The GuardianThe Guardian

‘All hat, no cattle’: Ron DeSantis, the ‘anti-woke’ Florida governor running for president

By David Smith

24 May 2023 · 6 min read

Editor's Note

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has filed papers to run for president in 2024. But he still has a lot to prove, The Guardian's David Smith writes. Can he beat Trump at his own game?

The official Florida governor’s website invites visitors to “Meet Governor DeSantis”. But anyone who clicks on that option is greeted with the message “Governor Ron DeSantis Biography – coming soon”, along with his photo and a big white space.

DeSantis’s admirers project on to that blank page the ideal of a strong chief executive, “anti-woke” warrior and consistent election winner. His detractors fill the vacuum with warnings that the Florida governor represents “Trump 2.0”, “Trump with a brain” and “Trump without the circus”.

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