Ron DeSantis’ campaign slogan is the semi-plagiarized line, Great American Comeback. It might have been better to go with Can You Hear Me Now? His campaign launch on Twitter wasn’t quite the mic drop moment he had hoped for. He got audio drops and technical glitches instead. Maybe DeSantis and Musk should have hosted their show on Truth Social servers? Back in the early 1930s, FDR delivered a series of radio addresses known as the fireside chats. Nearly a century later, delivering a political message via audio shouldn’t have been that hard to pull off. (On the plus side, after yesterday’s technical disasters, maybe Ron DeSantis will be in favor of allowing engineers to unionize.)

As I explained yesterday, DeSantis was the co-star in his own campaign launch and this whole story is much more about Elon Musk and Twitter.”Musk is the poster child for people who can’t stop posting. He’s a power broker for our era—one who operates not in the shadows but while taking a never-ending selfie.”

But it’s worth taking note of the DeSantis sound checkmate, not because it’s necessarily a big deal how a campaign launches (this glitch in time will soon be drowned out by the news cycle), but rather because of the way the campaign debut is being covered. The headlines hammer home the fact that when it comes to politics, we cover style over substance, the show over the tell, and the form over the function (except when the function turns to dysfunction). Hence, we end up with the kind of leaders currently dominating the American political (four seasons total) landscape. Consider these headlines from a wide variety of news outlets.

The Verge: Elon Musk fails to launch Ron DeSantis in disastrous Twitter Space. NYT: Elon Musk’s Event With Ron DeSantis Exposes Twitter’s Weaknesses. CNN: Glitches, echoes and ‘melting the servers’ crash DeSantis’ campaign launch on Twitter. The Guardian: Outages, garbled audio: DeSantis’s 2024 launch marred by Twitter tech meltdown. WaPo: Twitter repeatedly crashes as DeSantis tries to make presidential announcement. USA Today: DeSantis’ presidential announcement on Twitter plagued by technical problems. Bloomberg: DeSantis Campaign Debut on Twitter Faces Technical Glitches. NPR: Ron DeSantis debuts presidential bid in a glitch-ridden Twitter ‘disaster.’ WSJ: Elon Musk’s Twitter Event With Ron DeSantis Hits Technical Issues. TMZ: Twitter Campaign Announcement a Mess … Disaster Unfolds as Servers Overload. CNBC: Twitter glitches plague Ron DeSantis’ much-hyped presidential announcement with Elon Musk. Time: Awkward Glitches, Long Silences, and Hold Music: Ron DeSantis’ Disastrous Twitter Launch. Jon Stewart. “It’d be like if the escalator had just stopped halfway down…”

Maybe if the Trump escalator had stopped halfway down, that moment would have received even more attention than the extensive coverage it got at the time. And sadly, that relates to the aspect of the DeSantis launch that may be the most important. The technical glitches meant the Twitter event got more coverage than it may have otherwise. Through all the static, DeSantis and Musk still won the battle for attention. What the headlines actually said don’t matter any more than the stuff you couldn’t hear DeSantis say. All that matters is that you’re listening.