Trump Is Losing the Grifter Class to DeSantis
And they matter more than you might think.
1. Hungry Dogs Have To Eat
There was bad news for the Trump 2024 campaign yesterday and it wasn’t Nikki Haley’s pre-announcement of her campaign to challenge the former president.1
No, the bad news was from this guy:
You remember Bill Mitchell as the OG Trump grifter, yes? Well, it seems like the gravy train is moving on.
Leave aside Mitchell’s purported reasoning:
That his decisions are governed by conscience.
That he is shocked to have discovered, in 2023, that Donald Trump lies.
That he believes Ron DeSantis is a Great American.
That he is repulsed—eight years in—by Trump’s ego.
That’s not what’s important. What’s important is that Mitchell is a signal that it’s not just the Republican establishment who is pushing DeSantis. Even the grifter class now sees DeSantis as the fatter whale.
This is the third data point we have on where the grifter class is going. The first was DeSantis putting Chris Rufo on the board of trustees for his Orbánization initiative at the New College of Florida.
The second is this Daily Beast piece which broke the story about how DeSantis has been recruiting converts from Trump’s Twitter troll army:
According to five Republicans familiar with the discussions, the governor’s top lieutenants have quietly recruited a network of conservative social media influencers as part of a broader attempt to circumvent the mainstream press and appeal directly to GOP primary voters nationwide.
And who are, according to the three Republicans who received the initial pitch, among the ranks in DeSantis’ digital army?
Jack Murphy, a podcast host and self-described “alpha-male giga chad” involved in a quasi-professional cuckolding porn scandal. John Cardillo, a former Newsmax TV host and unregistered arms dealer who allegedly stiffed the Ukrainian government for $200,000 worth of body armor plates. Christian Walker, Herschel Walker’s right-wing influencer son who helped tank his father’s Senate campaign. David Reaboi, a Hungary-loving and Qatar-hating bodybuilder with longstanding ties to John Bolton. And Caleb Hull, an ex-Trump digital strategist who has said some very, very racist things.
When the Beast published this story a lot of people goofed on DeSantis for tapping this group of cucks and weirdos as his surrogates. But one thing the group has in common is that they’re all grifters. They’re in this to get paid.
And their willingness to move on from Trump and align with DeSantis is a signal that they think the energy—and hence the money—is on the move.
Bill Mitchell’s heel-turn is another data point: Whatever you think about his political judgment, do you think he’d be abandoning Trump for DeSantis if it was going to cost him dollars?