for Mr. DeSantis. His preference for policy over personality can make him seem awkward and arrogant or otherwise astonishing in person, depending on the voter and the success or failure of his one-on-one exchanges. Many Republicans view his style as an antidote to the character attacks and volatility that have underscored Republican politics during the Trump era.
As Mr. DeSantis decides whether to seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, one of the biggest questions facing the 44-year-old Floridian is his ability to connect with voters who have had little exposure to him outside his home state.
Unlike Florida, where elections are often won or lost on the strength of carefully crafted multimillion-dollar TV ad campaigns, the Republican presidential primary remains front-loaded with contests in states like Iowa where voters value personal interactions.
But Mr. DeSantis has leaned into his reputation as a political brawler, lacking the kind of warmth and charisma that helped lift Bill Clinton, John McCain and other politicians. Mr. DeSantis’s disregard for some of the typical pleasantries of politics can produce some uncomfortable moments.
Earlier this year, he turned off some deep-pocketed donors during a previously unreported meeting when he largely kept to his own corner of the room and showed little interest in interacting with the crowd, according to one person briefed on the meeting.
At a stop in Houston last week to promote his book and help raise money for the Harris County Republican Party, Mr. DeSantis was scheduled to speak to several hundred people who had paid extra money to hear him ahead of a speech to a larger crowd. But Mr. DeSantis spent only a few minutes in the smaller room and never took the stage, irritating some in attendance.
Nixon didn’t like people very much either, or at least didn’t seem to. And he won the presidency twice. So, this is not a deal breaker. On the other hand, the world has changed and this sort of thing will get widely disseminated on social media. We’ll see. Maybe all those first time MAGA voters were always in it for the policy. But I doubt it.