DeSantis kicks off his campaign - with glitches

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis entered the race to become the Republican candidate for the presidency on Wednesday. The official announcement was made on Twitter together with the platform's CEO, Elon Musk, but was marred by technical glitches. Who is Trump's challenger and what are his chances?

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Wiener Zeitung (AT) /

The circus continues

DeSantis is also using polarisation tactics, laments the Wiener Zeitung:

“Somehow DeSantis seems similar to Trump, a little less harsh in his rhetoric, less drama, easier to elect. But this impression is deceptive: DeSantis only recently made waves with a ban on abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy. ... Anyone who had hoped that after the crazy Trump years the American right would give it a go with a candidate who would try to heal the rifts a little in this polarised country and return to a political culture of debate and competition of ideas will be disappointed. The circus continues.”

Večernji list (HR) /

An escalating culture war

DeSantis has adopted a more radical stance in recent months to boost his chances in the race, observes Večernji list:

“Known for his wars waged against 'woke' culture, DeSantis made some decisions that have turned this radical right-winger even more radical. In recent days, the NAACP, the largest organisation for the rights of Black Americans, and Human Rights Campaign, the largest organisation for the rights of LGBTQ persons, have even issued a warning to their members about travelling to Florida. This is because the laws passed there by the Republican majority under DeSantis have made Florida a region where there is open hostility towards black people and other minorities.”

The Economist (GB) /

Tough starting position

DeSantis will have a hard time beating Trump, The Economist predicts:

“He has been criticised as an isolationist for dismissing the war in Ukraine as a mere 'territorial dispute', as an anti-corporatist for picking fights with Disney and as an extremist for signing a ban on abortion beyond six weeks of pregnancy. ... In 2016 Mr Trump ran as an insurgent. In 2020 he ran as the incumbent. For 2024, he is running as a hybrid of the two - insurrectionist and institutionalist all at once. It is proving to be a potent combination, which has helped to build a huge lead in the early polling.”

La Stampa (IT) /

Twitter versus Fox

The fact that DeSantis chose Twitter to announce his candidacy speaks volumes, La Stampa notes:

“Musk maintains that his hosting DeSantis on his platform does not amount to an endorsement. ... The news website Axios rightly notes that DeSantis's announcing his presidential bid alongside the Twitter chief is a sign that the latter is aiming to replace Rupert Murdoch's Fox as the platform of choice for conservatives. While until recently Fox News was the preferred one for Republicans to make their announcements, the focus has shifted to Twitter as the 2024 election approaches.”