David French Says No to Presidential Run

The National Review writer and lawyer announced Sunday that he will not seek the presidency.

There will be no French revolution. 

David French, a staff writer at the conservative magazine National Review, announced on the publication's website Sunday that he would not mount a long-shot White House run in 2016. 

Photograph: National Review

French, a lawyer and military veteran, had been courted by Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol to challenge Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the general election. 

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve my country, and I thank God for the successes I’ve had as a lawyer and a writer, but it is plain to me that I’m not the right person for this effort,” French wrote. 

With little name recognition and a daunting series of looming deadlines in order to be added to states’ presidential ballots, French would have faced a considerable challenge. Still, after Bloomberg Politics broke the story that Kristol was attempting to recruit him to enter the race, French said he had given the possibility serious consideration. 

“I spent the last several days with some of the best minds in politics,” French wrote. “I learned that the ballot-access challenge can be met with modest effort (by an existing network ready to activate), that the polling for a true outsider independent was better than most people know, and that there are many, many Americans—including outstanding political talents—who are willing to quit their jobs—today—to help provide the American people with an alternative.”

French also fired broadsides against Trump and Clinton, saying that both candidates lie “habitually.”

In the end, however, while French said that he believed “the path is there” for a candidate to take on the presumptive Republican nominee and the Democratic front-runner, he concluded that person was not him. 

“To those I’ve disappointed, I’m sorry. It is your devotion and integrity that help keep America great, and I believe you will ultimately prevail,” French wrote. 

The man who had recruited French, meanwhile, held out hope that another candidate would step forward. 

“David French would have been a fine alternative to Clinton and Trump,” Kristol wrote on Twitter on Sunday night. “But the path is open, and a better choice remains necessary.”

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