The impeachment of former President Trump It has been a breath of fresh air for a political project that had drowned. Faced with a bleak electoral scenario, Donald Trump’s campaign was dying, particularly given the brightness of the new star of the Republican firmament, the current governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis.
After his spectacular victory in the last state elections, his trail continued to grow, nourished especially by many of the former president’s most ardent defenders, supporters and collaborators, who saw in the Florida governor an electorally strong, ideologically coherent response. , with the appropriate credentials and a more appropriate personal and institutional profile. You know, politics is like astrophysics, if you substitute the force of gravity for the force of power. In politics there are no friends, and in difficult moments how many times will be heard that if I have seen you I do not remember.
Well, before the emerging figure of Florida, the Republican Party seemed to be splitting in two. On the one hand, the supporters of the return of Trump. On the other, those who saw DeSantis, a supposedly more moderate figure, a better candidate capable of beating Joe Biden in the following 2024 elections.
The ex-president’s entourage did not look favorably on the growing popularity of what was, at the time, the right eye and one of the biggest supporters of the then president. For months, from the Trump team they have been happening endless personal attacks on the figure of the governor of Florida, being this identified as the opponent to beat in the primaries of the party so that Trump can get to have the slightest chance of recovering the White House. This campaign to smear the other Republican is nothing more than a sign of weakness on the part of a former president cornered by both judicial problems and media scandals.
But it is that the support for the former president seems to be returning. This is as a result of the imputation of the president last Thursday. Republicans close ranks, and prominent members of the party who do not view with good eyes some movements of justice that they consider as an attack, not against the former president, but against the party. A support that, if consolidated, could well translate into a victory for Trump in the Republican primaries.
The fact is that this accusation seems to have been good for the former president. Of the many legal problems that plague him (mainly his role in the episodes of the capture of the Capitol), this was, without a doubt, the least important, a case taken with tweezers that most legal analysts in the country think will not have longer tour. A case that many see as the politicization of justice.
Without going into the validity of the allegations of legality or illegality in the matter of payments to the porn actress, what is worth noting is that this development may have considerable political consequences. It is worth asking who benefits from this movement, why this issue, and why now.
And it is that the Republican Party was orphaned, without direction, after Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 elections. But Joe, despite having known how to deal with major crises both nationally and internationally during his tenure, seems not to be able to to win over and convince an electorate in search of alternatives. Allegations about the deterioration of his cognitive abilities, various health problems linked to his high age, or his choice as a co-candidate for the vice-presidential position seem to have created a schism between Biden and the voter.
Enter Ron DeSantis, the young governor of Florida, a conservative candidate who has reaped successes in managing his state, and who comes from sweeping last year’s elections where he achieved an overwhelming victory against his Democratic opponent, taking an advantage of almost 19 and a half points. To put you in context, in the presidential elections Trump took Florida by just a difference of 3 points over Biden.
This victory turned, overnight, DeSantis into the best hope of the Republican Party to win the White House. And it is that this victory left Trump completely out of the game, who saw any possibility of being elected not just President of the United States, but a candidate of the Republican Party in a primary in which he had to face the young candidate from Florida. A candidacy that, on the other hand, would make Biden’s re-election difficult.
Do not have the slightest doubt that the situation that would most favor the Democratic Party is none other than a repetition of candidates with Donald and “old Joe” facing off again. In truth, this accusation, more than a damage, is a breath of fresh air for an ex who wants to be again and for an incumbent who fears new competition from a better candidate.
Do not get wrong. Here Trump wins since It’s a chance to present yourself once again as the victim of a system that doesn’t like you. and he can gather his old guard again. Here Biden wins that he would get out of the way of a Republican opponent who could well pose problems for him at the time of re-election. Here DeSantis loses and the Republicans lose.
Borja de Aristegui He is a professor of International Relations