OAN Annyatama Bhowmik
UPDATED 5:40 PM PT – Tuesday, January 3, 2023
Ron DeSantis took the oath of office to serve a second term as governor of Florida on Tuesday.
DeSantis (R-Fla.) took his oath in front of the State’s historic Capitol. For the day, the main street through the city was renamed as the Ron DeSantis Way. He was accompanied by his wife Casey DeSantis and their children Mason, Madison, and Mamie. Following his inauguration, DeSantis speech mentioned nothing about his potential presidential bid.
According to many of his critics, DeSantis’ address was intended to advance his presidential campaign. Democratic House Leader Fentrice Driskell (D-Fla.) stated that DeSantis’ speech was more focused on advancing his political career than it was on solving the state’s problems.
“This is probably the first Florida governor to give an inaugural speech not speaking to the people of our great state and the challenges we all face, but directed at GOP primary voters and billionaire donors,” Driskell said. “Any time he wants to distract from his own failed record, he creates a new fake ‘woke’ boogeyman to battle.”
The 46th Governor of Florida promoted the plans from his first term for his administration. He focused on promoting his approach to the pandemic, educational changes, and increases in law enforcement. DeSantis also condemned Democratic activities on each of the three fronts and referred to his home state as the place where “woke goes to die.” He responded to the loud applause.
“We reject this woke ideology. We seek normalcy, not philosophical lunacy, we will never surrender to the woke mob. Florida is where the woke goes to die,” DeSantis said.
Every decision DeSantis has taken has been clouded by his cross-state competition with former President Donald Trump. As speculation about 2024 increased in recent months, the two became more at odds. Trump criticized DeSantis before and after the midterm elections, calling him a “average governor” and jokingly nicknaming him “Ron DeSanctimonious.” However, the criticism has been minimized by DeSantis, who called it as “simply noise.”
A senior aide to DeSantis told CNN that the governor is not in a haste to run for office in 2024 and has not made any clear decisions on his future. He further stated that any potential announcements will not likely happen until the Florida legislative session concludes in May, at the earliest.