“Answering polls is being a follower”

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) delivered a speech to the Florida American Legion Boys State Program on Tuesday, lambasting mandates, blockades and politicians easily swayed by Washington, DC, and polls rather than their values.

DeSantis touted many of the goals Florida pursued under his leadership and the journey his administration endured in the face of constant criticism.

“But even our worst critics, when it came time for them to make decisions about how they wanted to spend their time, Florida was the first place they wanted to come,” he said, discussing later of his approach to leadership, which is to be “knowing where all those pressure points are in the system. The governor went on to explain that politicians “over-promise and under-deliver, that’s usually what they do” .

And so if I’m trying to do something with, you know, school funding, well, I can’t do it myself. I need to get the legislature on board for this. If I do something with a date, well, maybe I can do it myself. Maybe there are other things I can do myself. So we had a good idea of ​​how we needed to move the agenda forward through the various windows and constraints to be able to actually deliver on our promises and we were able to do that.

In Florida, you know, we set the bar high and a lot of people didn’t think we would reach it. We exceeded the bar that we set, we did much more than I promised and even what people thought possible, but part of the reason is that I think we had a good idea of ​​the direction that we were going to take.

“The other thing that we made the decision on is that I became governor, I’m like, you know what, I’m not doing a poll. I’m not going to be one of those politicians who just have the finger in the wind, who care so much about this or that,” he said. “You’ve got to do what’s right.

“And you know, answering polls is being a follower; it’s not being a leader. A leader will set a vision and execute that vision. And then when the results are positive, you know what? People will be with you when you do that,” DeSantis continued.

“So I could do a poll in this room on any topic – it’s just a static analysis that doesn’t even tell me what I need to know. What I need to know is that if I embark on an initiative and explain what I’m doing and succeed in doing it, then what would be the results in the room? he asked, adding that too many politicians “are paralyzed by these polls and they’re so preoccupied with every little thing in a news cycle.”

“That’s not how I think a leader works,” he said. “The leader must understand where true north is.”



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