Mark Halperin and John Heilemann say that Bill Kristol has found his presidential candidate, and he's someone I'm pretty sure is going to finish fifth, well behind Jill Stein and Gary Johnson:
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.
... David is a graduate of Harvard Law School, the past president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (where he authored the Foundation’s Guide to Religious Liberty on Campus and co-authored its Guide to Free Speech on Campus), a former Lecturer at Cornell Law School, and a former Senior Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice and for the Alliance Defending Freedom. His legal work defending religious liberty on college campuses helped inspire the hit movie God’s Not Dead....
Nancy French is a four-time New York Times best-selling author.
Her most recent books include a collaboration with Sarah Palin on her new book Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas.... Other books includeHome and Away: A Story of Family in a Time of Warwhich she co-authored with her husband David French. She also collaborated with Bristol Palin on her book Not Afraid of Life: My Story So Far....
Yup, she's ghosted for both Palins, and Sarah has endorsed Donald Trump. Awkward!
That memoir of David's time in Iraq recounts behavioral restrictionsintended to prevent Nancy from straying sexually while he was overseas:
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Before David left for Iraq, he and Nancy put together rules, in a painfully honest conversation about human frailty. There would be no drinking during the year of separation. Nancy would not “have phone conversations with men, or meaningful e-mail exchanges about politics or any other subject.” Nor would she be on Facebook, where “the ghosts of boyfriends past” could contact her. When Nancy innocently started e-mailing about faith with a man associated with a radio show she was on, she told David about it, and he asked her to end the relationship. David knew, with his “stomach clenching,” that “the most intimate conversations a person has are about life and faith” -- and that “spiritual and emotional intimacy frequently leads to physical intimacy.”
There's a lot of sex panic in the Frenches' writing (as Roy Edroso notes, he's still angry that the Supreme Court's Griswold v. Connecticut ruling struck down Connecticut's contraception ban half a century ago). David French denounced Prince as "ultimately just another talented and decadent voice in a hedonistic culture ... notable mainly because he was particularly effective at communicating that decadence to an eager and willing audience," while his wife exulted in reports that Prince proselytized for the Jehovah's Witnesses and opposed gay marriage.
Both are obsessed with current battles over sexual orientation and gender: For National Review, David writes posts with titles such as"Transgender Extremism -- Two Videos Show How Quickly the Absurd Became Accepted, Then Mandatory" while his wife defends Curt Schilling's trans-bashing ("ESPN Fired Conservative Curt Schilling, but Hires Female LGBT Activist") and reacts to an ad featuring two gay dads with a post titled "Nabisco, Spreading Liberal Propaganda on Your Honey Maid Graham Crackers."
This is the candidate I might have expected if Mike Huckabee or Rick Santorum were the top #NeverTrump recruiter. But Bill Kristol? Really?
What's going to be hilarious is French's failure to make inroads even with Evangelical voters. They want someone they think kicks ass; Trump postures as the alpha ass-kicker, and so far that's all the fundamentalists have wanted to know. French won't even be able to challenge Trump on French's home turf. What an embarrassment.
Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog