Saturday, 23 Sep 2023

Worst-case scenario: Rick Wilson on Tucker Carlson, presidential nominee

Worst-case scenario: Rick Wilson on Tucker Carlson, presidential nominee


Worst-case scenario: Rick Wilson on Tucker Carlson, presidential nominee

The most irresponsible thing you can do these days is look away from the worst-case scenario." So says Rick Wilson. In the week Fox News fired Tucker Carlson, Wilson's worst-case scenario is this: a successful Carlson campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.

Wilson is a longtime Republican operative turned co-founder of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project and a media company, Resolute Square, for which he hosts the Enemies List podcast.

He says: "Tucker is one of the very small number of political celebrities in this country who has the name ID, the personal wealth, the stature to actually declare and run for president and in a Republican primary run in the same track Donald Trump did: the transgressive, bad boy candidate, the one who lets you say what you want to say, think what you want to think, act how you want to act, no matter how grotesque it is.

"Among Republicans, he's a beloved figure. He's right now in the Republican universe a martyr - and there ain't nothing they want more than a martyr."

Carlson's martyrdom came suddenly on Monday, in the aftermath of the settled Dominion Voter Systems defamation suit over Trump's election lies and their broadcast by Fox News. The prime-time host, a ratings juggernaut, was gone.

Other than that, he has not hinted what's next. To many, a presidential campaign may seem unthinkable. To Wilson, that is precisely the reason to think it.

"And so I think we live in a world where the most irresponsible thing you can do is look away from the worst-case scenario. I do believe that if Tucker ran for president, there is an argument to be made that he's the one person who could beat Trump."

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