According to Bloomberg Politics, people who are close to Bill Kristol have identified the third party candidate he has recruited to run against Trump and Clinton, and it is… David French.
Two Republicans intimately familiar with Bill Kristol’s efforts to recruit an independent presidential candidate to challenge Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have told Bloomberg Politics that the person Kristol has in mind is David French — whose name the editor of the Weekly Standard floated in the current issue of the magazine.
French is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. According to the website of National Review, where French is a staff writer, he is a constitutional lawyer, a recipient of the Bronze Star, and an author of several books who lives in Columbia, Tenn., with his wife Nancy and three children.
Reached in Israel late Tuesday afternoon, Kristol declined to comment on his efforts to induce French to run. The two Republicans confirmed that French is open to launching a bid, but that he has not made a final decision. One of the Republicans added that French has not lined up a vice-presidential running mate or significant financial support. However, according to this person, some conservative donors look favorably on the prospect of French entering the fray.
If true, this would obviously not have the instant celebrity appeal that someone like Romney or Coburn would have. On the other hand, French would have none of the baggage that either Coburn or (especially) Romney would have. I don’t know French personally, but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and, who knows, maybe he will shine in the spotlight.
The real test will be whether he can raise enough money and get himself enough media attention to enter the real discussion here. After this weekend’s messy convention, it’s clear that the Libertarians are not ready to assume that mantle and that their ability to appeal to mainstream folks just really isn’t ever going to cross the 5% threshold.