In a recent video on his campaign’s social media page, Republican presidential candidate and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis discussed his plans for a “revival of the American spirit.” However, instead of focusing on the content of his message, critics targeted the setup of the video, particularly the oversized chair DeSantis was sitting in. This wave of mockery came when his campaign struggled to gain momentum.
Once viewed as a formidable contender against former President Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination, DeSantis has faced challenges in recent months. Despite gaining national attention for embracing conservative cultural issues, his campaign has failed to take off. Attacks from Trump and other conservatives have further hindered his progress. Additionally, former United Nations Ambassador and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s rise in the polls, especially in early-voting New Hampshire, has raised doubts about DeSantis’ viability as a non-Trump Republican candidate.
Critics wasted no time in poking fun at the video, with Democratic strategist Max Burns jokingly suggesting that better judgment should have been exercised in choosing the chair for the event. MeidasTouch Editor-in-Chief Ron Filipkowski humorously added, “He forgot his booster seat,” while Inside Elections reporter Jacob Rubashkin sympathized with the advance staffer who approved the setup. Another user on X, @BadFoxGraphics, made a comparison to a notorious photograph of former Massachusetts governor and Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis sitting in a tank during his 1988 campaign. The photograph had sparked widespread ridicule and was used against Dukakis by his rival, then-Vice President George H. W. Bush.
While DeSantis’ video may have invited ridicule, it is essential to remember that photo-ops often face backlash. The Dukakis tank incident serves as a reminder of how such moments can impact public perception. However, evaluating a candidate’s overall platform and policies is crucial rather than focusing solely on superficial details.
According to some polls, recent surveys indicate that DeSantis remains behind Trump in the GOP primary race and trails Haley.
A Rasmussen Reports survey, which questioned likely Republican primary voters between December 19 and December 21, placed DeSantis on par with ex-Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey at 9 percent. These positions are well below Trump’s leading 51 percent and Haley’s 13 percent. The poll’s margin of error stands at plus or minus three percentage points.