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In the present climate, there’s a fascinating dance between expressing support for Donald Trump one day and Ron DeSantis the next. Having been around the block a few times, it’s no surprise that criticism always follows — brace yourselves for tomorrow’s Mailbag. But, let’s face it, I relish the opportunity to embrace this dynamic. Furthermore, I’m not inclined to indulge in the cult of personality, especially when it comes to politicians. This gives me the freedom to be an equal-opportunity provocateur.

These times are undeniably extraordinary.

Ron DeSantis’s campaign has yet to achieve the meteoric launch it deserves. As someone who applauds his accomplishments in Florida, I’m puzzled by his apparent reluctance to go all out. Since the pandemic, DeSantis’s stewardship of the nation’s third-most populous state has been a magnet for conservative approval.

The Democrats have consistently twisted or fabricated facts about Florida, perpetuating their dishonest narrative. Interestingly, even within Republican ranks, there’s an attempt to rewrite DeSantis’s stellar performance during the worst days of the COVID crisis. This is quite the stretch, considering DeSantis was the first Republican leader to defy federal overreach during the Fauci-driven frenzy. He remained steadfast despite unrelenting criticism from both sides of the aisle.

DeSantis shines brightest when he’s faced with skeptics. He masterfully dismantles the arguments of reporters who ask ill-conceived questions or misrepresent his actions. One reason his campaign might be struggling for momentum is the dearth of in-person adversaries to fuel his zeal.

Upcoming debates are on the horizon, although Trump’s assertion that he won’t participate clouds the picture. With commanding poll numbers and a dedicated audience on his Truth Social platform, why engage in a debate?

Vice President Kamala Harris has recently been relentless in spreading falsehoods about DeSantis and Florida’s public school curriculum. In response, DeSantis invited her to a debate, a challenge she promptly declined in her characteristic convoluted manner. Another politician who has taken to lying about DeSantis and Florida is California Governor Gavin Newsom. Surprisingly, he might accept the opportunity to debate DeSantis, despite the diverging fortunes of their respective states. As someone who spent nearly a quarter century in California, I can confirm that Newsom’s decision is likely fueled by delusion.

An encounter between DeSantis and Newsom promises to be riveting. Newsom’s request for Sean Hannity as moderator hints at his intention to cry bias should DeSantis emerge victorious.

DeSantis needs to muster more combativeness, or his campaign might fizzle before it even truly begins. A formidable adversary in person could inject new life into his campaign and inject some energy into this election season.

If the status quo prevails, Asa Hutchinson might soon become a surprisingly interesting figure.