Ron DeSantis finished his 99th and final Iowa county Saturday. And as he tells it, he was advised that the Pokemon Go-style “Gotta Catch Them All” approach to campaigning may not have been the wisest approach.
The Florida Governor told Iowans Saturday that he saw the loop as a way to “get out of the media fog” and “listen to real Americans,” noting that certain political professionals thought visiting the entire state was not the best investment of time.
“A lot of campaign consultants will tell you that you can be in more populated areas or you can even get into other states and sometimes they will advise you not to do it,” he said, regarding the so-called “full Grassley.”
“But to me, it was the right thing to do because you need to actually get out of the media fog. You can’t just be on what’s on social media. Don’t worry about what the cable stations are saying. Talk to real Americans, listen to real Americans, answer their questions, ask them for their support,” he said in Newton, upon the occasion of completing the “Full Grassley” by visiting every county in the state.
DeSantis’ Iowa endorsers were on hand, including an evangelical leader and the state’s Governor.
Bob Vander Plaats wondered if this was DeSantis’ “Esther Moment,” referring to a critical time faced in the Old Testament book by the same name.
He said DeSantis would be “totally fine” to remain the Governor of Florida, but he “sees what’s at stake and he’s willing to put the cause above himself.”
He then offered a prayer for God’s “hand of favor and blessing on his campaign,” before predicting mid-prayer that not only would DeSantis “win the Iowa caucuses” but that he would also “go on and win the early states.”
Gov. Kim Reynolds stressed the importance of DeSantis “going to all 99 counties,” saying it’s “really important for the candidate” to hear about Iowan issues and to participate in “retail politics.”
She lauded the DeSantises for hitting all counties in a “compressed timeline,” one that of course was abetted by Florida taxpayers, as he spent many days out of state campaigning since officially launching, and weeks before that on a “book tour” that also brought him to the Hawkeye State.
First Lady Casey DeSantis also offered remarks, noting that the children — now 7, 5, and 3 years old — were “asleep in the car” because they woke up early in the morning.
“It was the first time they’d seen snow,” Casey DeSantis asserted, saying the young ones had a “snowball fight.”
However the campaign goes, the memories will last a lifetime.