Gov. Ron DeSantis’ quick mobilization of state resources to remove Americans from Israel helped many people outside the limits of the Sunshine State, producing an impression that will reverberate from coast to coast as he conducts a presidential campaign.
During a news conference on Monday afternoon, reporters speculated that there were just 70 Floridians on board a state-funded plane that landed in Tampa on Sunday evening after departing from Tel Aviv.
That implies DeSantis used his official powers to aid Floridians but also Americans in general, morphing into something grander on a national scale at a key juncture in his presidential campaign.
DeSantis signed an emergency order last week enabling the use of state resources to aid evacuations from Israel as the nation launched a war against Hamas, a terrorist organization that carried out an unprecedented fatal terrorist strike on Israel a little over a week ago.
That directive resulted in a collaboration with Project DYNAMO, a Tampa-based group, which carried out a successful rescue effort Sunday evening, resulting in a DeSantis tarmac appearance welcoming the previously trapped Americans, one Czech Republic person, and four canines.
According to federal authorities, 30 Americans were murdered in the Hamas strikes, and at least 13 are still missing.
The State Department is hurrying to remove Americans from war-torn Israel, where perilous airspace has rendered regular commercial flying impossible.
DeSantis is as well. And now he can claim that he returned some of the 20,000-plus Americans stuck in war-torn Israel just as quickly as the federal administration.
The mission was a success for more than just the 269 Americans. It is also a victory for DeSantis’ political aspirations.
While no one from DeSantis’ administration or campaign attended the Monday afternoon news conference, his leadership was frequently discussed.
During the press conference, Stern frequently praised DeSantis, remarking at one point that he had “the courtesy and patriotism to welcome Americans home.”
Stern also mentioned the federal government.
“We have a decent relationship with the State Department,” he remarked. “But it depends on the day.”
The evacuees chosen to talk about the mission also praised DeSantis.
“I want to thank Gov. DeSantis,” a tearful Linda Neumann remarked. “He’s awesome.”
Neumann and her husband, Ron Neumann, live in Israel and Melbourne, Florida, respectively.
Ron Neumann served in the United States military and experienced battle in Vietnam, so this was his second trip home from a war zone. He compared DeSantis’ pleasant greeting with the negative demonstrations he faced upon his return from the controversial Vietnam War.
DeSantis has been quite vociferous since Israel’s conflict began.
However, this is not a new problem for him. DeSantis led a trade mission to Israel during his first year as Governor in 2019. He also returned to the nation this year as part of a large commercial expedition.