Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Reuters
Last Friday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis traveled to the early caucus state of Iowa for his first appearances on the 2024 presidential campaign trail, and did something practically unheard of in the annals of presidential campaigning—he didn’t talk about the national economy (jobs and healthcare didn’t come up either).
The absence of these bread-and-butter campaign themes from DeSantis’ speeches is emblematic of a larger problem facing the GOP—Republican leaders are in thrall to the grievances of the most extreme members of their party and deeply out of touch with the concerns of ordinary Americans.
DeSantis instead doled out hunks of red meat as he focused on a narrow set of culture war issues and grievances that are of little interest to most voters.