[Ed. – I love how these writers all depict everyone else as being desperate about the candidate choices in 2016, and then proceed to throw utterly unfeasible names into the hat. General Mattis is a superb military leader. That doesn’t mean he’d make a great president. Especially considering that the level of chaos and instability he’d take over is far, far worse than what Ike faced in 1953.]
This third-party option would need to thread a needle. The candidate would have to be conservative, enough so that non-Trump conservatives —keep in mind this is a strong majority of traditional Republican voters—have reason to show up and pull a lever for him and the party’s Senate candidates. The candidate would also need to be sensible, experienced, and respected—not a demagogue like those who have so excited Republican voters this cycle. The name would need to be recognizable, but not in the garish celebrity sense like Mr. Trump. The candidate would need to convey strength in a year teeming with voter concerns about ISIS, cybersecurity, a rising Russia, and Chinese shield-thumping in the Far East.
So who better than retired Marine General James Mattis? …
He neuters both party frontrunners’ perceived strengths. Trump’s faux-tough guy act would crumble when met with an actual warrior, and Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy chops would seem like an 100-level International Relations course next to Mattis’s experience and expertise.
Mattis is vehemently apolitical and would likely be repulsed by the mere suggestion that he run. But so was another former general turned president, Dwight Eisenhower.