Ross Douthat, writing on the New York Times’s website, has a must-read article on the Republican presidential field and the desirability—and even possibility!—of a new entry. “For months now, even as the rest of the conservative commentariat has gradually resigned itself to the existing presidential field, the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol has continued to pine — publicly, unstintingly, immune to either embarrassment or fatigue— for another candidate to jump into the race,” Douthat writes.
He’s dreamed of Mitch Daniels, touted Chris Christie, talked up Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio, name-dropped Jeb Bush, and circled back to Daniels once more. He’s quoted poetry on behalf of his cause — Yeats, and (with some revisions) Andrew Marvell. . . . [A]nd in the wake of Newt Gingrich’s South Carolina victory, he was back at it again, throwing out a link to “a new online petition was launched Saturday night … at runmitchrun.com.”
And do you know what? He’s been right all along. Right that the decisions by various capable Republicans to forgo a presidential run this year have been a collective disgrace; right that Republican primary voters deserve a better choice than the one being presented to them; and right, as well, that even now it isn’t too late for one of the non-candidates to change their mind and run.
Douthat concludes by saying, “Kristol deserves credit for demanding better, long after the rest of us have given up. The scenario he’s seeking almost certainly won’t happen. But that’s very different from saying that it couldn’t, if someone, from Daniels to Jeb to Bobby Jindal, were willing to step into the breach that caution has created, and cowardice has sustained.”
It would take political courage for a late entry—but here’s hoping that someone (Daniels? Jindal?) will be able to muster enough before it's too late.
Needless to say, read Douthat’s whole piece.
And a source tells me that a representative from runmitchrun.com will be on Fox News today at 4:45 p.m. making the case that Daniels gets in the race.