According to a report from Vanity Fair, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) has two obstacles that could derail his path to becoming the Republican Party's 2024 presidential nominee: Donald Trump and DeSantis' own arrogance when it comes to dealing with big-money conservative donors.
In a deep dive into the low-key moves by the controversial Florida governor to claim the mantle of the face of the GOP, Gabriel Sherman wrote that DeSantis has been successful so far at raising cash, but donors are put off by him personally and that may come back to haunt him.
According to the report, DeSantis is engaged in a cold war with the former president and has admitted that the best way to take Trump on for the presidential nod is to attack him head-on.
"DeSantis in private trashes Trump. 'He calls him a TV personality and a moron who has no business running for president,' a former DeSantis staffer said. DeSantis tells donors that, if he takes on Trump, he would launch a full frontal attack on his record and competence, according to a GOP source briefed on the conversations," the report states.
However, once he disposes of Trump, he faces the hurdle of charming donors and, so far, that is not going well.
According to a GOP strategist, "The biggest complaint you hear about DeSantis is that he never says thank you."
They continued, "People host events where donors give him enormous sums of money, and he never says thank you.”
According to Sherman, "While reporting this profile, more than a dozen GOP donors, elected officials, and former DeSantis staffers predicted that DeSantis’s combative temperament would be a serious liability if exposed to the white-hot glare of a presidential campaign. People describe DeSantis’s personality as a mix of extreme arrogance and painful awkwardness."
As one GOP insider put it, "He’s missing the sociability gene. He doesn’t do the warm and fuzzies well. I was at a fundraiser in DC where he was like two hours late. Everyone was like, What the f*ck?”
The report also notes that staffers who work under DeSantis are not a happy bunch, with one stating, "When you work for Ron, he makes you feel like you’re just lucky to be there. I once had to drive him to the airport. We got stuck in traffic for an hour, and he didn’t say a word."
Another staffer who spoke with Sherman described him as "having the personality of a piece of paper,” and another added, "He’s a terrible bully.”
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