DeSantis wants to turn a debate into a rally

It is unclear to me why Florida's Gov. Ron DeSantis would debate California's Gov. Gavin Newsom in the first place. DeSantis performs terribly in all public appearances, and he isn't running against Newsom for anything. While this doesn't hurt Newsom, who is a competent public speaker and governor, DeSantis clearly can not hold his own.

In order to try and not look like a total fool, DeSantis proposed rules for a "debate" that would make it not a debate. No one wants to watch these two face off, but showing videos to an audience on a stage seems pretty damn silly. That's a film festival.


In a letter to Hannity dated Friday, DeSantis' team offered its own rules, which diverged from some proposed by Newsom. Some of the differences:

  • DeSantis suggested four dates from Sept. 19 to Nov. 8, while Newsom proposed two dates in November.
  • DeSantis wanted a live audience with a 50-50 split, while Newsom said "no live audience."
  • DeSantis doesn't want opening remarks, while Newsom would like both participants to get four minutes.
  • DeSantis proposed that they each submit a 2-minute-long video that must be approved by Fox News before it is played at the top of the debate.

Hannity framed the event Wednesday as a "policy-based debate" between the heads of a red state and a blue state, but DeSantis has said the debate will be far more than that.

"This is the debate for the future of our country," he told Hannity.