Caught in an uphill battle for the Republican presidential primary, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has to know he’s got plenty of opponents in the GOP already.
Former President Donald Trump alone — and his dominating 62 percent support among Republican voters — should be more than enough for a given candidate — not to mention his other rivals like former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and the rest of the GOP field.
But when DeSantis formally announced Friday that he is on the Colorado GOP primary ballot, he decided to tweak a few more Republican noses while he was at it.
In a clear mockery of the Colorado Republican Party, DeSantis wrote in the social media post that the “state party requires that candidates post something on social media that announces their excitement while encouraging their followers to follow the state party’s social media accounts about the state party primary and events.”
In the next paragraph, just as required, DeSantis announced his “excitement”:
“I’m excited to officially be on the ballot for the Colorado primary!” DeSantis wrote.
To qualify for the CO primary ballot, the state party requires that candidates post something on social media that announces their excitement while encouraging their followers to follow the state party’s social media accounts
for updates about the state party primary and events.…
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantis) December 1, 2023
Obviously, it’s a joke — a bit of humor poking fun at a supercilious requirement cooked up in an executive committee meeting somewhere, demanding that a party’s candidates mouth the right words to beef up the party’s social media presence.
For DeSantis, it was a two-fer, since he not only got in a shot at the party mandarins that instituted the requirement, but he one-upped nomination rival Vivek Ramaswamy, who’d published a post about his own ballot status the evening before — and obeyed the rules without telling his followers there even were any.
Simpsons always too prescient.
Excited to appear on the Colorado ballot. I encourage my followers to follow @cologop for updates about the state party primary and events. Thank you! https://t.co/qUxmGb0vBV
— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) December 1, 2023
“Excited to appear on the Colorado ballot. I encourage my followers to follow @cologop for updates about the state party primary and events. Thank you!” Ramaswamy wrote.
So, DeSantis managed to announce his place on the ballot while making fun of stupid party rules and showing up a rival as a boot-licking wannabe all in one social media post. Not bad for a day’s work.
Still, it was a passing strange way for the Florida governor to make the official campaign announcement. Colorado has voted Democrat in every presidential election since Barack Obama first won the White House in 2008. But it was firmly Republican before that. And in a see-sawing race for the White House, every Electoral College vote counts. (Colorado has nine.)
For DeSantis to basically kick off his campaign by targeting his own party shows either the natural confidence of a candidate comfortable in his own skin or a man who’s already decided he’s got nothing to lose.
DeSantis’ has some unique positives — like his overwhelming victory in the Sunshine State in his 2022 re-election (he was, by far, the Republicans’ brightest spot in a disappointing night), and his taking on California Gov. Gavin Newsom in Thursday night’s Fox debate. He’s also got the undeniable negative of running distant, distant second to Trump at the moment, so really, either one is possible.
Either way, it was a gamble that DeSantis could use it to connect with voters in Colorado — or elsewhere in the country.
Naturally, there were more than a few social media users who either didn’t get the joke or pretended not to.
The leftist Daily Beast actually headlined its coverage with “DeSantis Hilariously Flubs Tweet Announcing His ‘Excitement’ for Colorado Primary.”
It would take the blinkered vision of The Daily Beast to not see the joke for what it was, but whatever the case, it sets the stage for even more drama if and when Trump makes a similar announcement.
According to the Fort Collins Coloradoan, the Colorado Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments Dec. 6 on a court case aimed at keeping Trump from the ballot on the grounds that he engaged in “insurrection” in his role in the Capitol incursion of Jan. 6, 2021.
It’s a pretty good bet that if Trump prevails in that court battle, Colorado’s Republican Party is going to have enough excitement occurring naturally that it doesn’t have to worry about ginning some up.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.