The headline for David French's latest article for National Review left nothing to chance: "I'm Not Running for President."
And with that, the latest #NeverTrump effort aborted on the launch pad. But don't be surprised if someone else picks up the ball and tries to run with it. Because while he has determined he's "not the right person to challenge Trump and Hillary," he firmly believes the door remains open for someone else to try.
"Never before have both parties failed so spectacularly, producing two dishonest, deceitful candidates who should be disqualified from running for town council, much less leader of the free world," he wrote. "[I]t would be tempting to say that when it comes to confronting this national moment, 'somebody' stepping up is better than nobody. But somebody is not always better than nobody."
French repeated his claim that 2012 Republican presidential nominee former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney could win, if he changed his mind and ran. He said there are others he believes could win—and would "make excellent presidents"—if they decided to jump in.
"Indeed, the path is there. I spent the last several days with some of the best minds in politics," he wrote. "I learned that the ballot-access challenge can be met with modest effort (by an existing network ready to activate), that the polling for a true outsider independent was better than most people know, and that there are many, many Americans—including outstanding political talents—who are willing to quit their jobs—today—to help provide the American people with an alternative."
Given the short time frame to put together a national campaign, French wrote, "the best chance for success" would go with a candidate who has "immediate access to extraordinary wealth," or is a "transformational political talent." This further cemented his conclusion he was "not the right person for this effort."
He called those who have been searching for a #NeverTrump alternative candidate "patriots," and he thanked those who prayed for him and his family as he deliberated over the opportunity to run. But even if someone doesn't step up to run in 2016, he wrote that he believes America is ready for a big change.
"I believe with all my heart that there is an American movement ready to both resist the corruption, decadence and dishonesty of the American elite and restore the promise of the American Dream," he wrote. "But that movement may not emerge for some time, and it might emerge only after further heartache and pain."
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