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DeSantis takes aim at federal government as he is sworn in to second term


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis forged himself because the chief of a thriving state that is able to function an antidote to what he deemed the “floundering federal institution” in Washington as he was sworn in Tuesday for a second time period in workplace.

DeSantis, 44, took the oath of workplace shortly earlier than midday on the steps of Florida’s Capitol surrounded by his spouse and youngsters. In a feisty speech that adopted, DeSantis described Florida because the “promised land of sanity” in contrast with Democratic-run cities and states in different components of the nation because the begin of the coronavirus pandemic.

DeSantis (R), who’s broadly thought of a possible candidate for president subsequent yr, then turned his consideration to the federal authorities, though he by no means talked about President Biden by title.

“The federal authorities has gone on an inflationary spending binge that has left our nation weaker and our residents poorer,” DeSantis stated. “It has enacted pandemic restrictions and mandates primarily based extra on ideology and politics than on sound science, and this has eroded freedom and stunted commerce.”

DeSantis’s speech was a part of two days of inaugural occasions in Tallahassee primarily based on the theme of the “Free State of Florida.”

In an indication that Democrats in Washington now see DeSantis as a possible rival to Biden subsequent yr, the Democratic Nationwide Committee took purpose on the governor even earlier than he completed his remarks. The DNC particularly talked about the regulation signed by DeSantis final yr that banned abortion within the state after 15 weeks in a pregnancy.

DeSantis’s “inauguration theme as we speak is the ‘The Free State of Florida,’” the DNC wrote on Twitter. “Attention-grabbing alternative coming from a governor who signed an excessive abortion ban that’s already compelled teenage ladies to depart the state to get care.”

In his speech, DeSantis didn’t point out abortion or suggest any particular insurance policies that he plans to pursue throughout his second time period. He as a substitute principally spoke in broad platitudes, saying he’ll enact “extra family-friendly insurance policies to make it simpler to boost youngsters” whereas additionally conserving Florida “a law-and-order state.” He additionally repeated earlier vows to “by no means give up to the woke mob.”

DeSantis’s strident tone stood in distinction to his first inaugural deal with, through which he harassed comparatively unifying themes similar to defending the state’s waterways. 4 years in the past, he shied away from uttering phrases similar to “woke.” Now he routinely mentions the phrase as he positions himself as a frontrunner towards supposed political correctness.

The governor begins his second time period because the state’s strongest chief in not less than a era. He was reelected in a landslide that swept GOP tremendous majorities into the Florida legislature, bucking nationwide traits through which Democrats carried out higher than anticipated within the November election.

Republicans will management 85 of the 120 seats within the Florida Home and 28 of the 40 seats within the state Senate, giving DeSantis a broad mandate to proceed pursuing his agenda.

DeSantis’s electoral success got here after a four-year time period through which he positioned himself as a skeptic of insurance policies to manage the pandemic whereas establishing himself as a number one determine within the nation’s divisive cultural battles.

When covid started sweeping throughout the nation in early 2020, DeSantis initially embraced the closing of faculties and companies to manage its unfold. However he quickly pivoted away from that strategy, enacting insurance policies that prohibited native governments from imposing restrictions on commerce, and banning faculties from requiring college students to put on facial coverings in school rooms.

In the meantime, regardless of initially governing as a relative reasonable, DeSantis plunged Florida into the middle of the nationwide debate over how issues involving race, sexual orientation and gender identification are mentioned in school rooms and office settings.

The governor tried to ban companies from internet hosting sure office range trainings. That effort is being challenged in courtroom.

DeSantis additionally signed into law a controversial measure that regulated how faculties focus on issues involving sexual orientation or gender identification within the classroom. That measure, which critics known as the “don’t say homosexual” invoice, set the stage for DeSantis’s high-profile tussle with the state’s most distinguished employer, the Walt Disney Co.

Nonetheless, regardless of all of the controversy, DeSantis helped engineer the beautiful ascent of the Florida Republican Celebration.

4 years in the past, when DeSantis was elected by simply 32,000 votes, Florida Democrats nonetheless had a bonus of practically 300,000 registered voters over the GOP. Right now, Florida Republicans maintain a 356,000-voter benefit over Democrats.

Christian Ziegler, the vice chairman of the Florida Republican Celebration, stated the state’s dramatic lurch to the right offers DeSantis a “large mandate” to manipulate as he sees match throughout his second time period.

“I feel the entire different elected officers are going to observe his lead, and he’s going to set the tone,” stated Ziegler, who can also be the front-runner to grow to be the following state occasion chairman. “I feel the voters despatched a transparent message that they haven’t had sufficient of the DeSantis agenda, they usually need extra.”

State Rep. Randy Superb, a conservative Republican from Brevard County, additionally predicted that DeSantis would stay “very assured in his beliefs [and] unapologetic in advocating for them.”

“What you see is what you get,” Superb stated. “That’s what voters wished in 2018, and that’s why they reelected him.”

However Florida Democrats and liberal activists are bracing for an particularly contentious interval in state historical past. They concern that DeSantis will use the upcoming legislative session, which begins in March, to push a conservative agenda to enchantment to GOP voters nationally.

In current weeks, DeSantis has signaled that he’s more likely to signal laws that permits gun homeowners to hold hid weapons and not using a allow. The governor has additionally been strategizing with conservative activists and college board members over learn how to implement additional restrictions on what could be taught in public faculties.

“Ron DeSantis has at all times morphed himself to the political second. He’s poised to try this once more as he makes use of this inauguration to catapult himself into the presidential marketing campaign,” stated Anders Croy, the communications director at Florida Watch, a liberal nonprofit group.

Croy famous that DeSantis decried “tribalism” in politics in his 2019 speech however went on to push divisive insurance policies because the chatter a few doable presidential marketing campaign intensified. DeSantis’s second time period might be outlined by the governor’s broader ambitions, Croy stated.

“When he first ran for governor, he ran as a disciple of President Trump,” Croy added. “Proper now, he’s attempting to get to the fitting of the previous president as he positions himself for greater workplace.”

The brewing cut up between DeSantis and former president Donald Trump’s political operations was additionally obvious on the inauguration itself.

4 years in the past, a number of members of Trump’s White Home employees helped set up DeSantis’s inauguration and went on to take jobs with the governor’s administration for some time. This yr, the one apparent hyperlink to Trump world is the lobbyist Brian Ballard, who served on each of DeSantis’s inauguration committees.

DeSantis’s two-day inauguration will conclude with an inaugural ball Tuesday night time.

In keeping with an invite obtained by Florida Politics, a information web site, the Florida Republican Celebration requested donors to pay as a lot as $1 million to assist sponsor the inauguration. Those that contributed that quantity acquired 10 VIP tickets to the swearing-in ceremony, the inaugural ball and an intimate candlelight dinner with DeSantis that was held Monday night time.

Inaugural VIP packages have been additionally provided on the $25,000 and $50,000 degree.

The Florida Republican Celebration doesn’t need to reveal DeSantis’s inaugural donors till Jan. 12.

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