Sunday, March 19, 2023


New York magazine's Margaret Hartmann is amused by the Ron DeSantis pudding story:
... Ron DeSantis has been hit with a food-related accusation so weird it may end his 2024 presidential bid before it officially starts. The Daily Beast reports that according to two sources, the Florida governor once ate chocolate pudding with three fingers:
The chatter over DeSantis’ public engagement has also surfaced past unflattering stories about his social skills—particularly, his propensity to devour food during meetings.

“He would sit in meetings and eat in front of people,” a former DeSantis staffer told The Daily Beast, “always like a starving animal who has never eaten before... getting shit everywhere.”

Enshrined in DeSantis lore is an episode from four years ago: During a private plane trip from Tallahassee to Washington, D.C., in March of 2019, DeSantis enjoyed a chocolate pudding dessert—by eating it with three of his fingers, according to two sources familiar with the incident.
Hartmann asks: Could this destroy DeSantis's presidential campaign? Maybe!
To be clear, I’m not saying that voters are going to hear this story and instantly decide they can’t vote for DeSantis. But I do think the image will lodge itself in people’s subconsciouses. Pretend you’re a GOP primary voter listening to the Florida governor touting his record on flouting public-health recommendations, harassing migrants, and ridding schools of “wokeness.” Sounds pretty good, right? Now picture those same ideas coming out of a man who’s been credibly accused of licking dessert from his paw like a cartoon bear. How do those talking points sound now?
But DeSantis admirers in the Republican electorate simply won't believe it. Republicans now proclaim that even well-sourced stories reported by multiple media outlets and backed by publicly accessible documents or videos are "fake news" if those stories conflict with right-wing beliefs and prejudices. So why would they believe this story?

But the report could hurt DeSantis -- if Donald Trump uses it as the basis for a nickname:


Trump should start referring to the Florida governor as Ron "Fingers" DeSantis in his social media posts, especially now that he's back on Facebook and YouTube. He shouldn't explain why. He should just put the nickname out there and let Republican voters find out what it means.

If Trump alludes to the pudding story, then Republican voters will believe it -- or at least take it "seriously but not literally," which is the way they seemed to respond when Trump said that Ted Cruz's father was involved in the assassination of President Kennedy. (Although I'm sure some voters GOP believed that literally.)

"Fingers" is a direct, unpretentious, blue-collar-sounding nickname. (I actually knew a "Fingers" when I was a kid -- a truck-driving colleague of my father's who had a mangled hand. When he died, the local paper put the nickname in his obituary.)

C'mon, Donnie. Do it. It's easier to spell than "DeSanctimonious."

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