Florida Governor Ron DeSantis reportedly plans to formally announce his candidacy for president in 2024 in a live Twitter audio conversation with none other than Elon Musk — signaling, we suppose, the DeSantis camp's bet that potential DeSantis voters can be found among Musk's fanboys.
Both NBC News and Politico broke the news Tuesday that DeSantis is planning to participate in a Twitter Spaces event with Musk on Wednesday, and their take is that this is a signal that DeSantis's campaign will be very much waged online — in the trenches of former President Trump's favorite bullhorn platform, where he has not been tweeting despite being allowed to again under Musk's reign.
The event is planned for 6 p.m. Eastern, so 3 p.m. out here.
"On every red-meat, internet-fueled controversy of the day — from Bud Light to Critical Race Theory to gas stoves — few Republican politicians have ever been as plugged in online," Politico writes. "If [DeSantis] announces his run for president in a Twitter Spaces session with Elon Musk on Wednesday as planned, he is indicating his 2024 campaign will be waged as much there as in the town halls of Iowa or on cable TV."
This could also backfire for DeSantis, either through Musk's capriciousness and off-the-cuff questions, or just because the bulk of the American electorate couldn't care less about Twitter.
As one anonymous Republican strategist working for Mike Pence tells Politico, "Who’s on Twitter? The far left and the far right."
The New York Times reports that DeSantis will follow up the Twitter Spaces event with an appearance on Fox News — of course — interviewed by Trey Gowdy, a former congressman from South Carolina, and then he has a big fundraiser with donors at the Four Seasons in Miami.
The Times also got a quote from Karoline Leavitt, a spokesperson for pro-Trump PAC Make America Great Again, who said, "This is one of the most out-of-touch campaign launches in modern history. The only thing less relatable than a niche campaign launch on Twitter, is DeSantis’s after party at the uber-elite Four Seasons resort in Miami."
Musk, for his part, spoke at an event today with the Wall Street Journal saying that he hasn't decided what candidate to throw his endorsement behind, but certainly his desire to please and get in bed with Republicans, writ large, has been clear in many of his decisions at Twitter — including the decision to allow Trump back on, no questions asked, following the riot he helped incite, using Twitter, on January 6, 2021.
And, whether Musk endorsed this at all we don't know, but we know as of a couple weeks ago that right-wing conspiracy-promoter and generally racist douchebag Tucker Carlson is looking to relaunch himself and his former Fox News broadcast using Twitter as his platform.
Just a week before Tucker Carlson's firing from Fox News over the revelation of some blatantly racist text messages, Musk went on Carlson's show to talk about how he's worried AI bots are being trained to be too politically correct.
So while Twitter's checkmarks and logo may still be blue, the platform seems to be taking a pretty rightward turn with Musk's blessing — and let's not even start in on Musk's well documented derision for "woke-ness," pronouns, and trans identities, part of what he's referred to as a liberal "mind-virus."
Will DeSantis getting super-active — and perhaps popular — on Twitter make Trump itch and squirm so much that he finally says "fuck it," breaks up with Truth Social and comes back to his old tweeting grounds for a daily, occasionally all-caps verbal fight? We'll see!
Top Photo: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (L) speaks with attendees during an Iowa GOP reception on May 13, 2023 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Although he has not yet announced his candidacy, Gov. DeSantis has received the endorsement of 37 Iowa lawmakers for the Republican presidential nomination next year. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)