John Fund: Are you ready for President Dobbs?

Not the first name I’d think of if asked which cable news anchor was most likely to start believing his own BS, but no one makes a show of his populism as much as Dobbs does so it’s not surprising, I guess. His worldview imagines a middle class perpetually under siege from both illegals and corporations, a great voiceless mass in need of a spokesman who understands their hopes and fears but forced to settle for posers and charlatans.

Who will emerge to speak for They Who Cannot Speak? Who, I ask you?

After months of telling reporters that he “absolutely” would not consider leaving his highly-rated CNN show in which he crusades against free trade and illegal immigration, Mr. Dobbs posted a commentary on his Web site last week predicting a surprise new presidential candidate in 2008. The mystery candidate is an “independent populist . . . who understands the genius of this country lies in the hearts and minds of its people and not in the prerogatives and power of its elites.”

Friends of Mr. Dobbs say he is seriously contemplating a race for the first time, although it’s still unlikely. They spin a scenario under which the acerbic commentator would parachute into the race if Michael Bloomberg, the New York billionaire and favorite of East Coast elites, enters the field as an independent. With Hillary Clinton continuing to score badly in polls in the categories of honesty and integrity, and with the public’s many doubts about Rudy Giuliani and other GOP contenders, Mr. Bloomberg may well see an opportunity to roil the political waters by entering the race late. If so, Mr. Dobbs then sees a niche for a “fourth-party” candidate who could paint the three other contenders as completely out of touch.

Here’s the messianic web commentary to which Fund refers. I’m not sure why he needs Bloomberg in the race to do this unless he figures his absolute ceiling is about 25-30% and needs the rest of the electorate to split three ways. I’d say his ceiling is closer to 2% but then he’s the millionaire and I’m the guy without an iPhone. I’m guessing he’d hurt Rudy more than Hillary since (a) his signature issue is border enforcement and that speaks more to conservatives than to liberals and (b) Rudy’s counting on Hillary-hating centrist independents to break for him, a plan that would obviously be foiled to some extent if Dobbs is available as a protest vote. (But why would those independents break for Dobbs over Bloomberg? Immigration again?)

I hope he does get in, not only because it would force even more attention towards the borders but because the closer we get to the election, the warmer I am to the idea of an anarchic three-, four-, or even five-party race. The GOP is as weak as it will (hopefully) be for years to come. If ever there was a time to embrace the free-for-all concept and let the chips fall where they may, this is it. And just think how giddy it would make the North American Union windmill-tilters.

Here you go, Hillary. Something for your first attack ad.

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