By Diane Roberts
Something is terribly wrong here: Iowa, a far-off land of snow and butter, failed to give our Ronbo a win.
Yet he did everything right.
He visited all 99 counties. He shook hooves with every single cow.
He showed his “human side,” having his security people drag so-called climate protesters out of his rallies, sugar-shaming a kid drinking an Icee; and laughing — a lot! — a laugh many compared to the fun-loving Emperor Palpatine of “Star Wars.”
He took his kids to Iowa’s famous “Field of Dreams” where, in a delightful and totally unstaged family photo-op, he threw baseballs at his 5-year old.
He displayed the depth of his feelings toward his wife when he gave her a warm handshake after one of the debates.
Most of Florida’s government moved to Iowa to campaign for him: Cabinet officers, legislators, agency heads, and state employees usually stuck doing boring “service” stuff for taxpayers.
Impressive! What do you want bet Ronbo made one of his cute little jokes, maybe “nice job you got there; it’d be a shame if something happened to it.”
Taking the hint, these loyal minions used personal leave days, paying their own way, buying their own snow boots, freezing their fannies off for the man who could give them sweet federal appointments if only he could get into the White House.
Despite all of this, despite Casey wearing extra-tight jeans to campaign events, Ronbo failed to win a single county.
How could that be? Iowa Republicans are very white, as white as a Moms for Liberty orgy, as white as a debutante in an ice storm, as white as George Washington’s Sunday-go-to-meeting wig.
So, who’s to blame? Not Ron DeSantis, of course.
Maybe too many of his voters were on vacation in Florida (the Iowa of the subtropics), sitting by the pool in Boca when they suddenly exclaimed, “Aw, gee! I totally forgot the caucus!”
Or maybe they stayed home, glued to ET’s live Emmy red carpet telecast (OMG, did you see the side-boob action on that one girl?).
Ronbo’s theory of why he lost? The media.
The AP and CNN called the winner before everyone voted, putting the hoodoo on the dozens who might have voted for him.
The media are obviously pro-Donald Trump.
The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR? Riding the Trump Train. CNN? They LOVE Trump.
It’s also Nikki Haley’s fault. She should have gotten out of the way.
She might even be a Democrat plant.
As drop-out Vivek Ramaswamy correctly said (though he should have endorsed Ronbo instead of Trump), Haley gives “foreign multinational speeches like Hillary Clinton.”
Ronbo beat her, anyway, winning a full 21 percent of the 110,000 fine white Iowans who bothered to show up, while she only got 19 percent.
In Dunnellon baseball circles that’s called that a “whupping.”
Unlike Ronbo, Haley is a power-mad career politician. Now she’s sashayed off to New Hampshire, boasting about how she’s ahead of him by at least 25 points.
New Hampshire is another remote land of snow, maybe not so much butter, but a lot of RINOs who probably read books.
Nobody cares about New Hampshire.
Ronbo has decided to ignore it in favor of non-snow places.
The spirit of Ronbo
Some so-called “pundits” say he is kaput, done, finito. But like the brave Black Knight in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” he will keep fighting, even though his arms and legs have been chopped off. [Editor’s note: DeSantis dropped out of the race Sunday, hours after Roberts’s column initially appeared.]
Unbowed (if limbless) the Black Knight says, “All right, we’ll call it a draw.”
That perfectly encapsulates the spirit of Ronbo. His super PACs keep laying off staff, his campaign has burned through most of their cash, but, by God, they will soldier on and never back down.
Not until after the South Carolina primary anyway.
South Carolina is a good state: no snow, plenty of good, wholesome, vaccine-hating, Jesus-loving folks.
Yeah, Haley used to be governor there, but she messed up by taking down the Confederate flag then flubbed a question about the Civil War when she should have just pointed out that slavery taught Black people many useful skills.
Again, blame the media — the media, their communist friends, RINOs, baby-killers, teachers’ unions, Soros-funded lawyers, weather politicizers, and people who actually enjoyed going to an Ivy League college.
They claim Ronbo is “uniquely unlikeable.”
Certain elitists who served in Congress with him say he’s arrogant, petty, paranoid, and has no friends.
His Yale baseball teammates couldn’t stand him.
Who cares? Did everybody love Andrew Jackson? Hell, no. He was crude and violent, stealing land from native people and enslaving Africans.
He probably ate pudding with his fingers, too, because back then, real men didn’t need spoons.
Still, a great president.
What about Richard Nixon? Another great president. Liberals called him a criminal, but without Nixon going all-in on the evils of integration and the scariness of giving Black people rights, most Southern white people would still be Democrats.
What about Victor Orbán? He also gets called “awkward,” “a jerk,” and sometimes “a fascist.”
But look what Orbán’s done in Hungary: shutting down universities, replacing liberal judges with ones who think democracy is overrated, and muzzling any so-called journalists who question his power.
Ronbo could do all that for America if only America could bring itself to like him.
He’ll be the first to tell you he’s a great guy. He’ll protect you from drag queens and scientists, bad books and woke theme parks.
He will never surrender.
And if you voters have the bad taste to reject him as your presidential nominee, watch out. He’ll hold his breath until he’s blue and scream until he’s sick because it’s your fault, not his.
It’s never his fault.
Diane Roberts is an 8th-generation Floridian, born and bred in Tallahassee. Educated at Florida State University and Oxford University in England, she has been writing for newspapers since 1983, when she began producing columns on the legislature for the Florida Flambeau. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Times of London, the Guardian, the Washington Post, the Oxford American, and Flamingo. She has been a member of the Editorial Board of the St. Petersburg Times–back when that was the Tampa Bay Times’s name–and a long-time columnist for the paper in both its iterations. She was a commentator on NPR for 22 years and continues to contribute radio essays and opinion pieces to the BBC. Roberts is also the author of four books.