What’s In a Name? [Updated]

That the Democrats are scared to death of Ron DeSantis is evident from the quality of their attacks on him. They don’t want to talk about his record as governor; from their perspective, the less said about that the better. So they have launched one silly broadside after another. But this one takes the cake. It comes from Axios, a web site for the mentally below average: Dee-Santis or Deh-Santis? His team won’t say.

Axios would have us believe that there is a major controversy over whether the governor’s name is pronounced DeeSantis or DehSantis:

Some presidential candidates struggle to nail their message. Ron DeSantis is struggling to nail his NAME. In the early days of his campaign, DeSantis has gone back and forth between pronouncing his name Dee-Santis and Deh-Santis.

Why it matters: DeSantis’ dissonance on how to say his name — for years an issue of confusion for his campaign teams — is a curiosity as many GOP leaders and donors wonder whether the Florida governor is ready for the scrutiny of a presidential campaign.

The article goes on and on, including a video by an Axios reporter who pretends that subtle differences in the pronunciation of DeSantis’s name are somehow important:

If these people had heard the many ways in which “Hinderaker” gets pronounced, they wouldn’t obsess over Dee vs. Duh.

But this is the funniest aspect of the Axios story. For commentary on the importance of integrity in a candidate’s name, they turned to Bill de Blasio:

Fellow Italian-American politician and former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, told Axios that many fellow politicians adopt the “deh” pronunciation or have something between “day” and “deh.”

In a phone call from Italy, where he was traveling, de Blasio said DeSantis’ shifts were “just a really weird thing to change at the last minute. People flip-flop and change their positions on things, but how you say your name is not one of them. It’s not negotiable!”

Bill de Blasio’s real name is Warren Wilhelm. He later changed his name to Warren de Blasio-Wilhelm, and finally settled on Bill de Blasio. That name is fabricated. Made up. Are Axios’s reporters the only people in America who do not know this? Was de Blasio making fun of the reporter who tracked him down in Italy? And Axios, on behalf of the Democratic Party, is now trying to make an issue of the subtle differences in how people say “De”?

Apart from the story’s humor value, which is considerable, it illustrates the desperation with which the Democrats are trying to neutralize the appeal of America’s most successful governor.

UPDATE: Axios’s story presumably was coordinated with the White House. In any event, Andrew Bates, Joe Biden’s Deputy Press Secretary and Senior Communications Adviser for Strategic Response, jumped right on it:

This is painfully stupid, but maybe it is the best you can do when you are shilling for a guy who can’t walk across a stage without falling down.

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