It Won’t Be Biden Vs. Trump

The race remains Ron DeSantis’ to win.

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“We must limit federal spending to stop the inflation that Biden and the Democrats unleashed. This debt ceiling deal kicks the can down the road. But it’s the best we can do until Republicans elect a greater House majority, regain the Senate, and elect a President. Donald Trump’s policies were mainly positive, but the 2020 election became a referendum on him personally. Therefore he lost to Biden and lost the Senate —  that year and again in 2022.  Next year we need to win the presidency solidly in order to assure a needed strong majority in the Senate and House. The stakes are too high. This is about America, not Trump.”

— What Ron DeSantis should have said yesterday!


I watch less Fox, not because My Friend Tucker is gone, but because the My Pillow Guy never leaves.

So perhaps I’ve lost touch.

But though Biden will take credit for the debt ceiling deal, he’s on his way out. As I’ve long predicted, neither Biden nor Trump will be the nominee of his party. Democrats assume Trump, and Republicans assume Biden. Each party needs its own Plan B. For example, Republicans need to preemptively bind any Biden successor to his failed policies.

Leading Democrats and their media allies conspire to discredit Biden; delaying his withdrawal is more divisive for his party, the insane elite in control. Meanwhile, the list of Republican alternatives to Trump will grow but, unlike 2016, then narrow quickly as candidates “suspend” their campaign — sooner than later — to deny Trump a plurality.

Donald Trump eats junk food, is overweight, doesn’t exercise, and has not released a current medical report. He gets his facts mixed up, repeats himself. In 2020 he proved unable to defend his strong record and lost to a non-campaigner. In 2022, he endorsed marginal candidates in primaries who then kept his party from taking the Senate. Would you hire him to be a returning CEO?

Joe Biden won’t say if medication explains his rare burst of coherence. He remains in decline, inevitably precipitous. His obsession with race and embrace of woke preempt a consensus; thus, he’s not a leader. He is ridiculed as incompetent. Would you renew his employment contract as chief executive?

Trump, 78 in the general election, cannot make Biden’s age an issue. My polling over decades showed seniors — they know slowdown, and they vote — are the most skeptical of aging candidates. Voters across the board question Biden’s fitness. Predisposed, they will magnify any verbal gaffe.

Who knows the outcome for Hunter Biden or other potential Biden scandals amidst the mainstream media ready to take Biden down? Meanwhile, Trump’s appetite for self-destruction will resurrect memories of his excess. Mainly for Biden, and even for Trump: what happens with Russia, Ukraine, Israel and Iran, China and North Korea, and more? Biden, haunted by the Afghanistan debacle, remains clueless about the world. And Trump, with an otherwise strong record in foreign policy and national security, still inexplicably can’t bring himself to condemn Putin.

As the late Paul Harvey would say, there’s more to this story. Months ago DeSantis was hyped, his numbers thus higher. Republicans then focused on Biden, they yearned for the binary choice — Trump. Trump’s super PAC unleashed a misleading but effective ad campaign depicting DeSantis as favoring tax hikes and destroying Social Security, the latter feeding the false Democrat narrative. Trump’s 2 to 1 national lead over DeSantis is overstated. DeSantis (and other candidates) now will focus on early primary states, where polling will be closer, and numbers are elastic, momentum sudden, one primary affecting the next, media spin … national polling can pop. (Debates are a wild card. Remember 2016 — how Ben Carson, who later stumbled, took off after his first debate performance?)

DeSantis supporters boasted about their super PAC’s projected $200 million war chest and even provided the New York Times with a detailed battle plan. Presumably, they thought this would help DeSantis gain credibility. They are wise to invest in a ground game, dispositive only if DeSantis is within striking distance of Trump. But their advertising thus far is pedestrian, partly because as a super PAC, they can’t collude with the candidate, and voters need him in the flesh, not voiceover. DeSantis has a solid record as Governor, but he requires, without losing his authenticity, warmth. Big Money won’t compensate. Ask California Gov. Meg Whitman.

Besides front-runner Trump and second place DeSantis, declared candidates — Larry Elder, Nikki Haley, Asa Hutchinson, Vivek Ramaswamy, Tim Scott — will be joined by others. Trump’s strategy is to encourage many — to divide the anti-Trump vote, thus assuring Trump a plurality. That won’t happen. Some may suspend their campaign before the first or second primary and hope for the vice-presidential nomination.

In the next few months, Trump will continue to face legal challenges. The egregious abuse of prosecutorial discretion by New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg has compromised the credibility of future (even if reasonable) indictments of Trump. But Trump’s future reactions may be more telling than the prosecutions, thus compounding voter fatigue with him.

Many current Trump voters could defect to a candidate who offers his policies without Trump. Polling shows many Trump supporters open-minded about an alternative candidate. A recent polling question was disingenuous — asking Republican voters whether (to paraphrase) they would prefer a winning candidate or a principled candidate, as if principle and winning are mutually exclusive.

The best strategy for DeSantis (and other candidates) is to let Trump be Trump.

The former president imprudently attacks DeSantis for initially favoring COVID restrictions, when it was Trump who emboldened and honored the hack Fauci. DeSantis needs to conclusively pick the low hanging fruit to destroy Trump’s credibility among Trump supporters who might defect. An indiscriminate DeSantis attack mode risks an opening for another “positive” Republican. However, if DeSantis seems not petulant but  presidential, a volatile Trump becomes more strident. Importantly, DeSantis then will poll better in general election matchups and thus validate that Trump will lose and he, DeSantis, will win. DeSantis and other candidates can never get Trump diehards. And the Trump administration’s record was pretty good, so DeSantis should attack Trump’s current positions, e.g., Trump “taking the side of Disney, I’m taking the side of parents.”

Convince Republicans to believe that Trump will lose in the general election, and they will deny him the nomination.

On the Democratic side, besides declared candidates Robert Kennedy Jr. and Marianne Williamson, major Democrats are salivating to replace Biden once he yields. Kamala Harris is expendable, especially if another black candidate is on the ticket as VP or even president, perhaps Michelle Obama?

In contrast to Kamala Harris or Michelle Obama, Republican candidates like Tim Scott or Larry Elder do not turn off Hispanic/Latino voters, who are rapidly moving away from Democrats, the party of racial quotas and reparations. Last week when the patronizing President Biden appointed Air Force General Charles Brown, obviously black, to be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he obsessed about Brown being black (pun intended), further alienating Latinos.

In a close race, each side will use the “voter turnout of the base” cliché. Yet, the growing number of independent voters will determine the next president. Trump does poorly among them. Reaching them also reaches moderates in both major parties, especially those conflicted on abortion.

For a half-century, the argument was that Roe was an over-reach, and the matter was best left to the states. Sen. Lindsey Graham last year nationalized the issue, another reason Republicans did poorly in the midterms. For DeSantis to support a six-week ban and also criticize Trump for not supporting a federal ban may reach some pro-life core voters, but most will stay with Trump for other reasons. And DeSantis so quickly moving to prohibit sex education in higher grades beyond the primary grades was gratuitous. DeSantis has a proven and competent, dedicated and loyal, but insular team missing the straight line between two points. And DeSantis cannot simply press the UNDO button on each misstep. If DeSantis continues in the weeds, he could win a nomination not worth having.

Assume for now that DeSantis remains the strongest alternative to Trump. The path toward the nomination extends backward from the general election. For example, given the headwinds DeSantis faces for a general election, there are many ways for him (and other Republicans) to reach younger voters. And also to reach other constituencies: gaining in overall general election polls will demonstrate that DeSantis, not Trump, has the best chance to defeat the Democrat nominee.

Advice to the DeSantis team: tactical implementation does not redeem a flawed strategy. DeSantis defeats Trump not by silly attacks, e.g., Trump is weak on the border. Inescapably, DeSantis wins if Republicans believe Trump will lose in a general election, and DeSantis will win. It’s that simple.

Republican leaders do not understand inflation; otherwise in the midterms they would have made Biden and the Democrats own it. Inflation yields instability and insecurity. Even if the rate of inflation subsides, the increased cost of living —now permanently higher — can become a cultural issue. DeSantis errs in pursuing social issues not in a nuanced way, but with a sledgehammer. The woke crowd is overbearing. Our side needs to be contemplative. DeSantis and Republican candidates should merge the cultural or social issues with anxiety … over the economy, borders, family, education, values, drugs abuse, racial unrest, privacy, homelessness … and crime.

READ MORE from Arnold Steinberg:

Republicans Are Still the Stupid Party!

Biden Must Own Inflation and High Interest Rates,

There Is No Path for Donald Trump to Become the Republican Nominee

The most recent DeSantis blunder is criticizing Trump implausibly as “moving left” on crime. DeSantis, who is highly intelligent but poorly briefed, pledges to repeal the First Step Act, the criminal justice reform legislation signed by President Trump that likely reduced recidivism. Instead, DeSantis should be blaming the soft-on-crime prosecutors backed by Democrats for the breakdown of law and order, and for giving a bad name to real criminal justice reform (which Republicans champion). DeSantis probably relied on polling questions poorly worded for instant gratification, not on reliable data.

DeSantis should have announced for president, and only then a day later, the bold Twitter Q&A (after a trial run resolved glitches). Just as he should not have dismissed the Ukraine War as a “territorial dispute” and made Tucker Carlson the story, similarly, DeSantis is running for president, not Elon Musk.

Yet, the over-hyped DeSantis Twitter gambit is only a disaster retroactively — if DeSantis fails. Remember that Trump’s uninspired announcement earlier this year was an unimpressive nonevent.

DeSantis has not sufficiently answered the question that ended Ted Kennedy’s 1980 presidential campaign, “Why do you want to be president?” He needs an ethos, an affirmation, more than a critique. As the young guy in the race, DeSantis must project gravitas, not agitation. He must be deliberative and prudent — in contrast to Trump, nearly twice his age yet impulsive.

Click here to read the full article in The American Spectator


  1. Disgusted CA voter says

    WRONG – he lost because the Dems had UN-due influence on the election. When you cheat – it’s your race to win. They cheated – they won! All in their plan – then convince everyone that he lost. NO – Trump WON!!!! Biden is just the creep the Dims want to foist their manipulation plan on America – and you and others are swallowing it – hook, line and sinker!

  2. Robin Itzler - Patriot Neighbors says

    The MAGA base is still with Donald Trump. I know many America First Patriots who will NOT vote for Ron DeSantis because of all the people who support DeSantis. Even if DeSantis is not receiving direct support from the likes of Paul Ryan, Liz Cheney, Mitch McConnell, Karl Rove, etc., THEY support Ron DeSantis.

    The fact that THEY did everything possible to help Democrats STEAL the 2020 presidential election is all MAGAs need to know. The fact that the RNC, CAGOP and many local California county GOPs have done next to nothing regarding 2020 and 2022 election fraud, is all MAGAs need to know. While Republican leadership is working on ballot harvesting for the 2024 election, Democrats are involved in other ways to “steal” the election. Joey can stay in the basement throughout the entire 2024 campaign because Democrats are confident their candidate will win.

    As many have said, it does not matter WHO the Republican nominee is since Democrats will do whatever they need to do to get the wins they want … AND RINOs will be there to help them (as they did in Maricopa County). Ron DeSantis cannot win primaries without the MAGA base, and MAGAs are not going to vote for him.

  3. I strongly disagree. I used to like DeSantis and still do but NOT for President. Trump fixed most of the problems you discuss but he didn’t have time to finish the job. That job is facing down and stopping China and Russia and he is the ONLY one who can do it. Pompeo could as well but he isn’t running.

    Next we must dismantle and reform the CIA, NSA, and FBI into shadows of themselves. Then fire at least 50% of government bureaucrats!

    Last, we are on the verge of losing the dollar as the worlds reserve currency and if that happens our standard of living will drop 20%-30%. This is a major problem and it is being ignored!

    Trump is the only one who can accomplish these things. If you don’t like Trump HOLD YOUR NOSE and vote for him anyway. THIS IS THE LAST CHANCE TO SAVE THIS COUNTRY!

    As for Fux News why on earth did you even continue watching that network after Nov ’20 election????

  4. tracker1 says

    While each has the right to their opinion there is need for a counter to this article. First, DeSantis and Trump are the two most likely Republican candidates. Over the next months we will learn much more about both as the pundits approach them from every angle. The primaries will point to the selected candidate. Once chosen, the candidate will face a very hostile attack by whom ever the Democrats find to run competitively against that candidate. At that time the Republicans/conservatives and others that find our current government very destructive will have the privilege of voting for their choice of president.

  5. 80-year-old presidents are a big issue. They can lose mental capabilities and die at any time.

  6. I for one am sick and tired of candidates saying whatever they need to say to get elected, just to run back to the middle or even back to the left where they came from (RINO’s). Trump has PROVEN himself by getting more things done, in his first hundred days, than any other president, He put his money where his mouth was and got things done, all the while the democrats, impeachment hearings, RINO’s, the media, and most of the nation, China, Russia and North Korea were against him. My money is on Trump to finish what he started and I know he WILL finish the wall, drain the swamp, the FBI, CIA, and our communist un-elected bureaucrats in the swamp. I just hope he has a better VP this time that will help him, and not the communist left.

  7. A Trump/DeSantis ticket would be ideal. God forbid, if anything happens to Trump, DeSantis can run 2-additional terms! This would allow DeSantis to learn on the job! Too bad they can’t connect!!

  8. Rottweiler says

    Work in the medical field for over 35 years and Trump did more for America in the short time that he was in office, and can you imagine all of the good he would have done if they did not occupy his every moment with progressive, corrupt, Marxist, KKK DNC crookedness. Not only did they waste taxpayers’ money with all of their investigations, but they also irritated more than 55% of the Americans by their devious actions and double standards. I often wonder why we can’t attack them as they do us and play the same dirty games. Trump was bringing our pharmacology back to the US and South America where we can look at the ingredients and oversee the product. China blocks us from doing so and makes 95% most has been recalled. No product integrity, they could cut us off at any time and there would not be enough time for us to catch up in the case of an emergency. He was making China pay taxes on exports and imports as they should have been. He was creating jobs here for Americans and providing resources so we would not have to be energy dependent. He was rallying up our military which was at the standards of 1950’s and kicking out all of the scientists from China spying on our research and sending it back to China. He was making America great again while making our own prosperity. The dick heads in office only know how to kowtow to the perverse DEI, WHO, Bilderberg agenda and sucking up to the billionaires like Soros, Bezos, Zuckerberg, Dorsey and all of the other losers who use capitalism to make themselves rich and then want us to live like paupers. Marxists all of them and they can stick their global/climate change up their keisters. God is the only one to save us from this wretched crew.

  9. It is Trumps election to lose. He is miles ahead in the polls. He knows the democrat game plan. He knows what hurt him in the last election.He know how to run the country. And he knows how to keep a promise. There is plenty of time for DeSantis to step up his game to the federal level.

  10. So what he eats junk food Arnold I bet you do too! Trump elected president but if voter fraud is not taken care of by paper ballots we our screwed. Anyone with common sense can see that the 2020 election was stolen by voter fraud and with the finesse of a 10 year old! Communism is alive and active! We the American people are so easily manipulated look at the CCP virus and the medical industrial complex and the thousands murdered without even a whimper from any of us other then the families that fought for their loved ones in the hospital because they were given not given therapeutics that worked and then murdered with ventilators and remdisavir to poison their kidneys! I have absolutely no respect for the medical establishment and for doctors that continue to push the mRNA crap I wish them all eternity in hell!

  11. Son of Billy Jack says

    I always thought that the President and VP can not residents of the same state, but that is not true- they can.
    The restriction in the constitution is for electors. So I guess a Desantis – Rubio ticket sounds good to me or a Trump – Elder ticket. Trump may probably be best at Secretary of State. That is his strong suit.

  12. Keep an eye on Vivek Ramaswamy, he is very sharp, has a ton of good ideas and is not afraid to buck the establishment. I believe he will wipe the floor with every other contender in the debates. How he will stand up to the democrat character assassination zealots we will have to find out.
    I will never cease to be amazed how the democrat unending campaign of hate against Trump was so successful after being caught lying so many times.
    Todays people just want to believe the worst in others, I guess. Sad.

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