The first Republican presidential debate took place on Wednesday night. Anyone hoping to see Donald Trump had to settle for a pre-taped interview that aired online or wait for him to be arraigned in Georgia on Thursday morning. But Ron DeSantis was there, centerstage, still struggling to smile like a human. The Internet latched on to one particular close-up of DeSantis clearly remembering he was supposed to smile when people clap, but his facial muscles failed him.
Pain really does seem like the only way to describe DeSantis smiling. Or trying to. Time and again he just looks like he's forgotten to have fun out there.
Not that it shook his confidence. DeSantis assured America that under his watch Anthony Fauci would be fired.
Facts be damned, however casual fans feel the debate went, DeSantis supporters were thrilled to see him walk into a diner on Thursday morning for an appearance on Fox News. You can't hear or see the people clapping, but rest assured they're just out of frame over Brian Kilmeade's shoulder, erupting too.
With the Iowa State Fair and first debate now over, DeSantis can finally leave the Midwest and head back to Florida to rest, regroup and work on that smile.