So National Review has its first bona fide this-could-happen piece on Donald Trump out today. Longtime Republican strategist Ed Rollins is quoted as finding the notion plausible, and he’s not the sort of fellow to allow a moment to overwhelm his judgment.
Has this bizarre exercise gone on longer than I expected it to? Why, yes. Yes, it has. I didn’t see him staying in the race even as long as Thanksgiving. He’s still leading a month out, so I’d say he’ll still be around then.
As close as we’ve been to right here during my lifetime was Ross Perot in 1992. The critical difference is that Perot stood in a third tent. Trump is running as a Republican.
Perot’s ultimate political legacy was/is to divide the electorate sufficiently to allow Bill Clinton to win twice. But if you don’t remember Perot as an initially serious threat to win, you’re shading history. It was getting out and getting back in that fatally damaged his chances, not anything he’d said or done prior.
As it turned out, 1992 was the first presidential election in which I could vote. It may well have been for Perot had he not exited and reentered the race. Instead, this 18-year-old with a skull full of mush voted for Clinton.
In 2016, I will commit to voting for the Republican candidate, no matter who it is. I would really like it to be Carly Fiorina. I would rather it be any other Republican in the race than Donald Trump.
But if Trump is the last person standing, which now appears to be a significant, if not yet compelling, threat, then yes, I will vote for him.