if such can be said the following a a devastating hurricane that claimed more than 100 lives, caused tens of billions of dollars in damage and forever changed the face of Southwest Florida, Ron DeSantis weathered a good storm.

The right-wing Republican governor has become an almost ever-present face on national television during the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, largely avoiding political contradictions which plagued him in recent weeks as he sought to bring a calm and reassuring face to the fast-moving tragedy.

It was a previously unseen side of the politician better known for his aggressive culture war populism that made him Donald Trump’s rival in the Republican Party. He even earned praise from Joe Biden, his Democratic bête noire, who visited Fort Myers this week to survey the hurricane damage.

“I think he did a good job. We have very different political philosophies … but we worked hand in hand.” said the president the man many expect to run for the White House in the 2024 presidential election.

“And in things related to the fight against this crisis, we were completely in agreement. There was no difference,” he added, acknowledging the partnership between the DeSantis administration and federal agencies.

Biden’s confirmation Wednesday, as the immediacy of Yan’s search-and-rescue missions began to translate into relief and recovery efforts, came just over a month before the Nov. 8 midterm elections, in which DeSantis already has a strong lead for a second term. Florida the governor.

Biden and First Lady Jill Biden with DeSantis and his wife Casey DeSantis in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. Photo: Evan Vucci/AP

For some analysts, that left opponents hoping to topple him deep in the hurricane debris.

“Biden essentially ended the intellectual argument for undecided voters to choose Charlie Crist over DeSantis. The race for Florida governor in 2022 is officially over,” said Peter Schorsch, publisher of Florida Politics. assessment of wilting chances of a democratic candidate.

Other observers contrasted DeSantis’ softer demeanor during the hurricane with the prickly, tough temper more familiar to viewers of Fox News, the governor’s favorite megaphone.

“There are many things [the hurricane] was golden because it allowed him to step away from politics and really apply his crisis management skills and appear compassionate, two things we don’t often see,” said Susan McManus, emeritus professor of political science at the University of Florida.

“It was an opportunity to go to different parts of the state and show compassion for the people who live here, the workers and the circumstances. The people of Florida are so used to seeing his political side, but this was a great opportunity to see his leadership and people skills.”

The debate between DeSantis and Crist, scheduled for Oct. 12, was postponed due to the hurricane, and a final date has yet to be determined. McManus believes that adds an even steeper mountain to climb for Crist, who himself was governor of Florida when he was a Republican.

“Crist barely has enough money for advertising because he spent a lot when he ran in the primary, plus outside donors didn’t want to put a lot of money into the Crist campaign,” she said.

“Two things, the free exposure that DeSantis has, plus the cancellation or at least the postponement of the debate, make it very difficult for Cristo to close the gap.

“I’m an analyst for a campus TV station, and even this week we’re 100% doing hurricane relief stories. It’s only next week that we’ll really see it pick up again, and that’s a very short period of time when the postal ballots are already going out.”

A Mason-Dixon survey taken before the Sept. 28 storm, already trailed Crist by 11%, suggesting that abortion reporting and negative reaction to DeSantis’ political stunt movement of Venezuelan migrants from Texas to Massachusetts gained little popularity among likely voters.

“DeSantis will be the governor of Hurricane for the next few weeks,” – sociologist Brad Coker NBC said.

“Christo’s flaw is two-fold: He’s not in the news at all, and he’s never dealt with a hurricane, so he can’t stand up and point to what he’s done. Christ is completely, completely selfless.”

Kevin Cate, a Democratic strategist and former Crist adviser, estimated that DeSantis earned the equivalent of $110 million in free TV time from thousands of performances across the country during the first week after the storm.

In Florida, he said, that cost was $16.5 million, while the Republican also maintains a burst advantage in cash, $110 million vs. Crist’s $3.6 million.

Both campaigns resumed television advertising after a brief hiatus during the storm, and Christo’s team says the Democrat has raised more funds — between $4.7 million and $4.6 million — than his opponent since the Aug. 23 primary.

Southwest Florida is a Republican stronghold, and the party is worried the hurricane could affect the election. Lee County officials say they met Thursday’s deadline to mail ballots, but with thousands of homes damaged and residents displaced, they say there’s no guarantee they’ll get to those designated.

DeSantis may be asked to sign an order allowing early voting sites to be used on Election Day, This is reported by NPRalthough the governor seems reluctant.

“I want to save [the election] as normal as humanly possible. The more you leave, it creates problems,” he said at a news conference on Wednesday.