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Who is David French?

Who is David French?

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Wednesday, 01 June 2016 06:52 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Hours after Bill Kristol, the influential editor of the Weekly Standard, said Tuesday that he had urged Tennessee attorney David French to become the independent, anti-Trump candidate for president he has long pursued, pundits, pols, and political reporters were scrambling for information on the U.S. Army veteran and staff writer for the conservative "National Review."

A graduate of Harvard Law School, French earned the Bronze Star for service in Operation Iraqi Freedom and is now a major in the U.S. Army Reserve. 

Like Kristol, he is a vigorous hardliner in countering radical Islam and one of his books on the topic, "Rise of ISIS: A Threat We Can't Ignore," was recently a New York Times best-seller. 
 
Married to fellow best-selling author Nancy French, and a father of three, French has also been senior counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice and the Alliance Defending Freedom. In 2005, David and Nancy co-founded the grassroots "Evangelicals for Mitt (Romney)" with friends. She has also co-authored a book with Bristol Palin.

Several prominent conservatives who were aware of French's writing in "National Review" did not know the would-be candidate himself.

As French considers whether to "take the plunge," admirers quickly made analogies to someone else on the "National Review" masthead who sought elective office on a third-party ticket: its founder and publisher William F. Buckley, Jr.

In 1965, Buckley ran as the Conservative Party nominee for mayor of New York and drew 15 percent of the vote against Democrat Abe Beame and liberal Republican John Lindsay.

But running for president is a far more complex and difficult undertaking than running for mayor of New York was a half century ago.

"French may indeed be a tremendously fine and principled person, the very type of individual people claim they want as president, but he lacks even minimal name identification," said historian David Pietrusza, author of four much-praised books on presidential elections.

He went on to point out that "ballot access" is going to be a particular problem for French and Kristol.  The deadline for making the Texas ballot this November has already passed. North Carolina's deadline is June 9.

All but four other states require submission of signatures on petitions for a ballot position by the end of the summer.

He added that the Libertarian ticket of former GOP Govs. Gary Johnson (New Mexico) and Bill Weld (Massachusetts), which is so far on the ballot in 32 states, "complicates an already difficult situation."

French himself was not returning reporters' calls on Wednesday morning.  One potential supporter is Mitt Romney, a known "Never Trump-er" himself. 

Writing on his Twitter account, the 2012 Republican nominee for president praised French and said "I look forward to following what he has to say."

The anti-Trump conservatives are not looking for a new Reagan, but a Bill Buckley type – an intellectual conservative who can advocate for smaller government, a more robust national defense and strong family values. Like-minded voters will have their candidate in French, though critics say such a candidacy may, in the end, only help Hillary Clinton get elected.


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John-Gizzi
Hours after Bill Kristol, the influential editor of the Weekly Standard, said Tuesday that he had urged Tennessee attorney David French to become the independent, anti-Trump candidate for president he has long pursued, pundits, pols, and political reporters were scrambling...
david, french, kristol, gizzi, biography
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2016-52-01
Wednesday, 01 June 2016 06:52 PM
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