In the week-long fallout from the Hamas massacre in Israel and Israel’s military counteroffensive, the sitting president and the GOP front-runner were more publicly focused on their own pet projects than the concern that Americans were perhaps trapped in Israel. As of today, the death count of Americans murdered by the Hamas excursion stands at thirty, and it may rise. That number is also not accounting for the dozen or so hostages that the State Department cannot or won’t confirm. To the public, Americans in Israel seem to be little more than an afterthought to this administration, much the same way the Biden administration would not be forthcoming about Americans trapped in Afghanistan.
President Biden gave a strongly worded condemnation last week, and once again, refused to take any questions from the attending press. He neglected to mention Iran’s strongly suspected involvement in the planning and funding of the Hamas attack, and neither did he address the American causalities. Biden had stronger words for Ticketmaster last week than he did to Hamas, holding Americans hostage.
Meanwhile, secretary of state Anthony Blinken is on a Middle East tour seemingly aimed at placating Arab nations hostile to Israel’s retaliation. Blinken is reportedly making pleas behind closed doors for a ceasefire, while the death toll in Israel is still rising and bodies are still being recovered.
The State Department has also been mostly quiet on the front of recovering Americans and evacuating those who want to leave. Blinken seems more focused on appeasing Middle East nations than recovering American citizens. What’s more, instead of returning Americans to the safety of the United States, Biden’s State Department is issuing Promissory Notes in return for evacuation, and there are reports Americans are being left in Cyprus.
All of this is happening while GOP front-runner and former president Donald Trump is insulting Benjamin Netanyahu, calling terror organization Hezbollah “smart” and insulting Israeli defense ministers during rallies, then backtracking on his Truth Social platform.
Enter Florida governor Ron DeSantis, who announced on October 12 that he would be deploying flights from the Florida, at no expense to Americans trapped overseas. The first flight touched down last night in Florida, with DeSantis in attendance and waiting for the evacuees — 270 Americans, 91 of them children — on the tarmac. The optics were a coup for DeSantis, while Trump shouted all caps away on Truth Social, and Biden slurred his way through a coordinated 60 Minutes interview, where, as his usual aged and aloof self, he, once again, did not address American casualties.
DeSantis stepped up, unquestionably, and took command of getting Americans home. He did so in a way that even had a media that’s usually hostile to him reporting on it. NBC News reporter Dasha Burns was on the scene in Tampa. The optics of the situation is that DeSantis is present and focused, while the two geriatric frontrunners were pre-occupied — either with Ticketmaster junk fees and telling more personal embellishments about gays getting thrown out of restaurants, or back in a courtroom and unloading on international allies at rallies.
The country may very well be headed for a 2020 rematch that no one, including the two old men involved in it, seem very interested in, and throughout this crisis in the Middle East, there’s only one person right now in the race who seems focused on the Americans caught up in it.