Republished with permission from Steve Schmidt.
The truth is that I was always a “Baghdad Bob” fan. He entertained me. I still remember the astonishing moment when he denied that the American Army had reached the Baghdad Airport as their tanks passed behind him. It was extraordinary to actually see a political system in action where the government spokesperson would be so positively and unashamedly Orwellian for their dictator.
The year was 2003—13 years before Sean Spicer would one up him about the crowd size on Inauguration Day 2017. There is no information about who might be a better dancer between Spicer and Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf. Personally, I think if Spicer had a beret he would have gone further in the “Dancing with the Stars” competition.
I only raise this because a talent for prevarication and denial at this level deserves a mention—if not praise. Denying the reality happening in front of you with the same aplomb of Spicer and al-Sahhaff doesn’t happen often. They must be tingling over comments made by DeSantis campaign spokesperson Andrew Romero about the crumbling, and laughable Ron DeSantis campaign, which has just gutted its staff in its first round of layoffs.
Though there may be sadness around the bar in Tallahassee tonight soon the fired staffers, like the freezing passengers sailing away in lifeboats from Titanic, will realize that they were the lucky ones.
Romero told NBC News the following:
Americans are rallying behind Ron DeSantis and his plan to reverse Joe Biden’s failures and restore sanity to our nation, and his momentum will only continue as voters see more of him in-person, especially in Iowa. Defeating Joe Biden and the $72 million behind him will require a nimble and candidate driven campaign, and we are building a movement to go the distance.
According to “Baghdad Bob:”
There are no American infidels in Baghdad. Never!
My feelings, as usual, we will slaughter them all.
Our initial assessment is that they will all die.
No, I am not scared and neither should you be!
We will welcome them with bullets and shoes.
There are some other great lines in the NBC News account written by Matt Dixon, Allan Smith and Jonathan Allen:
Sources involved with the DeSantis campaign say there is an internal assessment among some that they hired too many staffers too early, and despite bringing in $20 million during its first six weeks, it was becoming clear their costs needed to be brought down.
Some in DeSantis’s political orbit are laying the early blame at the feet of campaign manager Generra Peck, who also led DeSantis’s 2022 midterm reelection bid and is in the hot seat right now. “She should be,” one DeSantis donor said.
“They never should have brought so many people on, the burn rate was way too high,” said one Republican source familiar with the campaign’s thought process. “People warned the campaign manager but she wanted to hear none of it.”
“DeSantis stock isn’t rising,” the donor added. “Twenty percent is not what people signed up for.”
Whoever is that anonymous donor and prescient observer of DeSantis’s “stock” price I can assure them that they can rest easy. There is no chance Ron DeSantis is finishing with 20 percent of the vote. My guess is single digits before he drops out and slinks back home. I can’t wait to read the stories about what a secret weapon Casey DeSantis was at the news conference announcing it. Of course there won’t be a lot of staff there because they will have all been long fired. That, plus a long history of high-handed and casual abuse of the people who work for him should guarantee that there will be a lot of room for Elon Musk, Tucker Carlson and what’s his name from Silicon Valley who fu**ed up the campaign launch to set up shop for a special broadcast. Maybe Casey will burn a book, sing a song and say farewell.
In the end, it looks like the boy in the white boots couldn’t jump so high after all.
If he was a Disney ride it turns out he’d be the Alien Swirling Saucer on a day it was down for maintenance. Pity.
By the way, has anyone thought about what happened to any of these people lately?
These Venezuelan migrants were sent to Martha’s Vineyard as part of an exposition on performative malice that DeSantis decided to make last September.
Anyway, who cares, right? Let’s get back to the Casey and Ron campaign. Did you hear? She’s the secret weapon. It says so in the NBC News story, and they are about to have a reset:
The moment of potential reset comes ahead of a national finance committee meeting for DeSantis’s campaign Sunday in Tallahassee, which will bring the campaign’s brain trust together as they try to figure out how to chip into Trump’s massive GOP primary lead.
A brain trust indeed. How smart are these people? What is the depth of their genius? What achievements can it claim? How about these amazing ones? Again from the NBC News story:
DeSantis has $12 million in the bank, but of that $3 million can be used only during the general election. And about $14 million of his second quarter haul came from donors who gave the maximum legal amount. In other words, roughly two-thirds of his early donors will not be able to give directly to his campaign for the duration of the race.
Never Back Down, the pro-DeSantis super PAC, has said it will spend up to $200 million to boost the governor’s White House bid and has a significantly larger staff than the official campaign.
What this means is that DeSantis is busted, broke and done. His Super PAC has zero chance of raising $200 million, and his outlandishly bloated and incoherent operation will topple over like a top-heavy Jenga pile of idiocy, stacked in malice layered on incompetence, and grounded in arrogance. It couldn’t have happened to more deserving people.
In the meantime, according to NBC News:
The person said DeSantis’s wife, Casey, is a great asset when doing the sort of retail politicking needed to win Iowa, but DeSantis himself needs to improve.
“He needs to find that gear,” the person said. “He needs to find it fast.”
Steve Schmidt is a political analyst for MSNBC and NBC News. He served as a political strategist for George W. Bush and the John McCain presidential campaign. Schmidt is a founder of The Lincoln Project, a group founded to campaign against former President Trump. It became the most financially successful Super-PAC in American history, raising almost $100 million to campaign against Trump's failed 2020 re-election bid. He left the group in 2021.