Ron DeSantis' White House Hopes May Be Over as He's Being Accused of Wearing Boots With High Heels Inside

Win McNamee. Getty Images.

I have no doubt Dave Portnoy didn't intend to open the floodgates of political talk when he wrote about Gavin Newsom attacking poor, unsuspecting Chinese kid who clearly had position when he took this charge:

But some news stories transcend politics. Such as the governor of the most populous state in the union committing a geopolitical offensive foul. Or the governor of the third most populous state, who's currently running for the White House, watching his presidential aspirations go up flames. 

I can't speak to what Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' chances of winning the nomination were a couple of days ago. But right now they appear to be less than zero. There's no coming back from this:

Tell me that in the future the history classes aren't going to look back at this time in America and agree it was the weirdest period the republic ever went through. The wildly popular governor of a huge state coming off a dominating reelection performance is having his campaign derailed by accusations he's got secret lifts in his shoes. And when confronted about it, looking an interviewer in the eye to deny ever hearing about this. While claiming he's 5-foot-11. Then recoiling in horror about how he's not allowed to accept the gift of a pair of boots, rather than dispel all doubts by simply tearing his boots off and standing up in his stocking feet like a man to show us what he's got. 

The American people have put up with a lot. Bribery scandals. Shady business dealing scandals. Stock trading scandals. Sex scandals. Jeffrey Epstein scandals. Scandals where they lie to get us into wars. Scandals about covering up their scandalous scandals. But claiming you're almost six feet and wearing secret lifts to hide the fact you're closer to 5'7"? There's no coming back from that. 

It's not like anyone's giving him credit for the integrity of refusing the new boots. Accepting the gift of some fine leather footwear from a podcast host might get you fined for violating some campaign finance law or whatever. But not putting and end to the rumors right then and there is political suicide. It's all anyone's been talking about with regard to DeSantis ever since:



And just to be completely fair, others are posting pictures of the most more noble, honorable and self-sacrificing boots the man has worn:

And I think the vast majority of us are hesitant to criticize anyone who lined up and signed up to serve the way he did. 

But politics isn't fair that way. Once you get labeled a certain way, it's often impossible to wash that stink off you. Once an image takes place in the public's mind, it can be hard for them to let go of it. Think Gerald Ford, who was All American at Michigan and arguably the best athlete to ever sit in the Oval Office, fell down the steps on Air Force One and was forever considered a goofy klutz. We still can't stop picturing Bill Clinton nutting all over the Resolute Desk. George HW Bush was amazed by a supermarket checkout scanner years after they were in every grocery store in the country and seemed like an out-of-touch elitist snob. Mike Dukakis took a ride in a tank trying to look Presidential, but only ended up reminding everyone of Snoopy:


I suppose historically speaking, some candidates have come back from something like this. The "You won't have Dick Nixon to kick around any more" speech came years before he was elected President, then getting reelected with 49 states. But he never pretended to be taller than he is. 

If I was advising DeSantis, I'd tell him to own this. Right here and now. Call a press conference this minute. If he's telling the truth, get out the tape measure and prove it. If he's been hiding his diminutive stature, embrace it. Blame society. Remind everyone that the last kind of body shaming that is allowed in America is men of a certain height. Not really short men, mind you. Mock someone of Peter Dinklage's size and you're committing a hate crime. The same goes for someone as tall as Victor Wembanyama. And of course, comment on anyone's weight and you'll be shunned by polite society. But somewhere between 5-foot-0 and 5-foot-7, and every guy is fair game. And DeSantis was merely trying to spare himself from the cruel oppression of the conventially-sized. He was sick of being judged. And his heels were his way of fighting back against the heightriarchy. 

At this point, making people sympathize with him, and even feel like assholes for making him go to such extremes, is his only hope. Unless he can prove he really is 5-11, his campaign is going to fall short in a way that even secret high heels can't help.

What a time to be alive.