Can 'odious' Ron DeSantis overcome the 'weirdness' factor?
Ron Desantis (Photo via Shutterstock)

Ron DeSantis checks off nearly every MAGA wish list box.

The Florida governor, who is expected to announce his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination soon, touts an array of accomplishments including right-wing crowd-pleasers such as Protect Parental Rights in Education.

The Associated Press earlier this month reported that “…DeSantis concluded a legislative session that establishes him as perhaps the most aggressive and accomplished conservative governor in the nation’s bitter culture wars — just as he prepares to enter the 2024 presidential contest as a top rival to former President Donald Trump.”

But early indications suggest DeSantis’ strengths on paper so far haven’t benefited his campaign.

And whatever you think of Donald Trump’s politics or competancy, the former president has an intangible quality that DeSantis lacks, Mother Jones reports.

Mother Jones’ Noah Lanard writes “Former President Trump is a twice-impeached sexual abuser, who possesses a unique ability to make people laugh—unfortunately or fortunately, to use his verbiage. He made that clear at a CNN town hall last week, when he had an audience of mostly Republicans laughing hysterically over the charming subject of an alleged rape.

“However odious his behavior, Trump’s charisma—or, as the kids call it, “’izz’—is a boon to his presidential prospects. Rizz, like BDE, is not a learnable trait. Either you have it or you don’t. And Trump’s most formidable challenger for the Republican nomination, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, certainly does not.”

DeSantis’ troubles are the subject of a recent New York Times article that ran under the headline “Why Ron DeSantis Is Limping to the Starting Line,” which highlights the Florida governor’s lack of people skills.

Lanard writes that the Times’ article “repeatedly mentions DeSantis’ difficulty making eye contact. We hear from a freshman Republican congressman from Florida who was “a bit insulted” by DeSantis’ failure to return his call. We are told that DeSantis spends donor events fiddling with his phone. He has reportedly responded to criticism and become much more engaged lately—but can it really be that easy to suddenly adopt basic interpersonal communication skills at 44 years of age?

“And even if DeSantis can overcome his awkwardness and learn to make small talk, it’s unclear whether he’ll be able to hide his general weirdness once he steps more clearly into the national spotlight.”

Read the full article here.