Chris Cillizza: Ross Perot 2012! His Message Was 20 Years Ahead of Its Time





Chris Cillizza writes the political blog The Fix for The Washington Post and is the author of The Gospel According to The Fix.

The man has finally met the moment.
 
The man? Texas billionaire Ross Perot. The moment? The 2012 presidential race.
 
Twenty years after Perot almost-sort-of shocked the world by running a viable third-party campaign for president, the time is even more ripe today for the kind of economic-populist, outsider message he embodied.
 
Ever since Perot earned one in every five votes cast in 1992, talk of forming a legitimate and sustainable third party has been with us. Yet no one has come close to equaling Perot’s success. (Ralph Nader’s role as spoiler in the 2000 election does not come close to counting.)
 
In this election, a well-funded group of do-gooders known as Americans Elect took a novel approach to channeling third-party energy. Instead of starting with a candidate and building outward, they started by securing a spot on the ballot for an unnamed nominee. Though they got ballot access in more than half of the states, their online convention failed to produce a candidate. Whoops!
 
But third-party enthusiasts don’t need some impossible, wealthy, hybrid hopeful. They just need Perot...


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