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Jordan Reid

Author; Founding Editor, Ramshackle Glam

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Opinion

DeSantis’ awkward personality overshadows his policies

Aug 24, 2023

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) aspires to become the Republican candidate for U.S. president but is often accused of being awkward and anti-social. His own staff is concerned that this will hamstring campaign efforts and fundraising, while some supporters say they actually see themselves in his awkwardness.

Straight Arrow News contributor Jordan Reid argues that a candidate’s personal character traits are highly consequential, but ultimately of less importance than their policy views.

At this point, it seems safe to say that DeSantis won’t be the Republican nominee. But one of the primary narratives that seems to explain why isn’t the fact that he picks fights with Disney or that he’s doing his level best to push back the rights of Florida’s LGBTQ population to the Middle Ages. No, it’s his awkwardness. The man completely and utterly lacks in social graces, and I am here for the viral clips. Take for example the time that he sugar-shamed a child with an ICEE at a fair in Iowa.

Now, it’s not that bad, obviously. As I said, I can certainly relate to opening your mouth and having the words that come out make no sense whatsoever. It’s just awkward — cringe, as the kids would say. And yes, I’m aware that saying that makes me cringe.

The awkward DeSantis moments just keep on coming. He announces it’s past his bedtime to a room of supporters. He snaps, “Are you blind?” at a reporter, or all he has to do honestly is just laugh, because his laugh is admittedly quite odd.

Does DeSantis and social awkwardness mean he’d be a bad president? Of course not, except a president’s role isn’t just policymaking; they’re also the representative of the United States on a global stage. So how they get along with people, whether constituents or opponents…it matters.

All right, I found one thing I like about Ron DeSantis. Is he a good person? No. Would he make a good president? Absolutely not. But I just heard a story that he prefers to keep his earbuds in when he’s walking around so that people won’t talk to him. And that’s relatable. 

 

At this point, it seems safe to say that DeSantis won’t be the Republican nominee. But one of the primary narratives that seems to explain why isn’t the fact that he picks fights with Disney or that he’s doing his level best to push back the rights of Florida’s LGBTQ population to the Middle Ages. No, it’s it’s his awkwardness. The man completely and utterly lacks in social graces, and I am here for the viral clips. Take for example the time that he sugar-shamed a child with an Icee at a fair in Iowa.

 

Now, it’s not that bad. Obviously, as I said, I can certainly relate to opening your mouth and having the words that come out make no sense whatsoever. It’s just awkward cringe as the kids would say. And yes, I’m aware that saying that makes me cringe. The awkward DeSantis moments just keep on coming. He announces it’s past his bedtime to a room of supporters. He snaps “Are you blind?” at a reporter, or all he has to do honestly is just laugh, because his laugh is admittedly quite odd.

 

Does DeSantis and social awkwardness mean he’d be a bad president? Of course not. Except a president’s role isn’t just policymaking. They’re also the representative of the United States on a global stage. So how they get along with people, whether constituents or opponents, it matters. Joe Biden may make gaffes– a lot of them– but he’s unquestionably like a congenial guy, and his relatively mild manner has historically served him well in his efforts to reach across the aisle. That said, someone else who is frequently cited as having tremendous charm is Trump. I don’t see it but he clearly has the power to inspire slavish devotion. So as much as the likability factor does, of course, influence voters whether implicitly or explicitly, we still have to keep the focus on the policies above the person.

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