Reeling DeSantis Has a New Target — the Federal Reserve; The Ukraine Malaise
Author: Greg Valliere
April 14, 2023
THESE ANALYSTS THINK DeSantis would have a better chance of winning the GOP nomination in 2028 or 2032; he’s only 44 years old now and has a long time to run for the presidency. If he dropped out this spring, and endorsed Donald Trump, DeSantis could have a clear path for the 2028 nomination.
BUT WE THINK DeSANTIS ISN’T READY to drop out (before he even enters). He has plenty of money, and will push for his breathtakingly aggressive agenda as the Florida legislature wraps up its session later this spring. And now DeSantis has an issue to flog: the Federal Reserve’s lame performance in the past couple of years.
THE FED, SURPRISINGLY, HAS AVOIDED intense criticism; the Washington cognoscenti seems to adore the central bank despite its inability to anticipate inflation, and its failure to crack down immediately when it became clear
that its own officials have traded their own personal accounts. And the lack of supervision in Silicon Valley was inexcusable.
THE BIG ECONOMIC ISSUE, OF COURSE, is inflation: The financial markets, which respond to economic data breathlessly, may not appreciate the impact inflation has had on ordinary Americans. Yes, inflation is rising less dramatically than a year ago, but it’s still rising. Who to blame? Anti-Fed commentators, like the Wall Street Journal editorial page, blame the Fed.
DeSANTIS HAS STUMBLED ON SOME ISSUES like Ukraine, and he should have been in flood-ravaged Fort Lauderdale this week. Nevertheless, we think he will be a formidable presidential candidate — in 2028. In the meantime, the drumbeat of Fed criticism is likely to intensify.
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THE UKRAINE MALAISE: The initial reaction to the leaked memos was how a 21-year-old nerd could have hacked into top secret documents. Now the focus is shifting to a major theme in the documents: U.S. officials increasingly think that Ukraine cannot prevail in its war with Russia.
WE HAVE ARGUED FOR MONTHS that Russia cannot win this war, and that still appears to be the case. But can Ukraine win it? A sense of malaise has erupted; neither Russia nor Ukraine may win this war. Ukraine lacks the weapons and troops to conclusively prevail, and Russia seems content to sacrifice thousands of conscripts to the meat grinder.
IF IT INCREASINGLY APPEARS THAT UKRAINE CANNOT WIN, how will that impact voters in the U.S. and Western Europe? Could there be a lack of resolve? Vladimir Putin is counting on that, and he’s willing to continue this war into 2024. We’re close to a turning point: if Ukraine doesn’t prevail in the much-anticipated counter-offensive this spring, the malaise will increase.
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