As has been long predicted, the first of many hit pieces on Casey DeSantis, the wife of Ron DeSantis, has dropped. Politico did the honors on Friday, attacking the recent cancer survivor as too involved in her husband’s life, citing numerous anonymous sources and some non-anonymous ones who really should have been.
The big bombshell in the story can be summarized as follows: Ron and Casey DeSantis have a good marriage, and they also support each other in their endeavors.
I know, it’s shocking stuff, but Politico did its level best to try to turn Casey DeSantis into an ominous figure. I guess you have to give them credit for the effort, I guess.
For some time now she’s been seen mostly and by many as an absolute superstar of a political spouse, a not so “secret weapon,” even something like his saving grace — an antidote for her sometimes awkward husband, social in a way that he is not, charismatic in a way that he is not, generally and seemingly at ease in the spotlight in a way that he so often and so evidently is not. A telegenic former television personality, a breast cancer survivor and a mother of three young kids, Casey, 42, has a sort of policy portfolio of her own that ranges from hurricane recovery to issues of mental health. In the DeSantis political project, she is unusually important and uncommonly involved, according to hundreds of interviews over the last few years and more than 60 more over the last few weeks — an array of former staffers, current supporters and donors, state and federal lawmakers and Florida lobbyists and political professionals. “She is every bit as involved in Ron’s rise as Ron is himself,” David Jolly, the ex-GOP Florida congressperson who’s now an MSNBC analyst, told me. “In shaping him, in driving him … it’s different,” said a veteran Republican lobbyist. “Unlike any first lady in my extended memory,” added Tallahassee fixture Mac Stipanovich.
Just a few paragraphs in, and the red flags are already popping up. Once again, a mainstream press outlet has sought out David Jolly to comment on the ongoings of Florida politics. Who is Jolly? He’s a former Republican congressman turned Democrat who now makes his bones fluffing the left on MSNBC. The same is true of Mac Stipanovich, another former Republican turned Democrat. What do they know about the current dynamic between Ron and Casey DeSantis? The answer is obviously nothing, but Politico wanted a narrative, and it found it.
That’s small potatoes compared to one of the other sources of the article, though. None other than Roger Stone made an appearance, calling Casey DeSantis “Lady Macbeth.” Because when I want marriage advice, I got to a guy who used to hire other men to sleep with his wife.
Politico wrote a whole article around a critical comment made by key Trump adviser Roger Stone about the marriage of Casey and Ron DeSantis. Stone, who is notorious for asking men to sleep with his wife because he gets off on being cuckolded. Just incredible. pic.twitter.com/v5834UALC2
— Pedro L. Gonzalez (@emeriticus) May 19, 2023
It’s almost funny to see how the left reacts to a marriage that approaches some semblance of normalcy. Wait, you mean DeSantis doesn’t cheat on his wife and actually cares about what she thinks? How absolutely scandalous.
Here are a few more quotes that capture the tone of Politico’s piece.
“He’s a leader who makes political decisions with the assistance of his wife, who was elected by nobody, who’s blindly ambitious,” said a former DeSantis administration staffer. “And she sees ghosts in every corner.”
“She’s more paranoid than he is,” said a second staffer.
“He’s a vindictive motherfucker. She’s twice that,” said a higher-up on one of his campaigns. “She’s the scorekeeper.”
“Does she sort of humanize the robot? Does she push him on the grip-and-grin, the baby-kissing, give him a cleaner, softer image? Yes,” said another former gubernatorial staffer. “Does she also feed into his, I guess, worst instincts, of being secluded and insular and standoffish with staff? Yes.”
Notice none of those anonymous sources work for DeSantis anymore. There’s a reason for that. After his 2018 campaign, DeSantis cleaned house of anyone who would stand in the way of him accomplishing what he wanted to accomplish as governor. That he took that step so quickly and authoritatively is a major reason Florida just had its most successful, conservative legislative session in history. So while these people can snipe from the sidelines, DeSantis is out there delivering wins for the people.
There was one donor willing to go on the record, though, and his statement is instructive.
And it’s not just opponents and others with axes to grind who think this. “She is both his biggest asset and his biggest liability. And I say biggest asset in that I think she does make him warmer, softer,” Dan Eberhart, a DeSantis donor and supporter, told me. “But he needs to be surrounded with professional people, not just her,” he said.
Let me translate that for you: DeSantis does not care what donors demand of him, and it drives them nuts. “Professional people” in this context means consultants. Highly-paid do-nothings who ensure that Republicans betray their voters to make a small minority of shot-callers happy. DeSantis doesn’t play that game. Despite their cries, he battles Disney, bans abortion, and stops the mutilation of children, among many other things that make the establishment wail.
That’s a good thing so Politico can jump in a lake with their hit piece on Casey DeSantis. Republicans will gladly take what her husband has been delivering over the protestations of the beltway bunch.