A group of wealthy conservative contributors who share the same goals but are not necessarily working in concert with them have settled on former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.
The case for Condi is easy to see. She certainly has the gravitas to make the race, and foreign policy chops like nobody else in either party. Having been a much better Secretary of State than Hillary Clinton (no private email servers or screwups like Benghazi) she would outflank Hillary on that front. Being a woman she would steal some of Hillary's thunder on the gender issue as well.
And she's an African-American. She's polling in the 10%-25% range with Hispanic and African-American voters. That would hurt Hillary badly.
On most issues she is so clearly more conservative than Donald Trump that, combined with her YUGE superiority in qualifications, it isn't clear that Trump wouldn't meet the fate of the last Republican nominee to face a third-party revolt, William Howard Taft, and end up finishing third because of defections from his own party's ranks.
The negatives: Condi is pro-choice and- while I don't know this for certain- I'm pretty sure she's also pro-marriage redefinition. Her selections for the Supreme Court might not what they would have to be if the Constitution was going to be saved. On the other hand, options are limited, and I'd trust her more than Hillary or The Donald.
She's also reluctant to run.
Those in back of the movement to draft Condi say that she's the only potential third-party candidate who polls well enough to be viable. Perhaps, but faced with the certainty of a race between Trump and Hillary that could change- especially if Hillary is Hillary and Trump is unable to contain his inner Trumpness. He will doubtless try. He is probably regretting many of the things he said earlier in the campaign when he didn't really think he'd be the nominee. At the same time, his continuing belittling remarks about Marco Rubio and others have shown beyond doubt that uniting the party is going to be beyond him.
With both major party candidates vulnerable, the right third-party candidate might even win. I have enormous respect for Dr. Rice, even though her positions on social issues are unacceptable to me. But if the choices are Clinton, Trump, and Rice, it wouldn't be a difficult choice.
With however many reservations, I'd still vote for Condi. After all, she'd be the only one of the three options I respect.
Graphic by DonkeyHotey