The Internet asked, the Internet mocked, and now the Internet has been answered. Yes, Governor Ron DeSantis is wearing shoe lifts, according to experts.
Noting that Donald Trump, with his penchant for devastatingly childish nicknames, was going to stick “Tiny D” on his primary opponent Ron DeSantis, Politico took the shoe lift theory to boot and shoe making experts who all gave their expert opinion that it appears the Republican is wearing shoe lifts.
The Governor, who claims he is 5’11”, was shown a viral Tik-Tok of his heel lifts during an episode of his PBD podcast on Monday.
Bet-David showed a viral TikTok video with over 1.2 million likes, with on-screen text stating, “tell me he’s not wearing hidden heels.” The creator of the video drew over DeSantis’ leg and foot in the image, attempting to show where they believe his feet would naturally fit inside the boots if they did not supposedly have lifts in them.
“I haven’t seen that,” DeSantis said, claiming his team hasn’t shown him the viral clip.
“What they’re trying to say is, in your boots, you have heels,” Bet-David said.
The TikTok, best appreciated with the sound on:
When one types “Ron DeSantis” into the Google machine, “Ron DeSantis height” is offered as a top result. America seems to care very much how tall the Florida Governor really is, even though it has zero bearing on his ability to do the job.
Later in this episode, “Bet-David offered him a gift of Ferragamos shoes, but the visibly uncomfortable Florida governor declined, saying, “I don’t accept gifts.” DeSantis then attempted to change the topic of conversation with a clunky baseball metaphor.”
And that, my friends, is why DeSantis struggles to gain a foothold (pardon my pun) in the presidential race. The man can’t handle even the easiest questions.
DeSantis‘ campaign denied that he wears lifts and trying to sound tough and bullying, replied that the Governor doesn’t read Politico but would line his pet cage with it. Politico pointed out that the magazine is not available in print.
Politico says this is likely because height matters in campaigns, noting that the taller candidate usually wins with the exception of Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Frankly, that kind of appearance obsession doesn’t speak too well of our country, but I am reminded of the great Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was in a wheelchair as he lifted this nation into a much more secure and democratic country.
Physicality has nothing to do with competence at the job for which DeSantis is running. We are a childish nation sometimes.
But DeSantis wears his cowboy boots with lifts for a reason, and that is the real trouble and it is also why his lifts matter.
DeSantis, best known for picking a fight with Mickey Mouse, is a wannabe strongman at a time when globally, democracy is trying to fight off encroaching authoritarianism. The appearance of height and the cowboy boot are part of that image DeSantis is selling.
“Since the days of Benito Mussolini, authoritarian personality cult canons dictate that the leader must be received as a man of the people as well as a man above all other men…These leader photos have increased as he has exerted more executive overreach over the Florida legislature and state agencies, emerging as a mini-autocrat who requires loyalty at all times, in the Trump manner. The continuous use of children as props is part of this elevation of his authority. Any adult who could be a rival is off-screen. He alone occupies center stage,” historian of authoritarians expert Ruth Ben-Ghiat identified in her Lucid newsletter (my italics).
DeSantis has ruled Florida with careless, thoughtless ham-fisted power grabs but what turned him into a national joke was how awkward he is in public. The shoe lift memes aren’t helping that because they show his desperate obsession with his image coupled with his inability to appear warm and human when meeting people at casual campaign stops that are the stuff of ease for most politicians.
Do we care what any politician wears to help or hurt their image?
Republicans are outraged that Senator John Fetterman (D-PA) wears hoodies and shorts on the Senate gym floor, but the Philadelphia Inquirer that sometimes we help the system by being who we are. But is this how we want our Senators to dress? I’m not a fan of it, but living in Pennsylvania right now I have to admit that it is the standard clothing in this part of the state, which is to say a very red part in western Pennsylvania. But because Fetterman’s work and policy positions are what really matters, and he does fight for the people, it really isn’t that big of a deal.
And neither are Ron DeSantis‘ shoe lifts. A man’s height has zero to do with his masculinity, his strength, or his competence. The only reason this has even become an issue is because he is running against Donald Trump, who has also been accused of wearing shoe lifts and he is also obsessed with projecting a toxic masculinity image. We are mired down in the morass of rather dim-witted thinking about men, thanks to the best offerings by the Republican Party.
Running against Donald Trump, DeSantis has got to do what he’s got to do. But what does matter is exactly why Ron DeSantis wears shoe lifts running against a more boisterous authoritarian. The shoe lift is a crucial part of an image of the strongman, which is a problem because this is a democracy if we can keep it.
It turns out that the shoe lift actually tells the bigger story, and for this reason, it matters.
Ron DeSantis’ height doesn’t have anything to do with his qualifications for president, but his obvious path of democratic backsliding as he poses as a strongman matters very much. Because his height matters so much to his image as a strongman, pointing out that it’s most likely exaggerated is part of poking holes in the wannabe autocrat’s image.
Image: Know Your Meme
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Sarah has been credentialed to cover President Barack Obama, then VP Joe Biden, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and exclusively interviewed Speaker Nancy Pelosi multiple times and exclusively covered her first home appearance after the first impeachment of then President Donald Trump.
Sarah is two-time Telly award winning video producer and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.