Back in the winter and spring, as you might recall, Casey DeSantis was widely considered the secret weapon behind her husband’s poorly concealed presidential ambitions. In May, in particular, Politico described Casey as Ron DeSantis’s “biggest asset and his biggest liability”—after all, she was a telegenic, media-trained confidante who also happened to be his closest advisor and gatekeeper, with an iron grip over his staff and strategy. Nationally, she was expected to improve his likability, even as allies warned that their insular, family office-style brain trust would struggle to scale.
Alas, Republican operatives—and politicos, in general—tend to be leery of ambitious political wives, many of whom too often become soft targets on campaigns. And it seems this has increasingly become the fate of Casey DeSantis back home in Tallahassee, as her husband continues to slide in the polls, unable to reboot his reboots. In fact, as Ron battles to regain altitude ahead of the first G.O.P. primary debate, some Florida insiders wonder if Casey actually has a more politically promising future than her husband.
The Florida governorship, after all, is term limited, which means that Ron can’t run again in 2026. Sure, there’s the Senate, but another seat won’t open in the state until two years later, in 2028—a lifetime for an ambitious couple who have tasted power and appear, naturally, unprepared to relinquish it. “They won’t have a fulcrum for raising money,” predicted a Trump advisor who has been watching them closely. “They’re going to have a lot of unhappy donors, and he’s very sensitive to the donor class.”