Scamming Grandma

Presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on June 2, 2023 in Gilbert, South Carolina. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Christina Pushaw is in trouble.

Pushaw has worn many hats for Ron DeSantis since 2021, from press secretary in the governor’s office to staffer on his reelection campaign to, presently, director of rapid response for his presidential run. Her official title at any given moment is academic, though her role has always been to serve as DeSantis’ ambassador to Twitter. Head spokes-troll, if you will.

It was Pushaw, for instance, who mainstreamed the term “groomer” among grassroots Republicans to describe critics of DeSantis’ so-called “don’t say gay” law. When a survey revealed that some queer parents were thinking of leaving Florida for fear of how that law might affect their children, she cheerily posted a “waving hand” emoji bidding them adieu

She’s a demagogue’s demagogue, a populist snarl personified that defines DeSantis’ social media “brand.” Which makes her an ideal fall guy for the many observers who think the governor’s presidential campaign is too populist and waaaaaay Too Online.

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