December 1, 2022

Ron DeSantis: The Republican Future?

The wildly successful Florida governor has a new memoir coming out, and it’ll fuel speculation of a 2024 presidential run.

The TV ad, from 2018, is a sign of what once was.

In it, Casey DeSantis begins, “Everyone knows my husband, Ron DeSantis, is endorsed by President Trump. But he’s also an amazing dad. Ron loves playing with the kids.”

Then we cut to a scene of her husband, a newly announced candidate for Florida governor. He’s on his knees and watching his young daughter Madison play with big blocks. “Build the wall,” he tells her. In another scene, he’s teaching her to read with a “Make America Great Again” sign. In yet another scene, he’s reading Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal to his infant son Mason: “Then Mr. Trump said, ‘you’re fired!’ I love that part,” says DeSantis.

“It was the dumbest, most effective ad in Florida history,” said Kevin Cate, a clearly jealous media consultant for DeSantis’s opponent.

Those were the days.

Since then, 44-year-old Gov. Ronald Dion DeSantis — a former captain of the Yale baseball team and a retired U.S. Navy JAG officer — has become the wildly successful, resoundingly reelected governor of The Free State of Florida. He’s also seen as the future of the Republican Party and a potential 2024 presidential challenger to the man whose endorsement of him for governor in 2018 helped him win election by the narrowest of margins.

A book by DeSantis will only add to the speculation of a presidential run. That book, The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival, chronicles his life in public service.

In a preview, the book’s publisher, Broadside, the conservative arm of HarperCollins, notes that the autobiography “will cover key moments in DeSantis’ life, from growing up in a working-class family, playing in the Little League World Series, working his way through Yale University and Harvard Law School, volunteering for the Navy after 9/11 and serving in Iraq.”

That Navy service, as reported in a lengthy New Yorker profile by Dexter Filkins, includes his deployment to Iraq as a legal advisor for SEAL Team One while they conducted operations in Ramadi. During that time, he was on the ground with SEAL operators and briefed them on rules of engagement, treatment of prisoners, and the like. The Filkins piece continues:

Back in Florida, DeSantis started dating Casey Black, a television news reporter for WJXT, in Jacksonville; in 2010, they were married. Not long afterward, a seat opened up in the Sixth Congressional District, south of Jacksonville Beach. In 2012, DeSantis entered the race.

DeSantis campaigned on smaller government and lower taxes, arguing to overturn Obamacare and eliminate entire federal agencies. “My mission was largely to stop Barack Obama,” he told a crowd later. As the campaign got under way, DeSantis published a book titled “Dreams from Our Founding Fathers” — a swipe at the President’s memoir. For a campaign book, it’s unusually wide-ranging, with carefully argued sections on the Federalist Papers, the Progressive Era, and the leftist theoretician Saul Alinsky. The basic contention, though, would have been familiar to followers of Barry Goldwater: “The conceit that underlies many of Obama’s policies and his allies is that virtually any issue, from the waistline of children to the temperature of the earth, is ripe for intervention of expert (and progressive) central planners.” DeSantis’s book was largely ignored — he once told a crowd that it was “read by about a dozen people” — but his message resonated in the Sixth District, one of the most conservative in the state. He won the election, and was reelected twice by wide margins.

Interestingly, as National Review’s Kyle Smith writes, what was supposed to be a predictably leftward New Yorker hit piece on DeSantis didn’t end up that way — at least for those who think a profile of DeSantis as “smart, serious, hard-working, focused, honest, and apparently incorruptible,” and who “ignores media noise and does what he thinks is best for Florida based on analysis of data and science,” and who has “an intense work ethic, a formidable intelligence, and a granular understanding of policy” is a fair and accurate portrayal of the man.

We tend to think it makes him sound downright presidential.

DeSantis, though, isn’t alone among Republicans when it comes to publishing. Two other likely 2024 presidential candidates — former Trump VP Mike Pence and former Trump Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — have also published books, and they also have a strong case for the GOP nomination.

DeSantis routinely gives the stiff-arm to talk of a White House run, but his resounding reelection in Florida — in which he trounced his Democrat opponent, Charlie Crist, by nearly 20 points — has made him the talk of the town. It’s also put him in the crosshairs of the only Republican whom we know is running for president in 2024: his onetime champion and endorser, Donald Trump. And if the former president’s recent swipe at the governor as “Ron DeSanctimonious” is any indication, a competition between the two could get really really ugly.

For now, though, DeSantis is plowing ahead as Florida’s governor and doing the little things that keep his name top-of-mind. As he put it recently during a well-received keynote address at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership meeting, “We’ve got a lot more to do, and I have only begun to fight.”

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Please join us in prayer for our nation — that righteous leaders would rise and prevail and we would be united as Americans. Pray also for the protection of our Military Patriots, Veterans, First Responders, and their families. Please lift up your Patriot team and our mission to support and defend our Republic's Founding Principle of Liberty, that the fires of freedom would be ignited in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2024 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.