I’ve written before on why there should be a Republican Primary opponent to Trump in 2020. He is unstable, the most likely candidate to lose, and morally unfit for office. That said, we need a serious person to challenge him. In my 4-part series on a 2020 Republican Primary earlier this year, I talked some about the selfish incentives a candidate might have to challenge Trump that go against the ultimate cause:
On the individual level, though, there are a number of other definitions of success that may not have anything to do with electoral success. For example, a candidate may run in order to try and push a particular issue or issue-set into the conversation (Example: Ron Paul 2008 and 2012). More perversely, a candidate may run in order to generate attention that can monetized as a book deal, a TV contract, or through some other means. Finally, there are some candidacies that are just completely inexplicable (Jim Gilmore, George Pataki, etc). All of these are individual definitions of success that often directly contradict with the broader voter group’s definition of success.
Bill Weld, who is reportedly fixing to announce an exploratory committee to look at a Trump challenge, is the case of someone who has no good reason to run other than being an attention-seeker. He was a mediocre Governor for 6 forgettable years in the 90s who hasn’t been heard from since other than being Gary Johnson’s running mate in 2016. How is that someone who can defeat Trump or who has any business being President?
I doubt Weld will scare a serious person out of the field. My biggest worry is that he will make the concept of a Trump challenge look like a joke, thus leading people to dismiss the idea of a challenge out of hand. We need a serious person with competent experience and an actual vision beyond self-promotion to get in. Hopefully that will be someone off this list. The best choice, though, is someone who will run from the Right, unite Rubio/Cruz/Carson voters, and be able to fundraise. The best possible answer who would also have other incentives to run?