From the Right



The DeSantis They Know

Salena Zito on

DUNEDIN, Florida -- He's boring.

He has a distaste for glad-handing.

He's charmless.

One by one, media figures look through their telescope at Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., and dutifully echo the judgment. But watching DeSantis work in person leaves a different impression entirely.

DeSantis is chatting with his constituents along a walking trail in his hometown when Kimberly Baldwin catches sight of him standing on a pathway in a local park and is moved to tears when DeSantis stops talking midsentence to chat with her.

"Hi, Kimberly. How are you doing?"


"Amazing, now that I've met you," Baldwin says. The two talk about her return to their mutual hometown of Dunedin after living in Miami. Her father, she says, is the deputy sheriff in nearby Land O' Lakes, and she recently decided to go back to college.

Then she timidly asks for a hug.

DeSantis doesn't hesitate, and Baldwin lists the two things she admires most about his governing: his decision to "act with conviction" when reopening the state during the pandemic and his decisiveness in response last September to Hurricane Ian, one of the deadliest and most destructive storms to hit Florida in nearly 100 years. The encounter was one of the dozens with constituents and tourists amused to begin their Thursday morning randomly running into the governor.

At the same time, DeSantis is getting shade in his home state from the two top political powerhouses in both parties.


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Copyright 2023 Creators Syndicate, Inc.




Mike Lester John Darkow John Cole Marshall Ramsey Steve Benson John Branch