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I admire David French, David French is running for president, but you probably have no idea who he is, right?
No, it’s not Buffy and Jody’s man-nanny from the 1960s sitcom Family Affair. That was Mr. French played by Sebastian Cabot, and I forget the character’s first name.
Nor is it the guy who publishes most stage play scripts. That’s Samuel French. (Only theatre people will know that name.)
If you’re a hard-core conservative or you read National Review for any reason, you might have heard of David French. He’s a staff writer at National Review. He’s also a decorated veteran. In fact, if you read my blog, you are about 1,000 times more likely than the average American to have heard David French’s name. Make that 10,000 times more likely.
Why is this important?
Because Bill Kristol, the scion of Nevertrumpdom, appears to have delivered his oft-promised Grand Wizard of Conservative Salvation, the messiah to lost and wandering “principled conservatives” who pine for a candidate they can vote for in November. Kristol seems to have settled on Mr. French to lead us to the Promised Land. Bloomberg reports that French is the fulfillment of Mr. Kristol’s recent prophecy: “There will be an independent candidate–an impressive one, with a strong team and a real chance.”
Now, Mr. Kristol and others have said that any “independent” candidate must meet three criteria:
- Trump-like name recognition,
- Trump-like money, and
- Trump-like candidate skills
Why not just vote for Trump? But that’s beside the point.
To show the absurdity of a David French candidacy, let’s look at a little Venn diagram on name recognition:
Yes, it looks like a graphic of a total lunar eclipse with a small rock thrown into the picture for effect.
While my own finances are often the source of amusement among friends, I don’t think Mr. French has Trump money. He probably doesn’t even have Crooked Hillary money. And I’m sure Mr. French is a wonderful guy, but Donald Trump just dispatched 16 of the GOP’s best, most seasoned professional politicians as if they were hayseeds. What chance does French stand?
Did you know that, barring a Supreme Court ruling, it’s unlikely French will get on the ballot in Texas, and possibly many other states. It’s really too late. But the prophet Kristol journeys on.
Guy Benson over on Townhall.com found the perfect photo to express Trump’s worry over this development:
Speaking of Mr. Benson, who is no Trump fan, he said this:
But the notion that a relatively little-known writer could parachute into this race at such a late juncture and have a prayer of winning even a single state is, frankly, preposterous.
And he reiterated an early point of his:
Splashy national polling data and widespread discontent with the likely choices are one thing, but for anyone to take Kristol’s “real chance” assessment seriously, let’s see evidence that this third party ticket would be in a strong position to win — not just compete in, but win — several states. That is literally the only path to preventing a Trump or Clinton presidency.
Which is why I assume Kristol can’t be serious. And if he is, it speaks poorly to his character. Mr. French will become the Admiral James Stockdale of 2016 if he runs.
Stockdale was a great man. Truly great man. But an opportunist threw him into a situation that was beyond his skill. Because of that, a great American hero is remembered mostly for a comically failed campaign for vice president.
Doing to Mr. French what H. Ross Perot did to Admiral Stockdale would be sinful.
Instead, practice saying “President Trump.”