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March 7, 2023 39 mins

With Nikki Haley entering the fray, The GOP primary contest has officially begun.  Many more candidates are expected to announce here in the coming weeks. But of all the potential challengers, one has emerged as the odds on favorite to defeat the Republican standard bearer Donald Trump.  Current Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis has proven himself a formidable political operator, many in the party elite think that the future of the party belongs in his capable hands.  He is polling very well, he has the support of the establishment, is a fundraising juggernaut, and manages to channel the core of Trumpism in a more moderate and appealing package.  But other political strategists and party faithfuls believe that you underestimate Donald Trump at your own peril. His influencer over rank and file GOP voters is unmatched, and he proved himself to be a force during the 2016 primary. In short, DeSantis may be the future, but Donald Trump is the present.


Arguing for the motion is Senior Fellow in the Governance Studies program as well as the Director of the Center for Effective Public Management at the Brookings Institution.


Arguing against the motion is Republican political strategist and publisher of the neoconservative news and opinion website The Bulwark.

Speaker Quotes 

ELAINE KAMARCK: “A shtick that seemed fresh and exciting and wonderful in 2016 is likely to not be quite as interesting after a while, when it's the same old thing and when, instead of it being fresh and exciting, it seems a little bit dated and a little bit irritating”.


SARAH LONGWELL: “There's a lot of reasons to think that Ron DeSantis could be ascendent and Donald Trump could be yesterday's news, but I think he holds enough of a real chance that nobody should underestimate him and everybody should treat it with the severity and the concern that it deserves.”.

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