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The Ron DeSantis "raised hand" gaffe
It shows a lack of preparation for DeSantis to be unsure when asked if he would support Trump.
When Republican candidates were asked at the debate last week about whether they would support Donald Trump if he is the nominee, Ron DeSantis did the worst thing he could have done: He looked to his right then to his left, and raised his hand when he saw everyone else was raising their hands. In that moment, DeSantis was not a leader. He was a follower. His "never back down" persona was damaged. He made himself the target of mockery, which is one of the worst things you can do in politics.
I hate the constant gaffe policing we see in our politics. Often, people are put on the spot and then say the wrong thing or stumble over their words, and this is taken as a sign that he is a bad candidate. Everyone on the planet has made errors like that, so gaffe-policing is always a sign of hypocrisy.
That, however, is not what happened here. Every person on that stage knew months in advance that they would be asked if they would support Trump as the Republican Party's nominee. They should have had an answer prepared well in advance, reacting immediately to the question. Either keep your hand down or immediately put it up. An unsure answer is not a gaffe, it shows a lack of preparation. DeSantis would have been less damaged by not raising his hand at all than by doing so reluctantly.
I like Ron DeSantis. I think Mike Pence is the best candidate of the bunch, but DeSantis would be a good President. DeSantis led on COVID-19 policy while Trump gave too much power to Anthony Fauci. Trump was too willing to support economy-destroying, budget-busting lockdowns that led to a drastic increase in alcoholism, drug abuse and suicide, criticizing Georgia for opening up "too soon." But despite his qualifications, DeSantis' lack of preparation on the Trump question may well be the death of his campaign.