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🇺🇸 DeSantis's Descent

Plus, "You Are The Father" - Orangutan Edition

The Flag

Good morning, and happy Friday. A wheelchair-bound fan crowd surfed his way up to the stage to play his harmonica at a Coldplay concert.

Plus, The Denver Zoo finally announced an answer to its recent orangutan paternity mystery with the help of an expert in the field: Maury Povich.

Also, here are some election-year investment gems you won’t want to miss. This link is a one-click sign-up to make it easy to grab your copy today.

Right: The Looming Lenin Comeback, Roger Kimball, The Spectator

Right: Why Win Votes When You Can Engage in Lawfare? Sohrab Ahmari, American Conservative

Left: The Supreme Court Did This to Itself, Dahlia Lithwick, Slate

Left: Trump Has Truly Earned Comparisons to Hitler, Zeeshan Aleem, MSNBC

QUICK CLICKS

Harvard Plagiarism, Colorado Fallout, Giuliani Bankruptcy

US: House Republicans investigating plagiarism allegations against Harvard President Claudine Gay (USA Today)

US: Colorado Supreme Court justices face a flood of threats after disqualifying Trump from the ballot (NBC News)

US: Rudy Giuliani files for bankruptcy days after being ordered to pay $148 million in defamation case (AP)

US: Teachers’ union sues Mayor Eric Adams over budget cuts (POLITICO)

World: Gunman kills at least 15 people in Prague university shooting (Reuters)

World: Beijing shrugs at U.S. call for help protecting Red Sea shipping (POLITICO)

World: Gaza death toll surpasses 20,000 as UN Security Council delays vote on aid (Al Jazeera)

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  • Top stock picks poised for substantial gains. 

  • Deep dives into election-year market dynamics. 

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2024

DeSantis’s Descent

Never Back Down, the super PAC behind Governor Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign, is in the spotlight following reports of internal dysfunction, lackluster polls, and resignations. The campaign is being accused of breaking campaign finance law by discussing TV spending decisions with the PAC.

Reporting from the Right: Top GOP strategist quits DeSantis PAC just weeks before Iowa caucus (FOX News)

Reporting from the Left: Once the leading alternative to Trump, turnover in the DeSantis team spells trouble (NPR)

From The Flag: Long seen as a clear runner-up and alternative to former President Donald Trump in the Republican primary, DeSantis’s presidential campaign has struggled to turn its predicted potential into reality. Here’s how both sides are covering the current state of the DeSantis campaign.

RIGHT-LEANING SENTIMENT

DeSantis’s Failure to Launch: A Cautionary Tale

  • DeSantis presented himself as the drama-free alternative to Trump, but his most influential backer, Never Back Down, is mired in controversy.

  • There appears to be no coherent strategy in the DeSantis campaign, and the Never Back Down controversy is further destroying DeSantis’s presidential ambitions.

  • “DeSantis has failed to regain the close standing he saw with Trump in the polls following the 2022 midterm elections and has seen a steady downward turn nationally as Trump's lead over the field expands.”

Never Back Down tested limits of super PACs. Will it become a cautionary tale? Mabinty Quarshie, Washington Examiner: “In the months leading up to Gov. Ron DeSantis's announcement he would be running for president, he was portrayed as the candidate most similar to former President Donald Trump but without the drama, chaos, and vitriol. … But nearly seven months after DeSantis became a presidential candidate, his campaign has failed to overtake Trump and hold back other rivals, including former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. Never Back Down, the super PAC that has acted as a surrogate campaign for the Florida governor, is beset with recent staff resignations and firings that are threatening DeSantis's efforts to win the Jan. 15 Iowa caucuses, the crown jewel of his battle to defeat Trump. … as DeSantis desperately needs attention focused on wooing Iowa caucus voters, his super PAC's drama is overtaking his one-time persona as Trump minus the baggage. Instead of receiving media attention for his increased attacks against Trump, Never Back Down is taking up headline space, not a positive sign for a candidate who is trailing Trump by double digits in most polls.”

DeSantis Strategist Steps Down, in Latest Sign of Campaign Turmoil, Alex Leary, The Wall Street Journal: “Internal turmoil continued for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s presidential bid as a top strategist resigned over the weekend, the latest departure in a campaign beset with missteps and personality clashes. Jeff Roe, who led the Never Back Down super PAC handling an outsize role in the campaign, resigned Saturday night, citing critical comments from another official with the group in a story by The Washington Post. … He and DeSantis didn’t have much of a relationship and problems soon emerged over strategy and negative headlines involving Roe and the super PAC, which legally cannot directly coordinate with the campaign. … DeSantis has struggled throughout his campaign and failed to establish himself as a clear alternative to Trump. Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is now fighting for second place with DeSantis, though Trump maintains a significant lead in polls. DeSantis continues to project confidence that his intensive focus on Iowa, which holds the first nominating contests on Jan. 15, will pay off. DeSantis in recent weeks has been more forceful in criticizing Trump but it hasn’t yet changed the trajectory of the campaign.

One more opinion piece from the Right: Ron way, go back: Three times the DeSantis campaign shot itself in the foot, Julia Johnson, Washington Examiner

LEFT-LEANING SENTIMENT

It’s All Downhill for DeSantis

  • “The super PAC Never Back Down was supposed to win DeSantis the GOP nomination. Instead, it became a political cautionary tale.”

  • DeSantis’s disregard for campaign finance laws tells you everything you need to know about his inflated sense of entitlement.

  • Despite high expectations, DeSantis's campaign was doomed from the start because of unlikeable candidates and poor campaign strategy.

How Ron DeSantis’ $100 Million ‘Death Star’ Collapsed, Jake Lahut, Daily Beast: “Long before Ron DeSantis’ presidential ambitions began to falter, it was clear to anyone paying close attention that there were fatal flaws in his much-hyped political operation. … Never Back Down was launched as a super PAC—loaded up with $80 million transferred from DeSantis’ state-level PAC in Florida—designed to carry him to the presidency through sheer force. The prospect of a talent-stocked PAC spending historic sums on organizing and campaign messaging was initially so fearsome that some Republicans dubbed Never Back Down the ‘Death Star.’ … as dysfunctional as Never Back Down proved itself to be, other Republicans who spoke to The Daily Beast for this story pointed to DeSantis as a fundamentally flawed candidate, one who even the most well-funded operation could have only taken so far. Instead of charting a new course for campaign strategy, Never Back Down may end up as a case study in how to not run a presidential bid.”

Ron DeSantis is betting you won’t click on this campaign finance story, Matt Bai, The Washington Post: “I guess no one should have been surprised when the Associated Press reported that DeSantis has been dictating strategy to Never Back Down, through friends of his who sit on the board. The campaign denies the allegations, but it’s hard to escape the conclusion that DeSantis just doesn’t care. … It’s not that the candidate will, in the end, be any more beholden to his shadowy donors than anyone else might be. It’s that his callous behavior is telling you something larger about the type of person you’re dealing with. … Only entitled and selfish people cast aside the rules of society that inconvenience them, simply because they calculate that they can. … We don’t have to wonder what a person like that would be like as president. We’ve already had Donald Trump. If we learned nothing else from that experience, it’s that an entitled, self-obsessed politician in the White House will taint everything in our politics and make a coarse joke of civility and honor. Goodness and humility matter for a lot in politics. Which is why campaign rules still matter, too, whether they make any sense to us or not.”

One more opinion piece from the Left: How Ron DeSantis squandered his chance against Trump Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post

FLAG THIS

DeSantis’s Significant Drop

Two out of three Republican and Republican-leaning voters say they support Trump in the primary contest. Haley and DeSantis each tallied 11%, according to the Quinnipiac University poll released this week. For Desnatis, this is his lowest level of support to date, down from 36% in February (Axios).

Should DeSantis suspend his presidential campaign?

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POWERED BY WEALTH CREATION INVESTING

Dear Investors: In the lead-up to the pivotal 2024 election year, we're excited to present our comprehensive report, "Election Year Investment Gems: Stock Poised To Takeoff In 2024," brimming with insights and opportunities you won't want to miss.

Inside, you'll find:

  • Top stock picks poised for substantial gains. 

  • Deep dives into election-year market dynamics. 

  • Expert strategies to guide your success.

Secure your copy now by clicking this link.
(**By clicking the link you are subscribing to The Investor Newsletter Daily Newsletter and may receive up to 2 additional free bonus subscriptions. Unsubscribing is easy. Full disclosures found here.)

WATERCOOLER

Beethoven’s Fifth, Home Inspection, Pet Lion

On This Day in 1808: In what would soon become the world’s most recognizable piece of classical music, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67 received its world premiere.

Today I learned Actress Tippi Hedren and her daughter Melanie Griffith used to live with a 400-pound pet lion.

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