As Donald Trump cements his nomination and his opponents begrudgingly admit that they would support his presidency, the #nevertrump movement faces the prospect of not having the means to stop their despised con artist from taking over the GOP. One option that remains? Run an anti-Trump conservative on a third ticket. According to MSNBC's Benjy Sarlin, it's a scenario that many are considering. But one question looms over all the others: Who will be the standard-bearer of this American version of the Avignon papacy?
You don't have to shake a lot of trees to find people who share #nevertrump's animosity toward the sunburned blancmange that currently leads the race for the Republican nomination. The trick is finding someone who fits the anti-Trumpers' profile of a conservative alternative. That means you can cross Graydon Carter, Bill Maher, Rosie O'Donnell and Ivana Trump -- sorry, Ivana! -- off the list. Instead, we're looking for a conservative with a yen for Trump-bashing and either the passion or the pull to mount a grueling independent candidacy. Someone who those National Review essayists who appeared in the magazine's "Against Trump" issue could plausibly accept. Maybe even someone who would be better than the rest of the GOP field, who knows?
Many are called. Few are chosen. But the best of the bunch have ended up on this week's First To Last.