Opinion: DeSantis shows strong leadership during historically strong Ian.

Matthew C. Woodruff

DeSantis in an early Ian press conference.(via wsop)

Getting crisis responses right can define an administration. Time magazine predicted that how DeSantis dealt with Ian would be the most consequential 72 hours of his Governorship. According to a FOX News interview with Rep. Jim Jordan, who doesn’t seem to himself understand that disasters are not political, said, ‘we're seeing great leadership from the governor.’

When people’s lives and property is at stake, most leaders put politics aside. And in this DeSantis is not emulating his one-time former mentor Donald Trump, who during Hurricane Maria, which devastated an island full of American citizens, (yes Puerto Rico), repeatedly downplayed Maria’s disastrous toll. A visit to the island two weeks after the hurricane made landfall, Trump said Hurricane Maria wasn’t a “real catastrophe” like 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, (remember Trump handed out rolls of paper towels?) The 31-member Democratic Congressional Hispanic Caucus bashed Trump’s response to the storm, with Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.) dubbing it President Donald Trump’s “most significant failure.”

DeSantis response has been quick and able. President Biden and Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) put politics aside Tuesday night and spoke about Hurricane Ian hitting Florida. Biden offered the full resources of FEMA to Gov. DeSantis. “This is about the people of Florida,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters. “This is about two people who wanted to have a conversation on how we can be partners to the governor and his constituents and make sure that we are delivering for the people of Florida.”

According to Fox’s Ingraham, DeSantis is actively engaged in all aspects of managing the difficult challenges and directing the proper resources to where they’re needed most.

Gov. DeSantis stated in an earlier press conference, referring to Florida’s response, “We made sure we were very inclusive with it. We said that there was a lot of uncertainty and we’ve worked to make sure the preparations that have been done… and … you talk to people at the counties when they needed something, stuff gets there very quickly because of what Kevin and his team have done,” referring to Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie.

Time magazine goes on to say that given [DeSantis’] brazen political stunts in recent weeks, those betting DeSantis can effectively summon empathy are taking long odds. And having learned how a post-partisan storm recovery tour dogged New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s presidential campaign and became one of his tenure’s signature moments, it’s unlikely that a summit between DeSantis and President Joe Biden will unfurl.

It is a sign of strong leadership that, though strong political differences exist between the Republican Governor and the Democratic Administration, and DeSantis will no doubt get flak from the right of his party for working with Biden, they both seek to work together to help the people and victims of Hurricane Ian, as they have been doing.

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Matthew is a free-lance journalist, and an internationally award-winning author best known for Dark Humor/Lite Horror/Supernatural short stories, as well as an ordained minister who served as a domestic missionary. He is a lover of the unusual, travel, cats and the spark that makes people tick. Matthew is based in Florida, USA.

Gainesville, FL

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