Dr. Tim Blessing of Alvernia University is one of the foremost presidential scholars in America. His is also a member, with this author, of the renowned Other Club of political devotees. In a correspondence within that forum Blessing held forth his views on the 2024 Republican presidential race, in response to one of my pieces on the same subject.

While our views are not exactly the same, we’re in the same ballpark. Why? Because before academia for him and before punditry for me, we were both working political operatives and thus bring real world experience to analysis. We are not of the number who actually believe our emotions, biases, and personal inclinations can substitute for facts and data.

As Ayn Rand said, “Reality exists as an objective absolute- facts are facts, independent of man’s feelings, wishes, hopes, or fears.” Take heed of that counsel. Those who hold out for ideological purity or cult of personality and expect to get elected may be sorely disappointed.

Blessing: Nikki Haley or Tim Scott-you pick’em as to who heads the ticket. Though DeSantis is, from the governance perspective, the cream of the crop. But he is more open to attack than Haley, Noem, and Scott. In the real world, Trump is not going to be happy if he is denied another try and he will use slash-and-burn tactics to get the nomination–so if he does not get it the eventual nominee will have, at best, luke-warm support from the true Trumpites–see “Georgia-2020 Senatorial Race.”

In terms of electable, Larry Hogan of all people might just make it interesting if he was chosen as VP (despite a drop in his approval ratings in MD, he is not in THAT much trouble). And Hogan would not only put MD in play, he would help in northern VA and might even help in NJ. As a cancer survivor (stage 3) he also has some bona fides which a smart candidate not named Trump could use. Again in the real world, at present, 85 % of the vote is set in cement–I doubt that either Ike or FDR could swing many votes at this point. That means the independents hold the whip hand–which means Trump is probably unelectable

“Hogan is unelectable at the top of the ticket, Noem is the next lowest in being unelectable, then DeSantis (since his camp sent me a feeler several weeks ago, he is running hard), with Haley and Scott at the top of the electability scale. Both from the same state and, the way the constitution reads, if you linked both of them, South Carolina would have to throw away its votes for one or the other. Still, Haley on top and Scott on the bottom of the ticket appears to me to be the best ticket.