Last night, Ron DeSantis officially announced that he’s running for President in 2024 in an unconventional way. The fallout from his Twitter Spaces announcement, in which DeSantis declared his candidacy alongside Elon Musk and tech investor David Sacks, proved why that strategy will likely remain «unconventional.»
«DeSaster» was the trending word on Twitter to discuss the much-ballyhooed event, as connection issues delayed the announcement, which, when it finally went live, did not inspire confidence in either DeSantis or Musk for many attempted viewers.
«probably the biggest room that has ever been assembled online,» says David Sacks of this new Twitter Space with Ron DeStantis and Elon Musk (first one didn’t work and was canceled)
i have been in bigger Clubhouse rooms https://t.co/jniFJSugSi
— Alex Heath (@alexeheath) May 24, 2023
Elon Musk first tried to host the conversation, but 15 glitch-filled minutes later, the conversation shut down. Once it finally went live, it took place on David Sacks’ Twitter account. The recorded conversation opened with Musk admitting that attempting to do it on his own account «broke Twitter» — which several noted appears to be an increasingly common occurrence when Musk attempts to do something on Twitter.
Off on that wrong foot, the hour-long conversation didn’t seem to generate much positive press for the new candidate, though the fallout was more focused on the failures of Twitter, Musk and Sacks than DeSantis himself, who spent the conversation attempting to distinguish himself from his biggest rival, Donald Trump. However, he also veered into what the New York Times described as «hyper-online right» wing topics, such as talking about the «woke mind virus,» a somewhat common phrase for Musk, discussing cryptocurrency and complaining about negative coverage in the press.
At one point, David Sacks called the Spaces chat the «largest online group ever assembled,» but many were quick to point out that that was factually untrue. During the glitchy, Musk-hosted portion of the announcement, the Space hosted about 670,000 people — by the time the real conversation began on Sacks’ account, that number was down to 275,000, and numerous attendees dropped off as the hour-long conversation went on.
Others memed the purported low-quality audio of the Spaces announcement, feeling it unbefitting of what should be a Presidential candidate.
— So Sayeth Black Lord: (@jmood88) May 24, 2023
DeSantis’ official campaign launch video, an opportunity for the Florida governor to save face after the problem-filled Twitter Spaces launch, didn’t fare much better in various social media circles. The video features DeSantis’ audio from the Spaces conversation, no music, several shots of Elon Musk, and on several occasions, reuses footage of DeSantis walking.
Governor @RonDeSantis is running for president to lead our Great American Comeback.
«We can and we must deliver big results for America.» pic.twitter.com/YE6b8sGraL
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 (@DeSantisWarRoom) May 24, 2023
To many reacting to the announcement, the launch did not appear to inspire much hope that DeSantis could overtake Trump to win the 2024 Republican nomination for President. DeSantis is currently polling 34 points behind Trump, according to FiveThirtyEight’s model.
Trump himself did not seem worried and took last night’s embarrassing launch as an opportunity to post a meme likening DeSantis to Jeb Bush and reminding views of the recent «Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly» of a Musk rocket.