In case you didn’t already know that Ron DeSantis is an awful, Hardee’s grease trap of a human being, the following eye-opening revelations about the country’s foremost COVID-19 superspreader are bound to disabuse you of any notion that he’s got a soft spot—unless you’re talking about his wee cartilaginous skull.
Seems he’s not simply awful to state employees who think COVID-19 is a serious problem that needs to be honestly confronted. He’s pretty much a dick all the time. If, during his next press conference, he squeaked up to the podium in a pair of big, hairy, novelty scrotum shoes, I would not be surprised. (Pro tip: Do not Google “scrotum shoes.” It won’t end well, as I’ve only recently discovered.)
So this guy appears to have presidential aspirations, assuming Donald Trump realizes that he’s just a cacophonous panic yam who has no business in politics or, more likely, spontaneously sluices through a sewer grate after the vaccine he took turns him into the powerful X-Men mutant Languid Goop Puddle. (I really don’t think Trump will run again. He will, however, sop up lots of money and attention, leaving mini-Trumps like DeSantis in an indefinite holding pattern.)
In Friday’s edition of Politico’s Playbook, the curtain is pulled back a bit more on the inner workings of Team DeathSantis, and what we’re treated to is an unnerving glimpse at Prince Dick himself. The news outlet spoke with “a dozen or so” former DeSantis aides and consultants who all agreed: “DeSantis treats staff like expendable widgets.”
— A “support group” of former DeSantis staffers meets regularly to trade war stories about their hardship working for the governor. The turnover in his office and among his campaign advisers is well known among Republicans: In three of his five full years in Congress, he ranked in at least the 70th percentile in terms of highest turnover in a House office, according to data compiled by Legistorm. In the governor’s office, he has only two staffers who started with him when he was a junior member of Congress.
— Within six months of taking office as governor in 2019, DeSantis fired five staffers. One was a 23-year-old scheduler who’d been with him since the beginning of his gubernatorial race. Shortly after she was sent packing, an unnamed member of DeSantis’ administration was quoted in a Florida blog trashing her performance. A month later, his deputy chief of staff left, prompting Florida reporters to press him about the rapid churn in his operation.
— Another story relayed to us by five former staffers: At the beginning of his administration, DeSantis directed the Florida Republican Party leader to fire a party official who had cancer — on that person’s first week back from surgery.
Hmm. That staffer wasn’t Newt Gingrich’s ex-wife, was it? Because that would really be a story.
Politico also notes that DeSantis frequently blames staff for his own mistakes. For instance, after DeSantis went on Fox News to beg Floridians not to “monkey this up” by voting for his Black Democratic opponent, Andrew Gillum, he and his wife allegedly “chewed out his campaign staff for not cleaning up the mess” before “DeSantis brought in a whole new group of advisers.”
Politico also reports that aides were forced to bring cupcakes to meetings just to get DeSantis to show up; so rare were his visits to his own campaign headquarters, that on the night he won the gubernatorial primary, he allegedly said, “Wow, I didn’t know this many people worked for me.”
Another former staffer was particularly blunt about DeSantis: “Loyalty and trust, that is not a currency he deals in.”
None of this is a surprise. This is the same guy who basically sneezed in the rest of the country’s face by giving the green light to out-of-state disease vectors spring breakers earlier this year. And when vaccines were still in short supply, guess who got first dibs? Oh, yes. Rich people! It’s nice to see them finally catch a break, huh?
It’s no secret that DeSantis appears to have his eye on the White House. It’s not a pie-in-the-sky aspiration, because apparently being an enormous yawning asshole is now a prerequisite for securing the GOP nomination.
But that doesn’t make it any less scary.
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