Joe Henderson: What’s next for Ron DeSantis after blowout win? Take a guess
What will the future hold for a Ron DeSantis second term? Image via NBC News.

Results in other states indicate Donald Trump's endorsement isn't a magic pill anymore, so could a White House run be in DeSantis' future?

As if Gov. Ron DeSantis didn’t have enough things go his way Tuesday in Florida, voters in many other parts of the country reared up and said they are tired of Donald Trump and all his drama.

Trump’s endorsement was magic four years ago, but not this time. The Mar-a-Lago Menace backed losers like Mehmet Oz and Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania. Tudor Dixon, Trump’s choice for Governor in Michigan, went down. Herschel Walker is behind in Georgia, although that race likely will go to a runoff.

What does this mean for DeSantis?

Maybe everything. He may have just become the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.

Trump is the COVID-19 of politicians. No matter how often voters inoculate themselves against him, a new variant of him always pops up, and it’s happening again. The latest is his promise of a “very big announcement” on Nov. 15 about his future.

Gee, whatever could it be?

However, the lying, election-denying, three-timing candidate may find DeSantis a different kind of cat from the sycophant Republicans who kiss his, um, ring.

Say what you will about DeSantis — and I have — he is no sycophant. He won this election without any help from the big guy. And following his smashing re-election win Tuesday, DeSantis has no reason to cower from Trump or any other challenger in 2024.

And given what happened in other parts of the country, DeSantis just got the green light to go for the gold in two years.

Trump cemented DeSantis’ status as a top contender for the GOP presidential nomination by gifting him a nickname — DeSanctimonius.

Actually, that’s clever and not inaccurate.

DeSantis, of course, has repeatedly brushed aside suggestions that he plans a presidential run in two years. Raise your hand if you believe him. Trump clearly does not.

It will be interesting to see if DeSantis pivots toward more moderate positions in his second term. He spent much of his first four years positioning himself as a culture warrior, making him a darling to many in the GOP. But even though Tuesday’s takeaway was more cracks in the Trump façade, the bigger message could be that voters are tired of the noise.

Trump, of course, continues to spread the lie that forces of darkness stole the 2020 election, a position many GOP candidates parroted. DeSantis didn’t take that bait, unless you want to count his silly election police force as at least a nibble at the hook.

DeSantis might be the Republicans’ Next Big Thing, but he’ll still need support from the middle. You don’t get that by banning books and picking fights with Disney.

Trump clearly believes DeSantis owes him fealty for the endorsement that powered DeSantis to victory in the 2018 Governor’s race. But among other things, DeSantis is foremost a cut-throat politician. Trump may have created him but finds it impossible to control him.

So, with the formality of this election over and done, we await the main event. Get your popcorn ready.



This time, it’s personal.

Joe Henderson

I have a 45-year career in newspapers, including nearly 42 years at The Tampa Tribune. Florida is wacky, wonderful, unpredictable and a national force. It's a treat to have a front-row seat for it all.


  • Tom

    November 9, 2022 at 3:28 pm

    Hi Joe.

    As I predicted, Gov Ron’s incredible landslide goes down in Florida history and beyond. He and Marcos winning of Miami Dade and a few other Dem counties going GOP is a monumental achievement.

    If Ron does seek the presidency, he should offer it as a new generation of leadership. His age at 44, is perfect. His military service allows the bona fides for this call. The youthful contrast is significant with Trump and over whelming with Biden. Joe, if DeSantis defeats Trump he will defeat Biden or Harris.

    A new generation call to arms will be a clarion call. Independents and Hispanics like DeSantis and are open to him. It’s a little JFK, Camelot!

    If he offers a hybrid between Reagan and Trump policies, with a DeSantis vision it could be very welcoming in middle America.

    It’s a tough call as the primary would be brutal.

    • Ocean Joe

      November 9, 2022 at 6:09 pm

      Kennedy and Camelot were about including, not excluding.
      In the run up to 2024, Desantis will continue to lash out at minority targets…it’s what fuels him.
      Don’t worry about Trump, he is a political carcass, a beached whale stuffed with his own nonsense. And what Joe/Elliot gets right about you (Tom) is your willingness to overlook his unrivalled criminality and immorality (or amorality). If you are going to worship Desantis, dont fear Bloat. He’s done.

      As for Democrats, the nightmare of doing OK and stopping a wave is that Biden will misinterpret this. The country knows the GOP brings prosperity for the rich and misery for everybody else.

      • JD

        November 9, 2022 at 8:48 pm

        This is an attempt at a resurrection of the 1980s that sucked for most working class people. I’m not sure how people have forgot that. And its lasting legacy of the repeal of the ban on stock buybacks, the lowering of corporate tax rates (to effectively zero), and the removal of the fairness doctrine caused 99% of the current woe.

        To the hell with Reagan and his “Big Tent”.

        The populace that voted for the GOP would apparently sell their daughters womb for cheaper bread (oh wait they did), and the children’s sweat for some sugar-coated inflation lies.

        All the while clapping like monkeys for the pittance alms for the emergency services folk as token gesture.

        Ocean Joe, do you see a red wave nationally? I don’t…

        • Tom

          November 10, 2022 at 10:40 am

          Red ripple JD, pockets of wave in a few states.

          House going GOP, Senate leaning GOP. Arizona,Nevada will be wins, and walker will win GA runoff.

          JD be better than the scoundrels.
          America’s Gov, 2 steps from being POTUS. The new generation pitch will overwhelm ex 45, and 46 will not do well.

          Ronnie recalls us to JFK, with his youthful “Vigor” along with can do spirit, along with new generational pitch.

          We choose to go to the moon, not because it’s easy, but because it is hard! Ronnie is the the mank!

          • JD

            November 10, 2022 at 11:56 am

            Please recall, JFK’s Camelot also called to the WH many intellectuals and thinkers of the day to solve hard problems.

            Ronnie hasn’t done so in his governorship, in fact it feels more the opposite. That makes the comparison, other than his youth , not apt. JFK had Sorenson, McNamara, and Wiesner and many others (including his brother Bobby).

            Who does DeSantis engage with of the same caliber?

            Just saying.

          • Tom

            November 10, 2022 at 12:42 pm

            JD, The similarities are real, FP’s Peter S is quoted in N Y post in comparison to JFK today. I shared mine a few days ago.

            The youthful vigor, young family, the whiz kid mentality, sense of dedicated service, age, and the rising tide for all, are strong.

            His cabinet like Guthrie and others tested and successful. Moskowitz a Dem, now congressman served him.

            Ronnie is the intellectual. Yale & Harvard! Navy, US attorney, Congress.

            Please don’t get carried away bout intellectuals after the failure by the intellectuals like Fauci on Covid, others too. They gave us Vietnam JD. J

            You Dems disparage Ron at your own demise, humble pie would help you all, after 60% crushing.

            Just like Reagan was mocked, he will be laughing to the WH.

            I posted many times, it’s Camelot at WH. Regardless, he’s on the track to define the 24 race as a call for new generation of leadership. It will be a clarion call, Trump and Biden are relics.

            It will come down to his vision, from Reagan to Trump and what kind of America he foresees. DeSantis is the real deal. Regardless what the left says.

            Regards JD.

  • David in Shoreline

    November 9, 2022 at 9:06 pm

    I’ll knock doors and wave signs 40 hours a week for DeSantis in 2024. Sorry family! The US is too important and Ron DeSantis is the most inspirational and COMPETENT presidential hopeful in my lifetime.

  • ScienceBLVR

    November 9, 2022 at 9:25 pm

    Can’t wait for the Ron and Don battle for the nomination. No matter who comes out top, it’s a win for the Dems. And the much touted midterm Red wave…. Ha!

    • Tom

      November 10, 2022 at 11:32 am

      Mis believer, Wah.
      Clueless you are.

  • Tom

    November 10, 2022 at 6:00 am

    Ocean Joe not surprised by your bitter cheap shots. You are consumed with them.

    Your defense of two fake humans. Those two Chinese bots is atrocious. Can’t believe your pathetic reasoning to do so.

    There is no criminality, no corruption. FYI, I know the JFK presidency, I’ve studied it, very well.

    DeSantis new generation call has merit, and his ability to bring all people together is his strength. His numbers across the board are overwhelming.

    Your hate, joined by the other Dums,, who are now hiding with this overwhelming win is predictable.

    Florida Dems got political annihilation. Your done for a generation. I told you 2 yrs ago, he’d get 60%. You laughed. DeSantis like Reagan is the perfect example of Dems, media underestimating their opponent. At every step America’s Gov defeats the odds. His service, career is the example, of the right stuff.

    Like JFK his youthful age is his ally. It will be great advantage in contrast to Trump and even more with Biden.

    Your cheap shots are pathetic and endless, like lies of George Wallace.

    Good riddance!

  • Andrew Finn

    November 12, 2022 at 2:41 pm

    What’s next for Emperor DeSantis ???????? I don’t know, maybe grow a Hitler moustache so he can look the part too ????

    • Tom

      November 12, 2022 at 9:21 pm

      Go scratch finny, long time hater!
      You got 60%, all you and your 5% haters. Dems abandoned you haters and crossed over to America’s Gov.
      You are a fool finny! Dems are done in Florida. They can sit in the corner and pick their nose! LMAO

      • Andrew Finn

        November 13, 2022 at 10:24 am

        Hey Tommy – Were you born a jackass or did you have to take classes to learn the art ????

    • Tom

      November 12, 2022 at 9:21 pm

      Go scratch finny, long time hater!
      You got 60%, all you and your 5% haters. Dems abandoned you haters and crossed over to America’s Gov.
      You are a fool finny! Dems are done in Florida. They can sit in the corner and pick their nose! LMAO

Comments are closed.


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