DeSantis finally launches a sly calculated attack on Trump?
Whatever you may think of Biden or Trump, DeSantis is nothing like either. He is shrewd, calculating, disciplined, and thinks down the road. He says what he means and little else. He keeps, as he puts it, "palace intrigue" to a minimum.
That doesn't mean everyone will agree with his policies, but at the very least, it beats having a senile senior citizen or an unstable narcissist in the white house.
White House Disorder: Do Voters Care?
DeSantis attempts an unusual line of attack against Trump.
By Tevi Troy, WSJ
March 26, 2023 2:55 pm ET
After staying mum for months about Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis has unveiled a critique of the 45th president: Mr. Trump’s chaotic management style.
In an interview with Piers Morgan, Mr. DeSantis contrasted his own style with that of leaders who bring “daily drama” and undermine political teamwork with their “own agenda.” On March 10, Mr. DeSantis told Iowans, “If you talk to Floridians, there’s no drama in our administration.” At the Reagan Library a few days earlier, he said: “I can tell you in four years, you didn’t see our administration leaking like a sieve, you didn’t see a lot of drama or palace intrigue.”
Mr. DeSantis didn’t mention Mr. Trump by name, but the reference was clear. Mr. Trump famously had one of the most chaotic administrations in American political history—filled with firings, leaks and backstabbing, all breathlessly reported in newspapers, on cable news and on Twitter.
Mr. DeSantis, who has been careful and disciplined, obviously thinks this will be a fruitful line of attack. Is it? Every White House sees infighting and sharp elbows, but few outside the Beltway care. Who remembers the fractious Ford administration, during which chief of staff Al Haig physically grabbed an aide to his nemesis, Robert Hartmann? John Robert Greene, who wrote a history of the Ford administration, called this issue “the most inside of inside baseball.”
Yet in pursuing this attack, Mr. DeSantis is clearly betting that voters will remember the infighting at the Trump White House and blame the former president for it. His White House tumult got more attention than that of previous administrations. It featured four chiefs of staff in as many years, untold firings and resignations, constant leaks—purportedly including one by a recording pen—and its own physical altercation, in which chief of staff John Kelly grabbed Corey Lewandowski by the collar. Many bestselling books, both memoirs and journalistic works, covered the internal intrigue of Mr. Trump and his team.
But Mr. DeSantis is getting at a larger point as well. If his line of attack is successful, it will be because it resonates with the impression that Mr. Trump is full of chaos and drama, not merely in his management style. Americans decided in the 2020 election that they’d had enough of that, and the question now is whether Republicans are ready to decide the same thing.
Mr. Troy is director of the Presidential Leadership Initiative at the Bipartisan Policy Center and author of “Fight House: Rivalries in the White House from Truman to Trump.” He served as a White House aide (2005-07) and deputy secretary of health and human services (2007-09).