The Morning Briefing: DeSantis Not Letting Politics Distract Him From Hurricane Response


Top O’ the Briefing

Happy Thursday, dear Kruiser Morning Briefing friends. Jerwich dismissed all naysayers and clung tenaciously to his dream of fronting an all-accordion Iron Maiden tribute band.

Upon my return from vacation last week, I kicked off the Briefing talking about the all-around failure of leadership during and after the devastating fire in Maui. In last Friday’s Mailbag of Magnificence, an astute reader suggested that we should be contrasting the horrific incompetence of the governor of Hawaii with the calm. competent leadership of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis during Hurricane Ian last year.

Mere days after that, DeSantis is again faced with a natural disaster and doing what he does: take care of business and the citizens of Florida.

DeSantis is off the campaign trail right now, dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Idalia. It’s not a time for politics — at least to decent people. The American media, as we are all too painfully aware, is running low on decent people.

My colleague Sister Toldjah writes over at RedState about one reporter’s attempt to turn a press briefing about the hurricane into a campaign opportunity for the governor:

Such was, unfortunately, the case during a Wednesday morning press conference in Florida at the Emergency Operations Center, where Gov. Ron DeSantis appeared alongside emergency management officials to discuss the state’s response to Hurricane Idalia so far and to advise residents what they should do to stay safe as the Category 3 storm closed in on the Sunshine State, with dangerously high storm surges predicted.

At one point during the briefing, a reporter brought up the issue of former President Donald Trump, who like DeSantis is a 2024 presidential candidate, and how Trump had – as of the time of that presser – not said anything at all to the residents of the state that he also calls home about the hurricane.

Remaining focused on the task at hand, DeSantis didn’t bite and replied, “It’s not my concern. My concern is protecting the people of Florida, being ready to go and we’ve done that.”

It would have been easy for DeSantis to use the opportunity to lob a dig or two at Trump, who has still been getting in political shots at DeSantis while the governor has been dealing with crises in Florida. To his credit, DeSantis didn’t get defensive and just kept doing his job, which he does very well.

One of the things I’ve most admired about DeSantis is that he refuses to be bullied by leftist nonsense that other Republicans all-too-often cave to. He never worries about offending leftist sensibilities, as evidenced in this column written by my friend Stephen Green:

Florida governor Ron DeSantis has a message for anyone who is thinking about looting in Hurricane Idalia’s wake, and it landed Wednesday with a double-barreled BOOM.

Speaking to reporters with National Guardsmen behind him, DeSantis kept the message short and not-so-sweet: “You loot, we shoot.”

“This part of Florida,” he said, speaking from the Big Bend on Florida’s Gulf coast where Idalia made land, “you’ve got a lot of advocates of the Second Amendment.” He continued, “If you go break into somebody’s house and you’re trying to loot, these are people that are going to be able to defend themselves and their families, so I would not do it.”

That was beautiful.

DeSantis’s leadership qualities are undeniable. He trusts his people and his gut and doesn’t get buffeted about by media-driven whims. He came under rhetorical fire from all sides after every decision he made during the pandemic. Each time, he explained his reasoning and held his ground. His temperament and will in times of crisis are exemplary and — I have to say it — traits everyone should want in a president.


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