General Mattis may be called back into action to serve his country — this time possibly assuming the role of Commander-in-Chief.
According to The Daily Beast, an anonymous collective of conservatives are in a position to persuade General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, the retired Marine Corps commander who has a reputation as a superb combat leader with excellent rapport with his men.
Considered a contingency action if Trump gets the nomination by the Republicans in Ohio,
Mattis could swing the vote and disrupt operations, even as a third-party candidate.
“Everyone is hoping that Ted Cruz pulls it out, but I think a great deal of Republicans would rally behind an American hero if the choice is between Mattis and Trump,” said John Noonan, a former Jeb Bush aide now involved in the project to draft Mattis.
“He’s a man of character and integrity. He’s given his life to his country. How do you ask someone like that to leap headfirst into this toxic mud-puddle of a race? It’s damn hard. But Trump is a fascist lunatic and Hillary has one foot in a jail cell. That means the lunatic can win. I’d be first in line to plead with the general to come save America,” Noonan added.
While a Mattis victory would not be an easy task, the primary strategy appears to be that of political insurgency — denying Clinton and Trump the 270 electoral votes needed to outright win a general election. On top of that, the benefactors of the Mattis camp would have to undertake the challenge of getting Mattis on the ballot in a large number of states.
If Mattis could win a number of states previously won by Barack Obama in 2012, he would essentially block Clinton’s advance, forcing the incoming House of Representatives to decide on the next President of the United States. If the House is split, Mattis would potentially be the winning choice.
“The theme of 2016 is ‘all bets are off’ and this is a cycle where the unexpected has become the defining characteristic of this election,” said strategist Rick Wilson, who is also involved in a project to get Mattis elected. “In a moment when American politics on the left and right has been upended, and where the frontrunners of both parties are compromised, the time may be upon us where a uniquely qualified, and uniquely credible third-party alternative like General Mattis can take the stage.”
All this planning depends on if Mattis will run at all, something he seems disinterested in. Still, strategists hope he would change his mind if doing so would be a service to the country.
Mattis has gone on record in saying that he feels he could not endure the political correctness involved in being a Presidential candidate.
“I’ve lived a very colorful life and I’ve said some things,” Mattis told an audience last year. “But not once have I taken them back, and I’ve never apologized for them — and I won’t. I like the enemy knowing there are a few guys like me around.”
However, with Trump edging his way into being the most offensive candidate in recent memory, Mattis may seem like a rational counter to Trump’s “tough guy” facade. Pro-Mattis authorities predict the machismo image Trump relies on, would unravel in the face of a legendary commander like Mattis, owing to the General’s cult status and similarities to that of President Eisenhower — an authentic and likeable individual with tested leadership experience in the governmental realm.
Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol says that he has “huge respect and admiration” for General Mattis, as well as contemporary General John Kelly.
“I don’t know whether they’re ideally suited for the presidency,” he said. “But I do know they’re a hell of a lot more suited for it than Donald Trump.”
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