DeSantis lacks ‘charisma’ to be president, liberal media insist: ‘They like him because they don’t know him’

DeSantis lacks ‘charisma’ to be president, liberal media insist: ‘They like him because they don’t know him’

Several members of the mainstream media have made the same claim this week: Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Florida Republican, lacks the charm and personality needed to run for president.

Political columnist Jonathan Martin kicked off Tuesday with a lengthy column titled “Ron DeSantis Tackles Likeability Problem (Sort of).” Within the article, Martin quoted Republican donor Francis Rooney calling DeSantis “a bit reserved and dry” compared to past presidents, suggesting discord with potential conservative donors for him to launch a presidential campaign.

“The complaints, for now, come mainly from Republican donors, some of whom crave contact from politicians almost as much as lower marginal fares and reliable Gulfstreams. However, the complaints about his interpersonal skills are symptomatic of a deeper challenge for the governor, which he and his small inner circle have told people they are aware of: his ability to forge connections with people.” Martin wrote.

He added: “However, DeSantis’s shortcomings cannot be easily dismissed. They go to the heart of a much larger question, something more important than even donor vanity, which will shape his outlook in 2024: how much politics still matters.” retail”. in presidential campaigns?

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, Thursday, December 1, 2022, in Key Biscayne, Florida.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, Thursday, December 1, 2022, in Key Biscayne, Florida.
(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

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Martin’s comments seemed to resonate with the mainstream media with several outlets not only promoting the article but also agreeing with the idea that DeSantis is not likable.

“Jonathan Martin, now of Politico, wrote a great piece about Governor Ron DeSantis. One of the questions for Ron DeSantis is that he’s not a palmer. He’s not a jolly dealer. Could he be more likeable? In politics, especially with donors,” CNN host John King said on Tuesday’s “Inside Politics.”

He continued: “To a lot of people listening it may seem silly, but if you’re trying to raise money in a crowded primary, if you’re trying to especially convince Trump’s donors, ‘leave Trump, come to me,’ it’s it matters that they feel that you are going to spend a few minutes with them”.

CNN host Erin Burnett also discussed the article with Martin himself on “Erin Burnett Outfront” Tuesday night, agreeing that working with crowds “is just not something he knows how to do.”

“Florida Governor Ron DeSantis now wants to be liked. According to a new report from veteran political reporter Jonathan Martin, DeSantis is launching a charm offensive, making a more concerted effort to win over crowds and make small talk. That’s not something he wants. He’s been known to do it, and I think he’s pretty open about the fact that he doesn’t like to do it,” Burnett said.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been seen as a potential 2024 presidential candidate.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been seen as a potential 2024 presidential candidate.
(Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Martine elaborated: “She realizes that she has to develop some relationships, that you can’t run a wholesale campaign with viral video clips and TV appearances, that she has to have friends. And it’s not just the donors. She asked “The Donors they obviously require a lot of care and feeding. But it’s also politicians and other governors who need to have allies when running in a primary. And then, of course, the voters themselves who, in many of these early nominee states, as you know, historically want to be touched, want to be engaged.”

“The Late Show” host Stephen Colbert devoted a section of his monologue that same night to ridiculing DeSantis for his apparent lack of charm.

“In recent polls of Republican voters, DeSantis has a lead over the former president. But he’s missing one thing: Experts say that for all his intelligence and cunning, he lacks charm. Come on! Are you telling me that this man “Lacks charm? Has the fluid style of a non-playable character in a PlayStation 2 game! Hey hey. ‘Get off my bench with your skateboard, Tony Hawk!'” Colbert joked.

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He continued, citing another New Yorker article in June titled “Can Ron DeSantis Displace Donald Trump as the GOP Fighter-in-Chief?”

“DeSantis is apparently turning down Republican donors because he has an aversion to small talk. As one Florida political leader described the feelings donors have when they meet the candidate: ‘Ron is at his best in the role. Then you meet him and say “Oh, my God. It’s true. DeSantis is better in the role. Specifically, the toilet roll,” Colbert said.

Colbert’s monologue was shared by both HuffPost and The New York Times on Wednesday morning and The Times placed it in its “Best of the Night” roundup.

Other liberal media pundits also noted that DeSantis lacks a sense of charm for the national stage.

MSNBC host Chris Hayes tweeted Wednesday: “Obviously not the target audience but the whole DeSantis vibe is so tight and humorless I really wonder how he does on a bigger stage.”

On Wednesday’s “CNN Tonight,” Lauren Leader, executive director of the nonprofit organization All In Together, emphasized DeSantis’ “very, very low-key” personality.

“My prediction is that DeSantis is the Jeb Bush of the 2024 cycle,” Leader said.

She explained: “I think they like him because they don’t know him yet. He has a very, very low-key personality, he doesn’t have charisma, he doesn’t really like campaigning. His own staff have trouble getting it.” to meet with donors, it’s not nice, and I think, superficially aside… he won re-election, and for very good reasons in a state like Florida, I don’t think he has the kind of national appeal or charisma that’s required for the presidential campaign. But there is a great movement of trying to find the alternative. And he seems like an alternative.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis easily won a double-digit second term in November.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis easily won a double-digit second term in November.
((Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images))

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New York Magazine’s The Intelligencer further compared DeSantis’ lack of charm to the “sinister charm” of former President Donald Trump, as described by columnist Ed Kilgore.

“To be sure, in 2016 Trump benefited from a split Republican primary field. Similarly, DeSantis could get a boost if he can present himself as the only candidate who can raise the MAGA flag while unloading Trump’s heavy baggage,” Kilgore wrote. “But in one potentially decisive aspect, a limited nomination fight between the two Floridians could create contrasting impressions that are not helpful to DeSantis. To put it bluntly, the governor has little charisma.”

Some 2024 polls have positioned DeSantis as the winner of both Trump and Biden in a possible presidential nomination and race. Although DeSantis has yet to announce a 2024 presidential run, a political action committee called Ready for Ron recently announced its intentions to spend $3.3 million over the next six months to promote him as a candidate.

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