Neil W. McCabe: Don’t Count Ron Desantis Out

May 24, 2023

Live from Music Row, Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – guest host Aaron Gulbransen welcomed One America News Network’s own Neil W. McCabe to the newsmaker line to discuss the underground campaign of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for president and his upcoming Twitter announcement with Elon Musk.

Gulbransen: On our newsmaker line, the top gov tracker, of course, our good friend Neil W. McCabe from One America News, formerly of The Star News Network, and my buddy who, for those of you who don’t know, I used to call up. Neil got me through a few tough nights working with The Tennessee Star when we were in the heat of writing nine articles a day. How are you, sir? (Laughs)

McCabe: Hey, do you ever really leave The Star News Network? I don’t think so.

Gulbransen: No! It’s like the mafia around here. I leave; I’m still on the air. You leave; you’re still on the air. I guess the only way out is death.

Beierelein: Neil’s a made man, it sounds like.

McCabe: What’s that?

Gulbranen: Jeff just said you’re a made man. There you go.

McCabe: I’ll tell you the other thing is I’m just thrilled to be on the show with you, Jeff, and Aaron because Mike’s gone. So now we can truly be the morning zoo that Nashville deserves. Let’s let it rip. (Laughter)

Gulbransen: All right! Gee, I wonder what we’re going to talk about. Let’s see. Oh, I know the governor of Florida is announcing for president today.

McCabe: Ah, yeah. So there’ll be wars and rumors of wars. In fact, I’m standing outside the Tallahassee State Capitol now. I’m about to do some standups after this call, but yes, today is the day it was confirmed by Elon Musk that DeSantis announces for President of the United States at a special 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time as a Twitter Spaces event.

Also, at that event, it’ll be Musk, DeSantis, and David Sachs, who’s one of the founders of PayPal. He founded PayPal with another kid named Peter Thiel, who’s also expressed support for DeSantis. So tomorrow, they’ll go to Dunedin, where he grew up in Florida.

That’s where he learned to play baseball. And, of course, there are so many lessons in baseball, and it was baseball that gave him that scholarship to Yale that kickstarted his career, which could end with him being president of the United States.

Gulbransen: Will he be sitting in a room with Musk, or is he doing it remotely, and they are almost like a conference call on Twitter?

Carmichael: Spaceship. Elon Musk spaceship.

McCabe: They booked out the Four Seasons in Miami and they’re having funders and other fundraisers sort of gather and they’re going to do a DeSantis telethon, raise a bunch of money, do what we used to call a money bomb. And so I imagine he’ll have supporters in the room with him.

Gulbransen: That will be interesting. He’s got a lot of money in his war chest. It has been since you brought up baseball, but if we’re talking hockey and basketball, a giant year to be a south Florida sports fan, so maybe that’s an omen for Governor DeSantis moving forward. What’s the mood down there all about it? And also, what’s the next week going to look like for the DeSantis campaign and the campaign for the presidency, and the Republican side overall?

McCabe: I was there election night when First Lady Casey DeSantis wore that stunning gold evening gown that made all the papers. And in the crowd, there were all these sort of young Florida conservatives who have no idea what it’s like to lose an election. And they were chanting two more years.

So there’s a lot of enthusiasm around the sort of the people who you might call, and I don’t mean this as a pejorative, but just as the cult of DeSantis. There are a lot of people who are just completely psyched outta their minds that he’s going to run for president.

For most conservatives, for most Republicans, and Florida, this is bittersweet because many of them want closure and President Donald Trump to get the term he was cheated out of. They also feel that Trump was their guy. And it’s almost like a quarterback controversy—Bledsoe versus Tom Brady.

Something I went through 20 years ago. And that’s where we’re at, but you have to give it to DeSantis. He has seriously put numbers on the board, and if you compare him with Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, he has majorities in the House and the Senate.

He’s got a MAGA state that will do anything MAGA he wants to do, and yet he’s paling around with the leftist who want to take away your guns. And so that just doesn’t fly in Florida. That is not what DeSantis does. DeSantis is not content to push a conservative agenda in Florida. He used interest money from the UN from COVID funds to fly those migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard.

He’s a very serious dude and you don’t want to count a guy like that out. The other thing I want to point out is, it’s interesting to me that the campaign really has followed the three phases of Chairman Mao’s theory of insurgency. First, he had a cadre of loyal supporters and staffers.

Then he built an underground organization with coalitions and state directors and whatnot, and then all of a sudden, boom, they pop up. And so today, tomorrow, the next few days, you’re going to see this underground organization that DeSantis has built across the country pop up out of thin air, and it’ll be like a just add water, instant campaign.

And I think a lot of people are going to be surprised by the work that has gone into the DeSantis campaign because this thing was just not a notion. This thing was a very serious plan that they’d been working on for months.

Gulbransen: Right. And as of 6:00 p.m. today, Jason from Crown Cigar in Franklin/Brentwood will owe Aaron Spradlin a bottle of bourbon because he’s stupidly made a bet that DeSantis wouldn’t run for president. (McCabe laughs)

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Ron DeSantis’ by Ron DeSantis.