DeSantis Gets Praise (and a Near-Endorsement) From Wall Street Journal

One of the most highly-regarded forms of opinion to appear in newspapers across the country is the Editorial Board column, which tends to be more or less the “official position” of a media outlet.


Several papers with big national audiences – like the New York Times and the Washington Post – publish their statements regularly, but usually with a decent amount of fanfare as these elite establishments of journalistic integrity (in their opinion, anyway) hand down their judgment from their otherwise (allegedly) objective perches.

But often, these editorials are center-left in terms of political alignment. One of the very few places to take offer center-right perspectives from an editorial standpoint is the Wall Street Journal, and this morning, they have offered a level of praise for one presidential hopeful that comes as close to an endorsement as one can possibly get.

Over the weekend, Ron DeSantis was able to go to Iowa and show up Donald Trump, who canceled a Des Moines event out of fear of bad weather (again, allegedly). As a result, DeSantis was able to stop at a popular barbecue joint in Des Moines, Jethro’s BBQ Southside, and had by all accounts (except for the Associated Press’s account, that is), a great time. DeSantis has wrapped up a successful legislative session and is now back to a national tour that will see him making stops in key primary states like Iowa.

All that glad-handing with the people helps. As does the Wall Street Journal‘s high praise.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has a reputation as a cultural brawler, ready and willing to throw a right hook at Mickey Mouse, the College Board, the national press. To many GOP voters, it’s part of his appeal. But as Mr. DeSantis readies a 2024 presidential campaign, what deserves to get more attention is the agenda he recently helped usher through Tallahassee.

Mr. DeSantis is blessed with Republican supermajorities in both chambers of the Legislature, so he can’t claim total credit. Some planks of his platform are controversial among conservatives, and others could prove politically unpalatable to a national electorate. Yet there’s no denying that Mr. DeSantis gets things done. “The way we run the government, I think, is no daily drama, focus on the big picture, and put points on the board,” he once said.

Election 2024 DeSantis Trump
AP Photo/File

From there, they list his legislative victories and, when you look at it, it is indeed impressive. More than just the culture warrior legislation and policy, there are significant pro-family wins there – like universal school choice and sales tax exemptions for “family-focused” items as “diapers, wipes, children’s clothing, cribs, and strollers.”

In a blow to unions, he signed a law that eliminates automatic deductions from paychecks to public sector unions and instead allows for workers to pay directly. As the WSJ points out, that means unions have to convince workers to give them their money and not just take it straight away. Florida also passed a significant tort reform bill and constitutional carry. The list of accomplishments goes on.

But it’s these last few words from the Editorial Board that most people paying attention to the horse race need to read carefully.

No politician can please everyone. Yet this is a notable record of conservative governance in action, especially for a state that five years ago was politically up for grabs. Mr. DeSantis won in 2018 by a mere 32,500 votes, or less than 0.4%. In 2022 he won by 19 points.

Mr. DeSantis will need a broader agenda for national revival when he enters the presidential race. But his Florida record of accomplishment will appeal to Republican voters who want a President who can successfully govern.

That’s not an endorsement for 2024. DeSantis isn’t even officially a contender. But everyone, including the WSJ editorial board, expects him to be, and these words are extremely close to a nod of approval for 2024. Yes, they have been critical of DeSantis’ fight with Disney, and they are wary of too much culture warrior-ing, but they see what a lot of folks in the country see: If you do want to beat Trump, DeSantis might be the way to do so.


It’s not an endorsement, but it’s a big, big win for DeSantis nonetheless.


Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on RedState Videos