When human beings find things amusing or are happy or are trying to simply trying to charm other humans, they do a thing called a smile. To most, this comes naturally. To others, not so much. Ron DeSantis is very much in the latter category. He has trouble seeming normal, and during his spluttering presidential campaign he’s gone viral for weird smiles and weirder laughs. At the second GOP debate, he did a freaky smile again.
please enjoy my governor smiling just like normal humans do, completely chill and very friendly, definitely not a robot please do not say he is a robot pic.twitter.com/Qb3OqVYMA1
— Sarah Rumpf (@rumpfshaker) September 28, 2023
At one point during the debate, DeSantis tried to act tough, talking about vetoing legislation he doesn’t like. As some in the audience applauded, the Florida governor tried to do what anybody else would do: give a little smile while basking in the glory. But DeSantis can’t do that. Instead, he lurched through a series of awkward expressions that made him resemble an android on the fritz. At one point it looked like he’d smelled something foul, like a skunk.
Eventually, perhaps sensing that his efforts to seem cool, or at least like a human person, had failed, he shyly looked down, as though hoping no one had noticed the weirdness.
But people had noticed. Lots of them.
Oh my, DeSantis did it again tonight: the rant, followed by the forced smile, followed by the grimace. Hilarious. He is beyond saving. pic.twitter.com/Uy7AmRDVcQ
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) September 28, 2023
The moment when DeSantis remembered that his team told him to not smile like a creep pic.twitter.com/MkDXstRGix
— J-L Cauvin – Pittsburgh 10/11 (@JLCauvin) September 28, 2023
it's great that DeSantis zipped up his human suit today but his smiling lessons clearly have not paid off. he is very close to mastering a human smile & has made considerable progress! any day now! we are all gunning for our android friend
— Liz Wolfe (@LizWolfeReason) September 28, 2023
DeSantis can’t help but do that weird smile thing. pic.twitter.com/5L4Fo7JYuT
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) September 28, 2023
how has no one trained desantis out of doing his creepy fake-smile thing
— Nate Monroe (@NateMonroeTU) September 28, 2023
— US Rep Brendan Boyle (@RepBrendanBoyle) September 28, 2023
To some it was inevitable that “DeSantis makes a weird face” would happen.
Elsewhere during the evening, DeSantis mustered enough courage to be one of the only candidates on the stage to actually criticize Donald Trump, who was once again AWOL. Alas, he did so by basically plagiarizing things the more fierce Trump critic Chris Christie had said earlier.