For DeSantis, a leading Republican presidential prospect, it was simply business as usual.
DAVENPORT, Iowa — In his first trip to Iowa this year, Ron DeSantis did not take any questions from voters. He ignored the local press. He avoided the diners, pizza parlors and ice cream shops that have helped presidential contenders in the leadoff voting state showcase their personal appeal and charisma for decades.
The hard-charging Florida governor has emerged as a potent force in national politics while eschewing the personal connections, intimate moments and unscripted questions that have long fueled successful White House bids in the states that sit atop the presidential primary calendar. And as DeSantis begins to introduce himself to primary voters in the weeks leading up to his expected announcement, he is showing little interest in changing his ways.
Allies insist he doesn’t need to adjust anything, pointing to his dominant 19-point reelection victorylast fall. But already, his Republican rivals — led by …