It’s an old saying in Florida politics.
“He needs a hurricane.”
This is because a hurricane is one of the most important leadership challenges a Florida leader can face. They’re potentially devastating. They can take lives and cripple communities for weeks and even months.
And there is one that could be heading this way now.
As you read these words, Tropical Depression 9 according to some models is heading towards Florida with the potential to become a hurricane and make landfall.
This would put the state under alert. And essentially suspend campaign operations for everyone.
And it could be the deciding factor in the governor’s race between Charlie Crist and incumbent Ron DeSantis.
Hurricanes take up the entire bandwidth of our attention in Florida. You may not watch cable TV news or read political blogs.
But you watch hurricane coverage. You have to.
And this provides an opportunity to lead for Ron DeSantis. To show that he’s capable of doing more than just political stunts involving airplanes and migrant workers.
He can prove to the regular voter at home that he’s a capable leader. At the end of the day, there are some traditional Floridians that just want to see if a leader can perform when they absolutely have to. And that’s what DeSantis can do here.
This is also an opportunity to goof everything up. Botched handling of any potential severe weather events will turn even conservative voters away. That could provide an opening for Crist.
If you can’t do the job, you shouldn’t be leading.
And that’s why this potential severe weather threat could ultimately decide the race for Florida governor.