Does the former president feel threatened?
According to recent reports, Donald Trump is growing 'increasingly irritated' by the fact that Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis has not formally declared himself out of the running for the next presidential election in 2024. Trump has been reportedly 'griping' about DeSantis to visitors at his Mar-a-Lago resort, the substance of his complaints appearing to be that DeSantis is getting ever more popular in the core of the Republican party.
Trumps jealousy as DeSantis grows in popularity is compounded by the Governor's refusal to declare himself out of the running for president - something that seems unlikely at this point. While the Governor seeks re-election for a second term in Florida, why wouldn't he keep his options open?
Whether he wins a second term as Governor or not, he may well decide later on that the draw of the White House and presidency is just too compelling an opportunity to ignore.
A love-hate relationship?
Trump and DeSantis have a complex and ever-changing relationship. Ahead of a National Republican Congressional Committee dinner earlier in November, Trump hinted at DeSantis as a potential running mate for the 2024 presidential election.
Referring to the Governor, Trump was complimentary (if a little measured):
"He's a good man, but we have a lot of great people. He's been good"
But as is the usual when it comes to the former president, his opinions are continually shifting. Over 6-months ago, Trump hinted that he would consider DeSantis as a running mate if he decided to run for another term in the Oval Office.
In another about turn, Trump stated in October of this year that if he were up against DeSantis in an election, he'd beat him.
In recent years, many have speculated that DeSantis would stand an equally good chance of running for president in his own right, bringing voters the same brand of Republican politics but in a more efficient package - Trump version 2.0.
He would also be less encumbered with the baggage of Trump's one-term presidency which was far from glorious. He managed to alienate many core Republicans during his 4-years in power.
Roger Stone's interference
It seems clear that Donald Trump and those most loyal to him, definitely consider DeSantis a threat.
Earlier in November, Trump fan-boy Roger Stone threatened that if DeSantis didn't pledge not to run for president in 2024, he would stand against DeSantis as an independent candidate for Governor. His intention? To steal a few votes from DeSantis and threaten his chances of re-election.
That seemed to be an empty threat, and didn't discourage DeSantis from pushing forwards with his reelection campaign.
What happens next in the dysfunctional Trump-DeSantis relationship is anyone's guess.
Do you think Governor DeSantis should declare himself out of the running for the 2024 presidency? Do you think that Donald Trump should retire gracefully into the shadows? Let me know in the comments section below.