For months, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol has made it his mission in life to organize a third-party bid for the White House. Kristol, who loathes Donald Trump, has been looking high and low for a candidate with the name recognition and conservative credentials to keep the billionaire out of the White House. Names like Mitt Romney and Ben Sasse have been tossed about, though both have ruled out such a bid.
To any reasonable observer, it appeared that the NeverTrump movement was dying down. Donors weren’t interested, candidates weren’t interested, and most conservatives – even those hesitant to support Trump – understood that a third-party campaign would have no chance of succeeding. Unless, of course, President Hillary Clinton is one’s idea of success.
But Kristol suggested on Sunday that he’d found his man. “Just a heads up over this holiday weekend,” he tweeted. “There will be an independent candidate – an impressive one, with a strong team and a real chance.”
Well, that’s a lie. Kristol may have found someone – perhaps even someone “impressive.” But he has not found someone with a “real chance,” because that someone does not exist in the thing we call reality. The next president of the United States (barring a cataclysmic event) will be either Clinton or Trump. And the more “impressive” Kristol’s candidate is, the more likely it is that president will be Clinton.
“A quarter of a century ago, another Clinton was running for the White House, and it was the entrance of a third-party candidate, Ross Perot, that made it possible for him to win,” said Ben Carson on Monday. “Wouldn’t it be ironic if the same thing happened this time?”
Ironic? Maybe. Sad and extremely avoidable? Definitely.