Ron DeSantis used to sleep in his office when he was a congressman, between 2013 and 2018. Elon Musk did the same at Twitter after he acquired the company last year. Both men want to change the world, and for that you have to be so efficient and diligent that sometimes you have to spend the night on the sofa in the office.
But to succeed you also need to be cautious, and neither of them was on Wednesday when, despite a risk that had already been warned by the experts, they and their teams embarked on the adventure of launching a presidential candidacy – obviously that of the governor of Florida – through the experiment of a live colloquium in one of the Twitter spaces.
Everything that could fail did. The shame was as sidereal as Elon Musk's companies and Ron DeSantis' conservatism.
Technical problems lasted more than 20 minutes. At that time, from 6 p.m. in Washington (midnight in Barcelona), all there was was silence, murmurs, low voices, echoes... "This is unfortunate; we had never seen it before,” Musk said amid the chaos. "We're melting the servers, which is a good sign," the moderator of the event, David Sacks, added sadly.
The explanation for the fiasco was none other than the system's lack of capacity to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of users who were added to the ad's connection, even if it was only in audio. At its peak, more than 600,000 followers were registered. But when the problem was solved, the number had dropped by 40,000. Which had to translate into an abundant loss of listeners and donors.
In terms of prestige, the damage was enormous for a candidate who entered the electoral race with the commitment to bring order to the Republican chaos instituted by a "loser" Donald Trump who "looks towards the past".
Trump, by the way, did not waste the opportunity and immediately published on his network, Truth Social, a meme with a Musk rocket crashing and exploding in a huge explosion. “Rum! 2024”, read the sign attached to the rocket on its short journey, straight to the ground.
President Joe Biden also mocked it, in his case through a tweet with the text "This link works", and a hyperlink for donations to his presidential campaign.
Fox News, which interviewed DeSantis after the connection with Musk, spoke of "disaster", and the conservative portal Breitbart, of "DeBacle" (catastrophe).
Criticism and vitriolic messages on the web took on the dimensions of a lynching. And the major newspapers in the United States pointed to the labor crisis and hard cuts applied by Musk on Twitter as a possible part of the explanation for the company's bump in what had been one of its stellar nights after the change of hands.
The political slogans of the brand-new candidate during the presentation did not have much resonance; not only because they were buried under the ridicule of the failed transmission, but because many were not well understood and none were very innovative: we need to close the border, put an end to the progressive "indoctrination" in the classrooms, fight the crime taking over the streets because of the Democrats, reviewing Biden's environmental and social policies...
It should not be ruled out that DeSantis, Trump's number one rival in a race with already six Republican candidates for 2024, will fulfill these and other promises. But first he has a difficult task in front of him: to overcome the catastrophic start of his election campaign.