The rumble in the jungle? The thriller in Manila? Clay-Liston?
Joe Louis? Rocky Marciano? Small potatoes.
The really big match is Trump/DeSantis, for the opportunity to rule over the free world and right the good ship America.
This fight actually began in October of 2022.
That's when President Trump sucker-punched Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla.
All of a sudden it was (from Trump) "Ron DeSanctimonious," an "average" governor.
That unnecessary outburst was Trump’s first major error in this coming epic battle.
Shortly thereafter, Trump made error number two. It was Election Night at Mar-A-Lago.
I was there, right on the velvet rope.
Trump came out around 10 p.m. and commented on the highlights of the evening; a shout out for Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a hopeful note for Herschel Walker.
You get the idea. DeSantis?
The name never crossed Trump’s lips.
DeSantis lit up the national scoreboard, set the Florida Democrats back for a generation, and somehow Trump missed it.
Error number three? Kanye West. Enough said.
Who’s running this show, anyway?
Error number four? Trump suggested that the road to election integrity required ignoring or suspending the Constitution of the United States of America.
He said what? All of a sudden Trump’s political instincts failed him.
What should Trump have done?
For starters, the initial punch should have never been thrown.
It was October, 2022. What’s the rush?
Here was an opportunity for Trump to praise DeSantis’ rising star while reminding the country that he, Trump, made it all possible with his 2018 gubernatorial endorsement.
Kanye West for dinner? Someone should have been fired before the table was ever set.
And, an anti-Constitutional Trump candidacy?
As we Brooklynites like to say: "Fuggedaboutit!"
The pundits say that Trump lives rent-free in the heads of the Democrats.
And he does. But, in a totally unexpected turn of events, DeSantis is living rent-free inside Trump’s head. This is no "Little Marco" or "Low Energy Jeb."
This is Trump off his game. DeSantis, the upstart, looks like a seasoned pro.
He refused to take the bait while Trump continued to dig deeper down in the hole he was already in.
As for the rank-and-file Republicans, take my advice.
Keep your powder dry.
The election is almost two years away.
The Iowa caucuses are one year away. My own reaction is to stay neutral. I was invited to Trump’s announcement of his 2024 candidacy. I turned down the invite.
Because nobody should force any of us to pick sides. I am pro-Trump and pro-DeSantis.
Right now, you should be, too. I am known well enough in Palm Beach County, Florida that I didn’t want a pro-Trump label if it came with a presumed anti-DeSantis label.
I spoke to the Republican Club of the Palm Beaches on Dec. 13, 2022
I covered the 2022 election results and the 2024 preview.
At the end of my speech, I did something quite unusual. I took a straw poll.
Keep in mind, the audience was comprised of local Republican activists, not the less-involved "man in the street" demographic. My question to the 35b attendees was as follows: In March, 2024, Florida will hold its presidential primary; winner-take-all.
One hundred ten delegates for the winner. Zero delegates for second place. The winner will be our presumptive nominee; like McCain in 2008, Romney in 2012, and Trump in 2016 and 2020.
The question is not, "Who are you voting for?"
The question is: "As insiders, who do you think will win that presidential Primary?"
The result: DeSantis, 25-10.
Round one to DeSantis, on points.
Politics is a marathon, not a 100-yard dash.
These are unstable times: political fortunes rise, fall and rise again, almost overnight.
Indeed, DeSantis is not even an announced candidate. Look for a late spring announcement. As events unfold, I’ll write about future rounds.
Happy New year to all!
Sid Dinerstein is a former chairman of the Palm Beach County Republican Party. Read More — Here.
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