‘Woke’ Disney World Becomes Frontline of Florida’s New Culture War

“The central conservative truth is that culture, not politics, determines a society’s success,” former New York senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once wrote.

Governors of reliable Republican states, such as Kansas, Mississippi and Ohio, took notes on Florida’s seemingly winning vote formula: low corporate tax rates and benefits for retirees; less regulation of public health, more on gender and reproductive rights. A mix of old-fashioned fiscal conservatism with extreme social traditionalism.

A “Trumpism without Trump,” offered political pundit Jonathan Chait, who thought Mr. DeSantis was the acceptable face of the Maga (Make America Great Again) movement with which the more moderate elements of the party could join.

“If you’re a Republican who wants Trump gone, DeSantis is the man with the guts to stand up to him,” Chait said. “If you’re a Republican who loves Trump, DeSantis remains his staunch ally.”

The missing ingredient in Ron DeSantis’ recipe for success

However, Mr. DeSantis is missing a key ingredient in Mr. Trump’s appeal.

Those who worked with Mr DeSantis, whose wife Casey is a former television news anchor, said he was a natural introvert who was a little short on charisma.

An associate said: “You’ll be in the car with Ron and he won’t say anything to you for an hour. He prefers it that way. »

A Florida apparatchik less charitably described Mr. DeSantis as a renegade, “Bush-Romney Republican” who switched to Maga politics when he “saw which way the wind was blowing.”

“He is not a man of conviction,” the person, who requested anonymity, told the Telegraph. “With Trump, he says what he thinks regardless of the reaction. Ron is still thinking about the reaction.

For now, Mr. Trump is the clear favorite for 2024 and Mr. DeSantis a solid second. A February poll placed the former first at 55% and the latter at 34%. A distant third was Mike Pence, Mr. Trump’s vice president, with 15%.

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