It is no secret that a lot of disaffected GOP voters and party movers and shakers are not only dead set against Trump, but are ready and working toward supporting a third party run from … wherever. A lot of people have been named in the press as being part of the decision-making process for choosing a general election candidate to run against both Trump and Hillary, including Mitt Romney, who has been named as either one of the drafters or the draftee.
A new report from the Washington Post on Saturday, though, says Mitt isn’t looking to run himself. No like the others involved, he’s looking elsewhere. Specifically to … John Kasich??
From the report:
Those involved concede that an independent campaign at this late stage is probably futile, and they think they have only a couple of weeks to launch a credible bid. But these Republicans — including commentators William Kristol and Erick Erickson and strategists Mike Murphy, Stuart Stevens and Rick Wilson — are so repulsed by the prospect of Trump as commander in chief that they are desperate to take action.
Their top recruiting prospects are freshman Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), a conservative who has become one of Trump’s sharpest critics, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), who withdrew from the 2016 race May 4. Romney is among those who have made personal overtures to both men in recent days, according to several people with knowledge of the former Massachusetts governor’s activities.
Before I explain the obvious, that Kasich would be a disastrous option, let me just add for the record some of the other names, also from WaPo:
Earlier prospects included former senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and retired Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis. Former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and retired Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal have been bandied about as potentially potent political outsiders.
The recruiters also delved into the world of reality television for someone who might out-Trump Trump: Mark Cuban, the brash billionaire businessman and owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team.
Illustrious. *eyeroll emoji*
But back to Kasich. It seems to me the same impulse, or lack of pulse, that would have anyone even consider John Kasich is the same one that had Jeb Bush in the race all those months ago. I just want to scream out “are you SERIOUS??” I don’t know if it’s the “electability” illusion or just self-delusion, but Kasich is about the worst choice I can think of as a conservative voter. As a Republican. As someone who has been in NOT A COMA for the last year. You might as well just run Jeb some more. At least he’s had a rest period and some water.
It is true, Kasich wouldn’t have a primary to get past, but if you think that Kasich is going to somehow run successfully, even as a spoiler, against Donald Trump, then you didn’t watch the primary at all and you haven’t listened to the conservative base … well, ever. Kasich does not represent the base. He does not represent conservatives. They aren’t going to vote for him on the basis of him being Not Trump.
Sure, the #NeverTrump crowd will, but that’s not a rationale for picking him. #NeverTrump would vote for my old running shoes at this point.
The other candidate metioned, Sasse, has two better qualities. He has conservative values (which he knows how to articulate) and he has an attitude. That will go a lot farther than, what, big donor support? Mailing lists? Campaign apparatus? How swing states can change the game. Or even just Ohio. Because you know those are things they are talking about. That’s how committees work. They talk about dumb stuff. They’re considering other things too, like getting on the ballot, name recognition. All fine things, all beside the point.
This is simple, the movement to run a third party candidate doesn’t need to consider those things. The donors and insiders and apparatus cogs and gears who would support a third party run against Trump will support almost any third party run against Trump. What Kasich could have, Sasse could have. My shoes could have.
But way, way, way more important than any of that is this: you’re thinking about running a third-party candidate based on your principles. Small government. More liberty. Fewer taxes. Lower taxes. Less spending. Strong military. Good Supreme Court nominations. All things the Republican base loves, and all things Trump will be terrible on. If you’re going to run on a principle, if you’re going to have secret meetings and invest money and time and take the extraordinary step of turning against the GOP to stand by those principles, well then actually do that. Pick someone who means those things, who stands for those things, and who voters know stands for those things.
If you pick John Kasich, you’ll only accomplish one thing: You’ll prove the Trump voters right. You’ll prove you’re too out of touch and invested in power to do the right thing. It’ll be a sore loser campaign.
Don’t do that. Don’t prove them right. Do the right thing.