William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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I'M TELLING YOU, THE 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS HAVE BEGUN.  THE USUAL SUSPECTS ARE ALREADY GIVING ADVICE, AND SOME OF IT IS GOOD.  FROM DEMOCRATIC SUPER-GURU DOUG SCHOEN AT THE HILL: 

Let me describe a Republican presidential candidate for you. 

The governor of a swing state, this candidate has built a strong reputation as a firebrand conservative culture warrior. He has used his position to raise his national profile, campaigning for like-minded candidates in other states and speaking to conservative groups across the country. 

His comfortable reelection win has elevated him to frontrunner status in his party’s upcoming presidential primary contest at a time when the party itself is in need of a new direction and fresh leadership. The clear establishment favorite, this candidate leads in early polling and has become a top-tier fundraiser. 

Many reading this column may assume I’m talking, of course, about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), whose barnstorming of his state and the nation over the last four years have made him the darling of Republican activists and donors. 

While DeSantis certainly fits this description, it also applies to an individual who embodies a political cautionary tale about the perils of peaking too early: former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R). Walker was an early front-runner for the 2016 Republican nomination whose star quickly flamed out once the primary got underway. 

Make no mistake, the same thing could happen to Ron DeSantis in 2024. 

To be sure, in two recent Republican voter polls, from Suffolk University and the Wall Street Journal, DeSantis has emerged as the front-runner for the 2024 nomination. In a 2024 general election matchup, DeSantis is also polling ahead of President Biden, who is slightly favored in a head-to-head against Donald Trump.  

DeSantis’s reelection campaign also amassed a $200 million war chest, and he is currently sitting on more than $60 million that he is expected to redeploy into a federal super PAC if he decides to run for the nation’s highest office. GOP mega-donors such as Blackstone CEO Steven Schwarzman and Citadel leader Ken Griffin have pledged to either not support Trump, or have committed to backing DeSantis. 

That being said, Ron DeSantis is vulnerable for many of the same reasons that Scott Walker was in 2016, and there is a very real chance that DeSantis, like Walker, flames out quickly once the campaign begins. 

COMMENT:  Please read the rest.  It's the best political analysis I've seen recently, from the pen of a first-class professional.  Nothing is ever certain in presidential politics, as President Dewey learned in 1948.

December 21, 2022