Saturday, August 06, 2022


This is how you think when your brain contains nothing but data points and you think everyone else's is the same:

Imagine having this poor an understanding of the emotions and appetites that drive Trump, even though you've watched him as part of your job for seven years.

Trump will never run with DeSantis. Trump has a desperate need to be seen as the alpha male at all times. He knows that DeSantis aspires to his status in the GOP and might have the mojo to supplant him. The last thing he'd ever do would be enable the guy who wants his crown.

Before the 2020 election, it wasn't absurd to imagine that Joe Biden might allow himself to be seen as a placeholder for his party -- though please note that he hasn't actually done that. He's proud of his presidency and plans to run again; he's not making way for Kamala Harris or anyone else. If even Biden won't embrace lame-duck status while giving his full blessing to a successor, why would you imagine that Donald Trump, of all people, might do it, publicly or even privately?

With a different candidate at the top of the ticket, being the running mate/heir apparent could be a good deal for DeSantis, even in defeat. After her 2008 convention speech, Sarah Palin seemed as if she'd have a big future in the GOP, and Republicans still saw her as a star even after a rough fall campaign. If the favorite for 2024 were someone like John McCain or Bob Dole, running mate DeSantis could make a national name for himself as a culture warrior and hatchet man. If his ticket ran and won, he could be the ideologue VP in the mold of Spiro Agnew; he could be a more articulate Dan Quayle. I can imagine him taking advantage of an opportunity like that. But Trump wouldn't let DeSantis make high-profile speeches. Trump wouldn't want him getting a lot of attention on Fox even if Fox was lavishing praise on Trump.

So no, this won't happen. Try again, Matt.

(And yes, I realize that if there were a Trump/DeSantis ticket, one of them would have to change residences so the ticket wouldn't have to forgo Florida's electoral votes. But Trump could easily declare New York City or Bedminster his legal residence.)

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