Gen. James Mattis doesn’t necessarily want to be president–but that’s not stopping a group of billionaire donors from hatching a plan to get him there.”>
An anonymous group of conservative billionaires is ready to place their bets on a human dubbed Mad Dog, hoping to draft him into the presidential race to tackle Donald Trump.
Think of it as a Plan B should Trump be nominated by the Republican Party in Cleveland: swing behind retired U.S. Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis and press him into service yet again as a third-party candidate.
Mattis is the former commander of Central Command, which includes the strife-afflicted conflict zones of the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia, and has developed a reputation among troops as a general officer who cares about the little guy. This reputation blossomed into the political realm during the course of its 2012 presidential tournament, when a Marine Corps veteran started an online campaign to write-in Mattis on presidential ballotsit ultimately absence the backing to take off.
But this situation involves far bigger players: Close to a dozen influential donorsinvolving politically-involved billionaires with deep pocket and conservative leaningsare ready to put their resources behind Mattis. At any such requests, a small group of political spies have taken the first steps in the strategic legwork needed for a bid: a package of six strategic memorandas outlining how Mattis could win the race, in hopes of coaxing him in.
The general has received the package of memorandas, according to two individuals involved with the project.
Mattis, “whos also” nicknamed the warrior monk for his contemplative devotion to the military arts, would be a fallback alternative for anti-Trump forces. But since the next series of GOP nomination contests heavily favor Trump, this is not exactly a fantasy scenario.
Everyone is hoping that Ted Cruz pullings it out, but I guess a great deal of Republicans would rally behind an American hero if the choice is between Mattis and Trump, told John Noonan, a former Jeb Bush aide now involved in the project to draft Mattis.
Hes a human of character and integrity. Hes given his life to his country. How do you ask someone like that to leap headfirst into this toxic mud puddle of a race? Its damn hard. But Trump is a fascist lunatic and Hillary has one foot in a jail cell. That entails the lunatic can win. Id be first in line to plead with the general to go save America, Noonan added.
The strategy would not be for Mattis to win, at least at firstthe spies behind this potential bid would only be seeking to deny Trump and Clinton the 270 electoral votes necessary to win the general election outright. And there is also the incredible logistical challenge of get Mattis on the ballot in a large number of states.
The process is actually quite simple, but its difficult, one of the strategists concede in a memo, and the chances of Mattis winning the White House outright as a third-party nominee are very low. But if the retired military officer could win several nations won by President Obama in 2012, they might be able to block Clinton, thus forcing the incoming House of Representative to make a decision on the next president of the United States.
With the House split, the strategists reason, Mattis could be the consensus choice.
The theme of 2016 is all bets are off and this is a cycle where the unexpected has become the defining characteristic of such elections, told strategist Rick Wilson, who is also involved in the project. In a few moments when American politics on the left and right has been upended, and where the frontrunners of both parties are compromised, the time is a possibility upon us where a uniquely qualified, and uniquely credible third-party alternative like General Mattis can take the stage.
Another restriction factor is Mattis himself, who is disinclined to operate. These strategists hope he could change his intellect if he were to feel compelled to serve his country.
Those close to him are skeptical that his intellect could be changed.
It is difficultif not impossibleto see him accepting being drafted, told a source close to Mattis.