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DeSantis’ Bid for 2024 Republican Presidential Nomination Plagued by Technical Difficulties and Dwindling Audience on Twitter Spaces

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced his bid for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination on Twitter Spaces, Twitter's audio-only platform, but the event was plagued by technical difficulties and a dwindling audience. Initially delayed, the livestream event, which was hosted by owner Elon Musk and tech entrepreneur David Sacks, was abruptly cut short just a few minutes in.[0] Musk had to restart the event from a different account, and only about 250,000 people ended up listening to DeSantis' announcement.[0] This was a far cry from the millions he could have reached through more traditional media methods.

The botched rollout is a risk for DeSantis, as it forms a narrative that cuts against the very argument he is making to Republican primary voters – that he is a competent alternative to the chaotic presidency of former President Donald Trump.[1] The governor has been portraying himself in public speeches and private donor meetings as a controlled, low-drama politician who embraces many of Trump's policy positions without the trademark unpredictability.[1] However, on Wednesday, DeSantis was the picture of disorder as he struggled with technical difficulties.

Trump was direct in his criticism, expressing on his Truth Social platform that the launch of DeSanctus on TWITTER was an utter catastrophe.[2] The entirety of his campaign is bound to fail. Following the Twitter Spaces meltdown, Trump remarked, “Wow![3] The launch of DeSanctus on Twitter has been a complete disaster![2] The entirety of his campaign is destined for failure. WATCH!” He then gleefully shared various videos mocking DeSantis and on-again, off-again nemesis Elon Musk.[3]

DeSantis was also criticized by a number of Trump supporters in the media.[3] Unstable.[3] Technical problems.[3] Silences that cause discomfort.[3] A complete failure to launch,” Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said.[3] “And that's just the candidate.” A spokesperson for the Trump campaign sent out to reporters, Unstable.[1][3] Technical problems.[3] Silences that cause discomfort.[3] The launch was a total failure.[3] And that's only the nominee!

Now, political experts say DeSantis will need to bounce back if he has a hope of besting former President Donald Trump, who has held a consistent polling lead over the primary field, for the 2024 GOP nomination.[0] If the event had gone as planned, Musk could have been perceived as a new Republican power broker. However, the incident dealt a blow to his image.[0]

[4] However, Musk's connection to the political right has been growing stronger. On Wednesday, the governor of Florida, who is a Republican, was seen alongside him. During a Twitter Spaces live event, Ron DeSantis, who is supported by Elon Musk, declared his candidacy for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. While Musk has unambiguously aligned himself with the American right since his $44 billion Twitter acquisition, he hasn't always been in lock-step with the right-wing nationalist populists who comprise the MAGA movement. He's widely seen as sympathetic to Vladimir Putin; he once called one of the Russian President's ally's tweets predicting an end to the Russia-Ukraine war an “Epic thread!” Moreover, Musk has supplied Ukraine with satellites, which have played a crucial role in its self-protection. At the same time, he's a corporate tycoon who created an electric vehicles company, a line of business that's not exactly a favorite among the far-right.[5]

Instead of opting for traditional media methods like a possible interview with Fox News, DeSantis chose to steer clear of them for his campaign announcement.[0] It remains to be seen how he will recover from this Twitter Spaces debacle and what impact it will have on his campaign going forward.

0. “5 things to know for May 25: Ron DeSantis, Russia, Debt limit, January 6, Florida” CNN, 25 May. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/05/25/us/five-things-may-25-trnd/index.html

1. “‘It turned out to be a mistake': Botched rollout puts DeSantis on his heels” POLITICO, 25 May. 2023, https://www.politico.com/news/2023/05/24/desantis-twitter-campaign-glitch-00098748

2. “DeSantis Twitter glitch: What to know about the the 2024 announcement” USA TODAY, 25 May. 2023, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2023/05/25/desantis-twitter-glitch-5-takeaways-presidential-launch/70256451007

3. “5 Ways Trump Trolled DeSantis Over His Disastrous Launch” New York Magazine, 25 May. 2023, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2023/05/tk-ways-trump-trolled-desantis-over-his-disastrous-launch.html

4. “How DeSantis, Carlson, and Musk Will Change the Section 230 Debate” Reason, 25 May. 2023, https://reason.com/2023/05/25/elon-musk-twitter-desantis-tucker-carlson-section-230/

5. “Elon Musk and MAGA May Be Headed For a Nasty Showdown Over DeSantis” TIME, 25 May. 2023, https://time.com/6282692/elon-musk-maga-desantis-trump

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