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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis campaigns for New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Rep. Lee Zeldin on Oct. 29, 2022, in Hauppauge, N.Y.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis campaigns for New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Rep. Lee Zeldin on Oct. 29, 2022, in Hauppauge, N.Y.Julia Nikhinson / AP file

Eyes on 2024: Keeping up with Ron DeSantis

DeSantis promoted legislation Tuesday on Covid-19 mandates and emotional, social and corporate governance (ESG).

By and

Less than two weeks after his inauguration, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis isn’t engaging much with the speculation he might run for the GOP presidential nomination next year, even as some Republicans are openly encouraging him to run (with the latest push from several Michigan GOP lawmakers, per Politico). 

But amid the “will-he, won’t he,” it’s worth keeping an eye on what he’s doing as chief executive, knowing that much of the public’s attention is on him.

On Tuesday, DeSantis made two moves sure to excite the GOP base — and frustrate his political opponents. First, he proposed legislation to not only ban Covid-mask mandates, mask and vaccine mandates in schools and “Covid-19 vaccine passports”, but he also proposed a ban on employers “hiring or firing based on MRNA jabs.” 

And he backed proposals aimed at punishing companies that promote environmental, social, and corporate governance. 

Vaccine politics and a fight against corporations deemed too “woke” — the political equivalent of serving the GOP base a medium-rare tomahawk ribeye. 

In other campaign news:

Trump unplugged: Former President Donald Trump gave a wide-ranging interview during Monday’s episode of the Water Cooler radio show, criticizing Biden’s handling of classified information while absolving his own alleged indiscretions; refusing to take sides in the bid to lead the Republican National Committee; saying that “nobody has ever done more for right to life than Donald Trump”; and taking credit both for DeSantis’ political rise as well Kevin McCarthy’s speakership. 

Trump’s campaign also announced he’ll speak in South Carolina on Jan. 28 with GOP Gov. Henry McMaster and Sen. Lindsey Graham to “unveil his South Carolina leadership team.” 

A key(stone) primary: Pennsylvania state lawmakers are considering moving the state’s presidential primary into March, per the Philadelphia Inquirer. 

Sanders speaks: Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who has not ruled out another run for president, gave a speech at the Capitol Visitors Center on Tuesday night, in an event reminiscent of his 2020 campaign, per NBC News’ Gary Grumbach. Sanders said it is “long overdue for us to start paying attention to the oligarchy in the United States of America,” Grumbach reports.

No rush for Noem: South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem did not directly address when she will decide whether she will run for the White House in 2024, telling CBS News, “I’m not convinced that I need to run for president. But I also believe that this country needs somebody to lead us that has a vision.” She said she does not feel rushed to make a decision.

Porter takes a side: Democratic Rep. Katie Porter is endorsing in the race for her House seat now that she’s running for Senate, backing state Sen. Dave Min, who represents much of the district in the state Senate, NBC News’ Sahil Kapur reports. Porter also backed Min when he ran for state Senate in 2020 even though they faced off in a bitter primary for Congress in 2018. Former Democratic Rep. Harley Rouda is also running for Porter’s seat

Judgment time: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel breaks down the four candidates running for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, a statewide race that could have major implications for Wisconsin and provide clues about where the battleground state is headed in 2024.