In a classic scene from “Mad Men,” young copywriter Michael Ginsberg tries to shame ad exec Don Draper. As the two stand alone in the elevator, Ginsburg contemptuously says, “I feel bad for you.”
Draper quietly responds, “I don’t think about you at all.”
That sums up the battle between Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis.
Ever since the Florida governor won reelection by more than 19 points, creating buzz for a potential presidential run, Trump has devoted every waking moment to attacking his fellow Floridian.
Much to The Donald’s surprise, DeSantis hasn’t risen to the bait, focusing instead on racking up conservative victories in his home state.
You can call Trump every name in the book, but ignore him? That’s something he just can’t handle.
Trump getting more and more unhinged in his rants
In reaction, every Trump statement released or post on Truth Social grows more unhinged. I mean, more unhinged than usual. They make the former president’s late-night tweets look downright civil.
As a sample, here’s an excerpt from a Trump rant on Wednesday: “Florida has been successful for many years, long before I put Ron there – It’s amazing what Ocean and Sunshine will do! Surprise, Ron was a big Lockdown Governor on the China Virus, sealing all beaches and everything else for an extended period of time, was Third Worst in the Nation for COVID-19 Deaths … Third Worst for Total # of Cases.”
It just goes on and on. He should start a Substack.
“Other Republican Governors did MUCH BETTER than Ron and, because I allowed them this ‘freedom,’ never closed their States,” Trump continued. “Remember, I left that decision up to the Governors! For COVID Death Rates Per State, Ron, as Governor of Florida, did worse than New York.”
Trump plays victim – again:Donald Trump wants you to think he’s constantly the victim. Maybe he’s just a bad dude.
Former president exhausting everyone but himself
That’s just the COVID-19 section; I left out his screeds on education, affordability, rape, public relations … you name it.
“HARDLY GREATNESS THERE!” Trump concludes, in all caps, of course.
I’m exhausted just reading it; imagine how his staff feels.
Team MAGA’s last complaint was that DeSantis didn’t defend the ex-president when he pushed a rumor that he was going to be arrested last week.
DeSantis plays Trump indictment question perfectly
Unsurprisingly, the rumor proved false, but the governor should have protected the angry old guy who has been attacking him for months.
A reporter asked DeSantis about the matter so he had to respond.
DeSantis criticized the questionable case brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, calling it “an example of pursuing a political agenda and weaponizing the office.”
Case for Trump indictment is weak:Donald Trump has committed a lot of shady acts. This is the wrong one to indict him on.
Then he added, “Look, I don’t know what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair, I just – I can’t speak to that.”
Well, that last bit drove Trump even more crazy, posting on Truth Social that the governor could be “unfairly and illegally attacked by a woman (or possibly a man!) with false accusations.”
Front-runner Trump is behaving like he has already lost
Stay classy, Mar-a-Lago.
All this has to make DeSantis chuckle, which he did in an interview with Piers Morgan.
When Morgan asked whether “Ron DeSanctimonious” was his favorite Trump-endorsed nickname, the governor laughed that “I don’t really know what it means, but I kinda like it, it’s long, it’s got a lot of vowels.”
He then pivoted back to the work he’s doing in Florida. Message discipline is helpful in a national campaign. It’s nice for the GOP to have a candidate familiar with it.
Trump might be leading in the early polls, but he’s acting as if he has already lost.
That’s why he’s workshopping dumb nicknames and all-caps-ing on Truth Social into the wee hours.
The shtick worked in 2016, but will it work eight years later? To many Republicans, Trump feels like yesterday’s news.