Alex Wagner opened her MSNBC show “Alex Wagner Tonight” Tuesday with a video tribute to Dwight D. Eisenhower, pioneer of presidential television and the successful “I Like Ike” campaign — and with the notion of “likability” top of mind.
“Today there is one person in particular whose ability to be ‘likable enough’ is really sort of in question: Florida governor Ron DeSantis,” Wagner said.
With a screenshot of DeSantis reeling backwards in laughter over her left shoulder, Wagner began dismantling what she said was a “choreographed” campaign to make the salty statesman, on the brink of announcing his bid for the GOP nomination, seem more human.
“Mr. DeSantis has already made a few early visits to campaign states in a sort of choreographed attempt to be likable,” Wagner said. “According to the New York Times, DeSantis and his team had internal conversations acknowledging the need for him to engage in the basics of political courtship: small talk, hand-shaking, eye contact. It certainly seems like the governor is trying. Here he is laughing — or something — while meeting with supporters in Iowa a few weeks ago. Does that, whatever that is, make him seem likable?”
Then Wagner turned up the heat, savaging DeSantis’ cackling moment and suggesting that his stewardship of Florida should cancel out any charm offensive.
“Whether or not voters can look past the pudding-fingers and the terrifying laughter, the thing that has made people question whether Ron DeSantis is truly likable is what he has done to his own state,” Wagner said.
Watch the entire “Alex Wagner Tonight” segment in the video above.