IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

DeSantis' Twitter announcement is the latest unconventional presidential launch

Presidential campaign launches are all about reaching a big audience, and candidates over the years have tried a bevy of different ways to make a splash.


Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis is set to announce his long-anticipated presidential candidacy via Twitter Spaces on Wednesday evening, but his unconventional choice isn’t the first.

Georgia Republican Newt Gingrich was the first major presidential candidate to announce his campaign on Twitter when launched his bid in 2011. Gingrich tweeted his candidacy, posting an announcement video on the platform.

Many candidates have since launched their campaigns with a video posted to a variety of social media platforms. But DeSantis' launch is not a typical social media announcement, since he is expected to participate in a live audio event alongside Twitter owner Elon Musk, whose leadership of the company has generated criticism.

Late-night television was also a popular platform for candidates like Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., announced his presidential run an interview with David Letterman in 2007.

Several candidates have announced their campaigns on NBC's "Meet the Press," including former Arkansas GOP Gov. Mike Huckabee in 2007.

Even former President Donald Trump teased a future run during a 1999 "Meet the Press" appearance, saying the polls would “change very rapidly” once he announced a formal candidacy.

“It’s a very great possibility that I will run,” Trump said at the time. “I’m really only going to do this if I know I’m going to win. …I think by January, February, March at the latest I’ll make a decision.”

Trump ultimately did not run for president until nearly 20 years later, in 2016.