From DeFuture to DISASTER: Humiliated Ron DeSantis was wooden, humorless and charisma-free. Now he’s rolled out the red carpet for the next US president – and is finished for good… ANDREW NEIL’s savage verdict

From DeFuture to DISASTER: Humiliated Ron DeSantis was wooden, humorless and charisma-free. Now he’s rolled out the red carpet for the next US president – and is finished for good… ANDREW NEIL’s savage verdict

Then there was one. Although in all probability not for lengthy.

Ron DeSantis dropping by the wayside, which had a sure inevitability given his costly marketing campaign was going nowhere, leaves Nikki Haley as the one credible challenger to Donald Trump in his bid to recapture the Republican presidential nomination — and even that’s stretching the that means of ‘credible’.

It’s arduous to consider that lower than a 12 months in the past DeSantis was thought to be the most effective Republican prospect to defeat Trump. However that was earlier than he gave a masterclass in how not to run a presidential marketing campaign.

From a disastrous, glitch-ridden launch final Might on the social media platform previously often known as Twitter, to throwing tens of thousands and thousands of {dollars} (maybe as a lot as $150 million) on the Iowa caucuses solely to come back a really poor second to Trump, with numerous failed reboots of his marketing campaign in between, DeSantis by no means had the makings of a winner from the get-go.

What a falling off for the person who was re-elected governor of Florida by a landslide in November 2022 on an evening which was typically dangerous for Republicans.

A challenger who early polls instructed was inside hanging distance of Trump. A darling of Rupert Murdoch, whose media anointed him ‘DeFuture’ within the mogul’s frantic search to seek out a substitute for The Donald. A person who got here to think about himself, as one in every of his marketing campaign advertisements indicated, as ‘chosen by God’.

It’s arduous to consider that lower than a 12 months in the past DeSantis was thought to be the most effective Republican prospect to defeat Trump. However that was earlier than he gave a masterclass in how to not run a presidential marketing campaign.

What a falling off for the man who was re-elected governor of Florida by a landslide in November 2022. A darling of Rupert Murdoch, whose media anointed him ¿DeFuture¿ in the mogul¿s frantic search to find an alternative to The Donald.

What a falling off for the person who was re-elected governor of Florida by a landslide in November 2022. A darling of Rupert Murdoch, whose media anointed him ‘DeFuture’ within the mogul’s frantic search to seek out a substitute for The Donald.

However it quickly turned obvious he was not being propelled by something like divine inspiration.

Certainly, as he tried to imprint himself on the nationwide consciousness with the identical success as he had within the Sunshine State, it shortly turned apparent that he suffered from a quite deadly flaw for somebody with presidential ambitions: the extra of us noticed of him, the much less they favored him.

He was wood in debates and marketing campaign speeches, trotting out his speaking factors with all of the allure and verve of a malfunctioning robotic.

Curmudgeonly in media interviews. Awkward when having to press the flesh with mere mortals. Devoid of humor. Missing heat. A charisma-free zone with out even the merest hint of Reaganesque optimism. A putative commander-in-chief whose grasp of overseas coverage was so weak he described Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a mere ‘territorial dispute’.

No quantity of financing might overcome these handicaps. His marketing campaign had successfully stalled since final summer time. It turned extra well-known for the raging battles behind closed doorways between its main strategists than for any progress it was making on the bottom.

And when DeSantis limped out of Iowa in direction of sure defeat in New Hampshire, it was clear his days had been numbered.

His well-funded political-action committee styled itself ‘By no means Again Down’. However on Sunday DeSantis did again down, withdrew from the race and threw what political weight he has left (reply: not a lot) behind Trump, who had lengthy designated him ‘Ron DeSanctimonious’.

It doesn’t get extra humiliating than that.

He was wooden in debates and campaign speeches, trotting out his talking points with all the charm and verve of a malfunctioning robot.

He was wood in debates and marketing campaign speeches, trotting out his speaking factors with all of the allure and verve of a malfunctioning robotic.

Curmudgeonly in media interviews. Awkward when having to press the flesh with mere mortals. Devoid of humor. Lacking warmth. A charisma-free zone without even the merest trace of Reaganesque optimism. (Pictured: With wife Casey and their children).

Curmudgeonly in media interviews. Awkward when having to press the flesh with mere mortals. Devoid of humor. Missing heat. A charisma-free zone with out even the merest hint of Reaganesque optimism. (Pictured: With spouse Casey and their youngsters).

It’s not simply his presidential ambitions which have gone down in flames. So has his political fame, undermining even his exalted standing in Florida.

This could possibly be the spoil of his political profession – not simply his bid for the presidency.

In fact, he’s solely 45 and will run once more for president in 2028. However for that to finish in another way than this time, he would wish solely to reinvent his persona and his method to campaigning on the nationwide stage.

I’ve seen no proof he has the power to try this. At the same time as his marketing campaign of 2024 collapsed round him, all he provided was extra of the identical.

DeSantis – and Haley – are actually each in Trump’s rearview mirror.

Certainly, I totally anticipate Haley to go the way in which of DeSantis after she loses badly to Trump in Tuesday’s New Hampshire main. The newest Boston Globe ballot has Trump 19 factors forward of her – and now DeSantis has fallen by the wayside, he might win by much more.

DeSantis was polling a mere 6 per cent within the Granite State, so there should not loads of his votes to redistribute – however those who are actually up for grabs, polling evaluation suggests, will break up 50:30 in Trump’s favour.

The subsequent main contest within the Republican main race is on February 24 in South Carolina, the place Haley was a fairly widespread two-term governor however the place she is polling even worse than New Hampshire, with Trump having fun with a 30-point lead.

DeSantis - and Nikki Haley - are now both in Trump¿s rearview mirror. Indeed, I fully expect Haley to go the way of DeSantis after she loses badly to Trump in Tuesday¿s New Hampshire primary. The latest Boston Globe poll has Trump 19 points ahead of her - and now DeSantis has fallen by the wayside, he could win by even more.

DeSantis – and Nikki Haley – are actually each in Trump’s rearview mirror. Certainly, I totally anticipate Haley to go the way in which of DeSantis after she loses badly to Trump in Tuesday’s New Hampshire main. The newest Boston Globe ballot has Trump 19 factors forward of her – and now DeSantis has fallen by the wayside, he might win by much more.

The next major contest in the Republican primary race is on February 24 in South Carolina, where Haley was a reasonably popular two-term governor but where she is polling even worse than New Hampshire, with Trump enjoying a 30-point lead.

The subsequent main contest within the Republican main race is on February 24 in South Carolina, the place Haley was a fairly widespread two-term governor however the place she is polling even worse than New Hampshire, with Trump having fun with a 30-point lead.

When it will definitely dawns on the billionaire donor class at present bankrolling her marketing campaign that she will’t even win her dwelling state, then it will likely be curtains for her.

A foul defeat in New Hampshire means they’ll doubtless pull the plug lengthy earlier than February 24 — and Trump will then emerge because the undisputed Republican candidate, properly forward of his goal to clinch the nomination by early March.

In different phrases, his coronation is all however assured. His eyes are actually firmly fastened as soon as extra on the White Home.

The newest ballot within the swing state of Michigan offers him an eight-point lead over President Biden, who truly received the state in 2020 — albeit by solely three factors.

November remains to be a good distance away. However as issues at present stand, it’s not simply the Republican nomination for which Trump now appears unstoppable. For good or sick, he’s additionally at present clear favourite to retake the White Home.

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