DeSantis Stuck in Cruz Control

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a Midland County Republican Party event on April 6, 2023, in Midland, Michigan. (Photo by Chris duMond/Getty Images)

The Republican challenges in picking a nominee in 2024 shouldn’t be unfamiliar to anyone. They are not really that different from the rest of the party’s modern history. It’s just that the stakes are so damned high.

Samuel Johnson is said to have given a brutal critique to an aspiring writer who asked the old man to look at a manuscript: “I find much in this that is good, and much that is new; but that which is good is not new, and that which is new is not good.” 

So far, we might say the same of Ron DeSantis. 

The Florida governor looks like he has a bad case of Ted Cruz-itis: Overfunded and underwhelming. And he contracted the malady in much the same way. Like his 2016 forerunner, DeSantis has done a good job of convincing conservative donors and party elites that he has the special sauce for gulling yokels with culture war politics while still quietly delivering normal reformist policies and stable governance. 

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