After the midterm, Republicans voice their differences in broad daylight in Las Vegas

On the ground floor, chips pile up on the gaming tables and one-armed bandits, now digitized, spin endlessly. Far up the building, hundreds of delegates from the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) took their seats in a conference room. It is in a huge casino hotel in Las Vegas, the “city of sin” that has never been expiated, that the Republican Party has chosen, on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 November, to engage in its first public introspection after the midterm elections. before the more conservative wing of the American Jewish diaspora.

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Many headliners from the Grand Old Party (GOP) paraded in front of this captivated audience but crossed by the same questions as the rest of the Republican electorate. It was a question of examining an electoral disappointment, despite the capture of the House of Representatives, but also of projecting oneself towards the presidential elections of 2024. The hasty candidacy of Donald Trump, under the pressure of the judicial investigations, has accelerated the internal debate. Since then, in front of television cameras and delegates, the GOP has offered the full range of its internal nuances in two days. A crisis of conscience? No, the bitterness of defeat, too often experienced. There are those who prefer the cocoon of denial and those who go ahead with a club, even if it sometimes seems plastic. There are those who choose words like climbing holds and those who clearly attack Donald Trump and his current MAGA (“Make America Great Again”).

Headlining Saturday’s closing night was Governor Ron DeSantis, the former president’s most credible alternative to date in the GOP following his triumphant reelection in Florida. Younger, more disciplined but as brutal as Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis does not reveal his intentions at this stage. But the American press is full of rumors about major Republican donors, who would be ready to engage with him on the spot. Greeted with impressive enthusiasm by the RJC delegates, Ron DeSantis touted the Florida model for the United States, which would “a plan for success” : low taxes, quality infrastructure, fight against “woke up” ideology and federal constraints in the fight against Covid-19. According to him, Florida was “a haven of reason” in front of “faucism”a dubious pun on the name of Anthony Fauci, Joe Biden’s medical advisor, who has worked under several administrations.

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