The results bolstered expectations among many that DeSantis would run for president in 2024 — a situation that is already raising tensions with former President Donald Trump, another Florida Republican. And for some Democrats, on Tuesday not only DeSantis but Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio’s double-digit win has firmly ended a chapter where the state could be viewed as a swing state.
The midterm vote was closely watched abroad, with European allies in particular breathing a sigh of relief that Trump-aligned Republicans fared relatively poorly. In a statement reported by my colleagues, German politician Reinhard Buttekoffer wrote approvingly that “the pessimistic assumption that Donald Trump will become US president again in 2024 has become a bit more unrealistic.”
But Tuesday’s results opened up another possibility: President De Santis. What will this mean for the world? In some ways, this may seem more palatable to many than Trump or any other Trumpian alternative. But DeSantis would also be the first president of the United States to be born in Florida — and if Democrats hand the Sunshine State to Republicans, the broader implications for U.S. foreign policy could be significant.
Here are three things to consider:
DeSantis is not Trump. He may not always act that way, but DeSantis’ resume is that of a more accomplished Republican public servant than bombastic-turned-businessman-turned-politician Trump.
In some ways, DeSantis’ background makes him seem closer to former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, whose more interventionist leanings have sometimes conflicted with Trump.
Despite a relatively humble upbringing, DeSantis went to Yale from Jacksonville before attending Harvard Law School. He served as a U.S. Navy attorney, served at the Guantanamo Bay base and was stationed in Iraq. When he returned, he served as a federal prosecutor before winning two terms in the House.
This is a fairly common career path for an American politician. Reflecting this, DeSantis has largely focused on domestic policy in the House and later as governor, but what he has said about foreign policy has been pre-existing rather than Trump’s often ad hoc style. According to the rules.
DeSantis has condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and criticized President Biden’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan. He is also fiercely opposed to traditional US enemies like Iran, particularly the opposition nuclear deal with that countryAs well as new competitors such as China, and committed to becomingThe most pro-Israel governor in America.“
Weaker-than-expected GOP results calm Europe’s nerves — for now
However, he is a Florida man. Unlike Trump, born rich in New York City and only belatedly becoming a resident, DeSantis is a true Florida man. And to some extent, he lives up to the reputation, paying particular attention to foreign issues close to many Floridians: including Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia and Haiti.
He claims not to be a fan of laws and big government. Florida’s governor first came to real national attention when he pushed a controversial laissez-faire approach to Covid-19. That approach put de Santis at odds with the World Health Organization’s guidance, even if it wasn’t as combative as Trump’s move to pull the United States out of the body. (Most accounts of Florida during the pandemic show that DeSantis’ policies were neither the success he portrayed them nor the disaster his critics feared).
Unlike Trump — who still maintains his reputation as a dealmaker at heart — DeSantis can be tougher and less open to persuasion. Profiles have repeatedly suggested that he has little of the personal focus or interest in social work that many politicians have. Any world leader who finds a bromance with this man could end up with the cold shoulder.
DeSantis is happy to use absurd statements and even cruel stunts to make his point. He has flown Venezuelan immigrants from Texas to liberal-owned Martha’s Vineyard and fought with Disney over gay rights — breaking with Republican orthodoxy to complain about corporate power. . He has said France would back Elon Musk if Russia attacked and sided with Ukrainian leaders when the American billionaire needed Kyiv to negotiate a peace deal with Russia.
And while DeSantis has accepted the reality of climate change’s potential impact on Florida, he has advocated throwing money at climate adaptation rather than actually working to mitigate the problem.
As one critic recently put it, his plan is to “do away with big contracts to eliminate the impact on expensive waterfront properties, basically ignoring everything, and everyone else.” “If the United States goes along with this approach, it can have an impact everywhere in the world.”
What the midterm results mean for Trump, DeSantis and the 2024 election.
What if Democrats give up on Florida voters? If DeSantis is on the ballot in the 2024 presidential race, he likely will easily carry the state — long considered a toss-up. Democrats, already skeptical about their chances in the state, may consider it a lost cause.
This can have major implications. Many of Florida’s large Latino populations have fled extreme or socialist regimes in places like Cuba and Venezuela, which has influenced the policies of both Republicans and Democrats to win votes in the state.
But some believe Democrats have already begun to move forward. Certainly, it seems that Biden’s foreign policy is far from what Florida’s Latino voters see. His administration has eased sanctions on Venezuela, eased sanctions on Cuba and removed the Colombian rebel group FARC from the list of foreign terrorist organizations.
On Tuesday, the same day as voting was underway in the United States, climate envoy John F. Kerry held a brief meeting with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Egypt. Although U.S. officials have denied the talks, they come at an interesting time: The Biden administration is easing restrictions on Venezuela’s vast oil reserves, as energy prices soar amid the war in Ukraine. And tensions with Saudi Arabia, the oil giant, had escalated. Market