DeSantis Back in Presidential Race After Disney Victory

in Disney, Walt Disney World

Ron DeSantis with fireworks at Walt Disney World

Credit: Inside the Magic

Governor Ron DeSantis may have already conceded the 2024 presidential race, but it seems that his recent surprise legal victory over the Walt Disney Company has stoked his White House ambitions for the future.

Ron DeSantis giving a speech in front of the Florida flag
Credit: Ron DeSantis via Instagram

After a strong start in which he was regarded as a legitimate contender to former president Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee, Ron DeSantis’s campaign quickly stalled and sputtered out in January. It has emerged that his presidential run cost some $130 million dollars, largely from grassroots donors who saw their pick bow out under the pressure of his multiple Disney lawsuits and public mockery.

Despite his extremely vocal criticism of the former president, DeSantis ended up endorsing Trump and basically retreated to Florida after having spent months focusing on the voters of other states. Then, United States District Court Allen Winsor abruptly dismissed a Disney lawsuit against DeSantis, claiming that the iconic media company had no standing to sue the governor on First Amendment grounds.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis smiling while looking at the Cinderella Castle inside the Magic Kingdom at Disney World.
Credit: Inside The Magic

Related: Disney World Could See Fallout of DeSantis ‘Draconian’ Laws

This seems to have revitalized the far-right politician, and political analysts are now expecting that DeSantis is already preparing for another presidential run in 2028 (per Politico). Although his duties as chief executive of the state of Florida pretty much exclusively deal with that state, DeSantis seems to have been emboldened by the victory over Disney to hold repeated press conferences in which he calls out President Biden and Congress, send a battalion of National Guard members to Texas, and inject himself back into national attention.

Ron DeSantis surrounded by Disney characters
Credit: Inside the Magic

While the public perception has been that DeSantis’s concession in the presidential race essentially took the governor down a peg, it seems that he is determined to stay in the public eye, likely to pave the way for an eventual 2028 run. State officials claim that DeSantis is now focused on the state he is governor of (which, to be fair, he took a literal oath to do before his presidential aspirations pushed him to Iowa), but supporters like longtime fundraiser Nick Iarossi say, “This guy is never going to let the grass grow under his feet…he’s hit the ground running.”

Critics of DeSantis in Florida also have noted that the governor seems less focused on the state than the national stage. State Representative Fentrice Driskell, the leader of House Democrats, says, “There were hopes he would focus on issues relevant to Floridians. I think we have seen media events that seem to be very gimmicky, and very much in the context of political stunts that we came to expect of him when he was a presidential candidate.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in front of an American flag
Credit: Ron DeSantis

Related: DeSantis Officially Takes Over Disney World

It is not all that surprising that DeSantis is rumored to be already preparing for a presidential run in 2028 after his legal defeat of Disney, albeit in only one of three pending cases. For months, national media largely held that the governor was being trounced by the Mouse House and its army of lawyers, but Judge Winsor’s decision to dismiss Disney’s case suddenly renewed DeSantis’s image as an anti-“woke” crusader.

However, DeSantis will still have to reckon with an appeal from the Walt Disney Company in the First Amendment case, as well as two different lawsuits involving the corporation and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District that he replaced the former Reedy Creek Improvement District with. While DeSantis might be riding high and gazing toward Washington right now, Walt Disney World is still right there behind him.

Do you think DeSantis will run for president in 2028? Give us your opinion in the comments below!

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