The Managing of DeSantis, Five Days in the Bunker and a New Press Secretary


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on August 12, 2022 | Sundance 

Bunker boy Ron DeSantis has completed five days of silence and is scheduled to re-emerge tomorrow in Arizona as part of the TPUSA national tour.  Those of you who have walked the deep weeds of national politics, know exactly what is happening.  Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has entered the managing phase of the GOPe candidate process.

[The TLDR version is HERE] – The well-liked Florida Governor has remained silent and invisible for five days, ever since the FBI raid against President Trump at Mar-a-Lago, in West Palm Beach, Florida.  {Go Deep} The governor of the state has said nothing and avoided any opportunity where he may have been asked for comment.  Instead, he has transmitted two pre-recorded statements from the bunker.

The silence is deafening transparency for those who accept how the professional republican club operates; the key word is “accept.” Unfortunately, there is a jaw-dropping amount of denial.  We are seeing the outcome of Ron DeSantis being professionally managed by the GOPe club.

Now we move into the phase of re-branding where risks are mitigated, and positions are modified.  Earlier today, while still in the bunker, DeSantis’ press secretary Christina Pushaw announced her exit.

As the rebranding takes shape, Ms. Pushaw is now moved away from the principle (that’s Ron) and becomes a part of the campaign team.

(FLORIDA) – Christina Pushaw, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Press Secretary, departed her administrative role Friday to join the Republican Governor’s re-election campaign.

The Florida Standard, a conservative new media outlet, was the first to report Pushaw’s shuffle and published her resignation letter, which Pushaw sent to Chief of Staff James Uthmeier and Director of Administration Dawn Hanson on Friday. She will become the campaign’s Director of Rapid Response beginning Monday.

Deputy Press Secretary Bryan Griffin will step in as lead Press Secretary on Monday, where he will report directly to Communications Director Taryn Fenske. (more)

DeSantis has no primary challenger, so the club timing right on schedule.  He emerges from the bunker with a few weeks to break in the new alliance, new team, new campaign motive and new brand image.  Bold becomes pastel.  Tomorrow the GOPe club kick-off the relaunch through the aligned TPUSA organization, which they have now taken control by purchasing Charlie Kirk.   Remember, in club politics it’s the money that changes things.

The script will follow the customary mapping.  DeSantis will start a national enhanced branding effort, increased exposure to unfamiliar audiences, and simultaneously absorb the MAGA aspect the GOPe need.  MAGA bona fides will come from appearances with names like Kari Lake and Blake Masters, under the auspices of endorsements.

On its face, it is supposed to look like DeSantis is endorsing Kari Lake and Blake Masters, two strong MAGA candidates.  However, the actual club motive is to transfer the MAGA currency of Lake and Masters into the pocket of DeSantis.

The club gets much more out of it than Lake or Masters.  The club gets the stealth benefits that people never pay attention to. This is part of the brand image for DeSantis and club strategy.

Whether Ron DeSantis knew of the DC/FBI targeting effort before Monday is a moot point.  What DeSantis did know was that this week a new branding effort would begin. It started with the “Dear Governor DeSantis” commercials. The subtle shift is to nudge him out of Florida politics into a more prominent national role

All of this is coordinated by the national club.  Nothing is just random, but the presentation to the voters must retain the illusion of choice.

Everything now is about club branding and club management. That’s why I knew four days ago that Pushaw would depart, and I started to deliver statements on Twitter toward that end. Many people became upset.  However, I do not take such a severe position, as I did on Monday, without overlaying all of the data-points we have assembled. I know it sometimes shocks people, they get mad at me, but as you watch it you will see it unfold. This is simply how the club operates.

It’s not DeSantis fault per se’. He doesn’t really have many options. He holds no independent wealth to keep the club away from influence.

DeSantis is being managed now. He’s shifted into the Pence, Jeb, Haley, professional wing of the club. Things change. He’s accepting GOPe grooming (bunker silence). Simultaneously risks are distanced (Pushaw departs official orbit), proximity mitigation. It really is just a mgmt/branding effort.

Now he will begin a national tour. A book (written for him) is looming. The pattern never changes.

The “professionals” will now enter the picture. The orbit of DeSantis will be more controlled. Representatives will come from the professional political class. Speeches and remarks will be filtered and approved. Risks will be mitigated. Control mechanisms in place.  However, the illusion of authenticity must be retained.  This is the club weak point (see Cruz and Haley).  This is what the club will try to modify with DeSantis and Kristi Noem.

At first, whenever DeSantis reemerges – likely tomorrow, you will notice a subtle shift, perhaps an awkwardness. A slight change in the authenticity you used to love. A more careful and deliberate speech pattern. Longer thoughts before responses. More appearances on Fox News. Brett Baier et al, w/ the assist.

The technique is Norman Rockwell (optics) and Ward Cleaver (tones), soft hues and gentlemanly pastels.

Club branding is subtle on the image front, but very clear on the substantive messaging side. Social issues selected to maximize camp coalition, and influence base.

Consistently present political messaging where the republican voter base can say “yes.” Keep the “yes” messaging at the forefront (social emphasis). Focus on values. Schools, kids, safety, woke pushback, media bias etc, keep the audiences nodding yes.  Ultimately, it’s a sales technique. Identify with the target to influence their decisions.

Issues around multinational & corporate economics, hard lines, foreign policy, all these things must be avoided – except in general terms.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is not to be challenged, not really.  Keep the message social and build the emotional connection. It is harder to break an emotional bond than a logical or cognitive bond.

These are the political techniques of Lee Atwater that still make up the bulk of the GOPe club playbook.   The greatest skill of the professionally republican is to present the illusion of choice in such a way as the voters do not see it.

Keep in mind, back in Washington DC both clubs are collaborating on the Trump removal program because both clubs’ benefit.

If we watch closely, we will see a MAGA-lite, professionally controlled republican go from five-days as a pupa (now) to chrysalis (next), to national club butterfly.

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Hi Karl.

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