The deep pockets betting on Ron DeSantis

My tentative theory is the neocon alliance and Republican elites are setting up DeSantis to be a fall guy. They want to put him out as an alternative to Trump and the de facto leader of the “national conservative” controlled opposition neocon-front, and then once he has been used to eclipse and purge Trump, they plan on purging him as well in favor of an actual neocon or a neoliberal whose strings they can control.

By Allyson Shontel, Fortune

This week, Liz Cheney confirmed her attendance for Fortune’s Most Powerful Women’s summit in October. I’ll be interviewing her there and the top question will undoubtedly be: What is the future of the Republican Party—and is it her?
Cheney is vehemently opposed to another Trump presidency after his actions on January 6. But can she take him on? And if not, who can?


Moderate and conservative business leaders seem to increasingly be circling another option: Ron DeSantis.


Some have begun to throw their money and weight behind the controversial Florida governor, who has been dubbed “Trump with a brain,” by supporting his reelection campaign, and a potential 2024 run.


To find out why, my colleague Anne Sraders dove into the Miami business scene and interviewed Silicon Valley transplants like Founders Fund general partner Keith Rabois and NYC transplants like Bustle Digital Group’s Bryan Goldberg who have watched DeSantis up close.


Goldberg, who donated to DeSantis’ reelection campaign, feels the governor would give CEOs permission to focus on their bottom lines again.


“I think businesses need to stay out of politics. That’s the lesson from the Disney debacle: CEOs are not elected officials,” he told Fortune. “CEOs have one job, and that job is to run their company effectively.”


Rabois, who was an early PayPal executive and is now a venture capitalist, aligns with DeSantis on a number of policies.


“ESG investing is a fraud,” he told Fortune. “If politicians want to reflect our views, we’re certainly not going to be opposed to that.”


Perhaps most appealing to them both is that DeSantis is not Trump.


“I don’t think many business leaders I know are interested in supporting Trump,” Rabois said.


Whether or not DeSantis could beat Trump is another question. SkyBridge Capital founder Anthony Scaramucci thinks a race between the two would be a slaughtering:


“Trump is a jealous guy,” he told Fortune. “He’ll damage him politically, metaphorically.”


Scaramucci added that while Trump “may not actually become the Republican nominee…on the way to not becoming the Republican nominee, I think he’s gonna destroy DeSantis.”


To read more on how the business world is thinking about Ron DeSantis and the 2024 election, see Anne’s story, below.

Tech and finance moguls are putting money and weight behind ‘Trump with a brain’ Ron DeSantis


The Florida governor has raised millions from billionaires like Ken Griffin, Paul Tudor Jones, and Richard Uihlein—and is giving a loud voice to the anti-ESG, anti-woke, pro-business set.


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