During Memorial Day weekend, The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol got under Donald Trump’s skin by announcing, “Just a heads up over this holiday weekend: There will be an independent candidate–an impressive one, with a strong team and a real chance.”
It worked. Trump fired off three tweets decrying the possibility of an independent run, including one that referred to Republicans — members of the party he is aiming to lead — in the third person. “[I]f the GOP can’t control their own, then they are not a party. Be tough, R’s!,” he wrote.
But there was no announcement over the weekend. Kristol, who — agree with him or not — has managed to expertly troll people for decades without them catching on, drew attention to Trump’s lack of composure, “I hope my mention of an independent candidate didn’t distract [Trump] while paying respects during whichever Memorial Day ceremony he attended.”
In any case, late yesterday Mark Halperin and John Heilemann reported that Kristol might be convincing conservative attorney David French to launch an independent run. Kristol himself made the suggestion last week, though only the Trump-bitten James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal seemed to notice.
French, for his part, hasn’t announced a candidacy or said anything on the matter as of press time. He’s a man of impressive pedigree — a constitutional lawyer, an expert on religious freedom, author of a book on how to defeat ISIS, an Iraqi War veteran with a Bronze Star — and beloved by all who know him as a charitable and gracious family man. He broke the story on politicized prosecution run amok in Wisconsin, among many other excellent pieces he’s written on culture, philosophy, religion and the law.
1. French graduated from Harvard Law School, and served in Iraq in Diyala Province as Squadron Judge Advocate for the 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, where he was awarded the Bronze Star. He is a major in the United States Army Reserve (IRR).
2. He lives in Tennessee with his wife Nancy, a New York Times best-selling author, and their three children.
3. He is the past president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), and has defended religious liberty on college campuses, serving as a senior counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice and the Alliance Defending Freedom.
4. He has written the New York Times-bestselling Rise of ISIS: A Threat We Can’t Ignore, as well as Home and Away: A Story of Family in a Time of War and A Season for Justice: Defending the Rights of the Christian Church, Home, and School.
5. In 2012 French was awarded the American Conservative Union’s Ronald Reagan Award.
He’s not a candidate, but the media reaction to the mere mention of a possible candidacy explains much about how the country has become saddled with such embarrassing representatives of their respective parties. It’s even more illustrative…