The new Time magazine cover is out, and it features Ron DeSantis bizarrely – and perhaps metaphorically – peeling an orange.
In one interpretation, the cover portrays a politician who has gone to significant lengths in his time as Florida’s governor to peel back the political, social and economic landscape of the state, which is known for its oranges.
According to CNN’s Dana Bash, the Time cover is symbolic for another reason.
Bash, in a segment alongside CNN’s Boris Sanchez, said the cover remains institutionally notable despite the historic recent upheaval in the media landscape. And on this score, Donald Trump will not fare well when the once-indicted, twice-impeached former president lays eyes on it.
“Donald Trump is going to be, not happy,” Bash said Thursday night as CNN cut to a full-screen graphic featuring the cover. “Because there are certain brands – historical brands – that Donald Trump connects to and really takes pride in having a connection to. And Time magazine and being on covers of Time magazine is one of the primary ones.
“And even though our media landscape has changed so much – it’s not the same as it used to be to be on the cover of a magazine,” Bash added. “But it’s very symbolic.”
Sanchez set up the segment by describing the Time cover, noting DeSantis’ oddly dour frown.
“He’s peeling an orange,” Sanchez said, “his hands juicy from doing that. Quite the look on his face.”
Bash then took the reins, breaking down the political analysis and how it played into the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
“The notion of him as a national figure and what he has been doing, now we can mention the substance, which is of course incredibly important,” Bash said. “In Florida, the reason why he delayed his entrance, his official entrance into the race is to get through the Florida legislature and that session and push through in a very robust and very aggressive way, signature issues that put him and Florida on the map.”
Bash noted the moves solidly stamped DeSantis as a “government conservative.”
“Which is going to put him at odds with other conservatives who are libertarian, hands-off conservatives,” she said. “And that is going to be a fascinating discussion and debate within the Republican party.”
Bash said despite his intentions, as an “electability message on a national scale” the new batch of socially skewed Florida laws posed a problem for DeSantis should he advance to the 2024 general election.
“Clearly he’s tripling down on very culturally conservative issues using government to push those through,” she said.
Sanchez added that this was indeed “counterintuitive.”
“He’s running to the right of Donald Trump but projecting himself as a more palatable candidate nationally because of Trump’s baggage,” Sanchez said.
Watch video of the CNN segment at the top of this page.