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Executive editor of the Daily Beast lashes out against Casey DeSantis in elitist rant, calling her a 'Walmart Melania' for wearing 'a Red State big-bin store' jacket

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

The executive editor at the Daily Beast has targeted Casey DeSantis in a deranged rant, emphasizing that Florida's first lady has neither the ideological mooring nor the aristocratic bona fides necessary to qualify for acceptance by the media and the political establishment.

Casey DeSantis, 42, is a mother of three and former news journalist who battled breast cancer and won. Extra to her successful career on television, she has championed various causes — such as cancer research and hurricane relief — for the betterment of her state while also actively supporting her husband, Gov. Ron DeSantis, both in Florida and in his current presidential bid.

Doug Lambert, vice chair of the Republican Party in Belknap, New Hampshire, recently told Reuters, "She's the real deal."

Politico said she was "unquestionably the most important person influencing DeSantis’ policy and political operations ... taking both public positions on key issues like mental health funding as well as more behind-the-scenes duties, including playing a leading role in changing the makeup at the Republican Party of Florida."

The New York Post called her the governor's "not-so-secret political weapon."

However, to Katie Baker, the executive editor of the Daily Beast, Florida's first lady is just "the Walmart Melania."

The Daily Beast, a floundering leftist blog that was recently exposed for advancing a false report, published Baker's rant over the weekend, which was thematically centered on a jacket worn by Casey DeSantis at a biker charity event in Iowa, during which the governor told an audience, "We will never ever surrender to the woke mob."

The criticism of the jacket — which Baker used as an excuse to similarly lambaste former first lady Melania Trump's "I Really Don't Care" coat, but not Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's expensive "Tax the Rich" Met Gala dress — spiraled out into what appeared to be an attempt at character assassination, not unlike the profile run on May 19 by Politico, entitled "The Casey DeSantis Problem: ‘His Greatest Asset and His Greatest Liability.'"

The leather jacket that drew Baker's ire had an American flag on the front. On the back was a silhouette of the state of Florida and an alligator along with the caption, "Where woke goes to die."

Baker wrote the jacket "brought to mind nothing so much as the racks of a Red State big-bin store where it would be retailing for $24.99."

"Casey DeSantis’ coat is just like her husband Ron DeSantis’ campaign: Crude. Grasping. Saying the ugly part out loud," wrote Baker.

Rather than sporting a "big-bin store" jacket that other Americans could similarly afford and wear, Baker made clear what the political elite should look like: "Think the pure sweetness of Michelle’s Jason Wu floral gown for the Obamas’ first inaugural ball, or Jill’s pastel blue coat that echoed the colors of Ukraine’s flag when Volodymyr Zelensky visited the White House."

While the Daily Beast's executive editor suggested "that fashion is a joyous extension of who you are and a symbol of what you want the world to know about you and about what you stand for," she intimated the American flag, gator, and "Where woke goes to die" slogan are altogether unacceptable, claiming that DeSantis' jacket signals Florida is not just where woke goes to die but where "a lot of other people die as well."

Baker linked the promise of wokeness' end, as signaled by DeSantis' jacket, to COVID deaths, alleged book bans, Jim Crow-era lynch mobs, and the 2016 Orlando Pulse nightclub mass shooting, further claiming the jacket serves as a "warning" to America of more in that vein.

Beyond "reading too much" into the DeSantis' war on identitarianism, ESG and gender ideology, Baker proceeded to make a classist argument for why Casey DeSantis, a daughter of a former USAF officer and a Sicilian immigrant, will never receive the acceptance of the liberal establishment as she lacks both Jackie Kennedy's progressive politics and the wealth of the Trumps.

"While Casey may be trying to position herself after Jackie Kennedy (good luck) and even Melania, if this weekend is any indication, she’s falling far short. It doesn't matter how many times she wears that ice-blue Badgley Mischka cape-dress. The DeSantis’ will never be Camelot," wrote Baker, adding that DeSantis could never "embody the class and effortless elegance of Michelle Obama or Dr. Jill Biden."

Baker made explicit her classist digs with an allusion to "The Great Gatsby," suggesting that unlike F. Scott Fitzgerald's fictional characters Tom and Daisy Buchanan — inheritors of affluence and wealth — "the DeSantis’ are more like poseurs," bereft also of the Gatsbian wealth that the Trumps can "retreat into."

Despite insinuating the DeSantises are barred from the upper echelons of American society and the media acceptance that entails, the Daily Beast's executive editor managed to parrot Roger Stone's claim in Politico's May hit piece comparing Casey DeSantis to a famous literary aristocrat, but only as a means to denigrate.

"We’ve got a Sunshine State Lady Macbeth, in her green cape and white gloves, with her middling husband and her thirst for the crown," wrote Baker.

Jenna Ellis, a conservative lawyer who previously worked on former President Donald Trump's legal team, tweeted in response to Baker's article, "Tell me you’re elitist without telling me you’re elitist."

Given Baker's framing of Casey DeSantis as "the Walmart Melania," one commentator asked, "What's wrong with (shopping at) Walmart?"

Another commentator wrote, "No, these people don't hate the peasants, why do you ask?"

Philip Melanchthon Wegmann, a White House reporter with RealClearPolitics, suggested Baker's hit piece served as "an early in-kind contribution to DeSantis."

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