The thought of another reality show actor running for president is absolutely nauseating, but it does bear watching in the sense of “forewarned is forearmed.” Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban talks a lot with Steve Bannon, including about the possibility of Cuban running for president in 2020, believe it or not.
I know Mark Cuban well. He backed me big-time but I wasn't interested in taking all of his calls.He's not smart enough to run for president!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2017
It is their identities as political outsiders that likely most interests Bannon. Since leaving the White House, Bannon has already gone head-to-head with Trump when backing Roy Moore against the Trump-endorsed Luther Strange in the Republican primary for Alabama's special Senate election. Yet at the same time, Bannon has claimed to still be an ardent backer of the Trump agenda.
Perhaps Bannon is just hedging his bets ahead of 2020. After all, Vanity Fair reported him as saying last month that he thinks Trump only has a 30 percent chance of completing a full four-year term.
When asked by TMZ Thursday whether Cuban would be taken seriously as a Republican candidate, Bannon responded “Not as a Republican…Democrat.”
Yet, also on Thursday, Cuban insisted that running as a Democrat was something he would never consider, but that he was “honestly considering” doing so as a Republican or independent.
“The positive about running as a Republican is that you get to go head on with Trump in the primaries,” he said at The New York Times DealBook Conference.
Apparently this dialogue between Bannon and Cuban has been going on for some time. Daily Beast:
He [Cuban] downplayed the interactions in an email exchange with The Daily Beast, saying merely that he “texted with him a few time[s]” and that none, he believed, had “been more than one full sentence.” But according to four sources familiar with their conversations, the two have been in touch for months about a possible 2020 bid. Bannon, these sources say, has encouraged Cuban to run and to consider doing so as a Democrat, seeing it as a realistic path to a viable presidential run.
“They talk regularly,” said Sam Nunberg, a former Trump adviser who is close to Bannon. “They’re very similar. They have a lot of synergy there. Even when [Steve] went to work for Trump, Mark would be interviewed and say nice things about Steve.”
Cuban hasn’t been shy about entertaining the idea of making a run. At an event on Thursday in New York, he said that he if he were to do so, it would be independent of one of the two major political parties.
The only venue wherein this conversation should rightfully be taking place is in the realm of comedy and Andy Borowitz of the New Yorker has put this topic in proper perspective:
VIRGINIA AND NEW JERSEY (The Borowitz Report)—Throwing caution to the wind, voters in Virginia and New Jersey on Tuesday night overturned the political applecart and chose as their new governors two men with no reality-show experience whatsoever.
Republican officials were staggered by the voters’ decision because, historically, reality shows have been a reliable proving ground for the nation’s finest leaders.
Ronna Romney McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, said that the voters’ risky bet on two men who had never set foot on a reality-show stage showed that the electorate was acting “emotionally and not rationally.”
“You look at the résumés of these two men and you won’t find ‘Survivor,’ you won’t find ‘Big Brother,’ you won’t find ‘The Bachelor,’ ” she said. “What we have are two individuals who are, to put it mildly, unfit for office.”
No disrespect to Mark Cuban, but it is to be sincerely hoped that he doesn’t pursue this rather bizarre ambition. With respect to reality show presidents, quoth the raven should be our guiding and unswerving principle.