Fourteen Words With Tucker Carlson has apparently become the most-watched cable news show in history, and that development is giving certain people ideas:
Tucker Carlson’s audience is booming — and so is chatter that the popular Fox News host will parlay his TV perch into a run for president in 2024.
Republican strategists, conservative commentators, and former Trump campaign and administration officials are buzzing about Carlson as the next-generation leader of Donald Trump’s movement — with many believing he would be an immediate frontrunner in a Republican primary.
“He’s a talented communicator with a massive platform. I think if he runs he’d be formidable,” said Luke Thompson, a Republican strategist who worked for Jeb Bush’s super PAC in 2016.
While practically every Republican eyeing a 2024 presidential run is professing loyalty to Trump the person, Carlson has become perhaps the highest-profile proponent of “Trumpism” — a blend of anti-immigrant nationalism, economic populism [ed: LOL] and America First isolationism that he articulates unapologetically and with some snark. At the same time, he’s shown a rare willingness among Republicans to bluntly criticize Trump when he believes the president is straying from that ideology.
In another twist, Carlson has established a friendship with Donald Trump, Jr., according to a source familiar with their relationship. Trump Jr. has drawn his own share of presidential buzz. . .
“Let me put it this way: If Biden wins and Tucker decided to run, he’d be the nominee,” said Sam Nunberg, a former top political aide to Trump who knows Carlson. But Nunberg said he doesn’t believe Carlson will run because “he’s so disgusted with politicians.”
Sixteen prominent Republicans interviewed by POLITICO said there’s an emerging consensus in the GOP that the 51-year-old Carlson would be formidable if he were to run. Some strategists aligned with other potential candidates are convinced he will enter the race and detect the outlines of a stump speech in Carlson’s recent Fox monologues.
I’m far too modest to note that I called this one months ago.
Seriously, while on one level this is just typical Tiger Beat on the Potomac gossip mongering, on another it’s all far too plausible. Indeed at the rate things are going, by 2024 Carlson might be the least outrageous plausible candidate for the GOP nomination, as he elbows aside Donald Trump Jr., Ted Nugent, Michelle Malkin, and early darling of the polls Kanye West.
. . .