An unmarried, retired, four-star Marine General is in the sights of some deep-pocketed conservatives who need a leader for their third option – if and when Trump becomes the GOP nominee.

Usually, those with the driving, ruthless ambition necessary to try and aim for high office can’t even be hooked off the political stage. Even long after their time is up. Like Kasich, tap dancing his way around an ever increasing number of grappling hooks trying desperately to get him off the stage.

But in the case of those who are being cajoled into running either for the 2016 GOP nominee, or as a third party contender for the office of president, the grappling hooks are trying to get them ONTO the stage. Not off the stage. Look at poor Paul Ryan, who for very sound political reasons is in no way interested in truncating his very promising political career on a suicide mission for zealous establishment purists (it’s not a contradiction – it’s a paradox!). Who like to push others through the velvet curtains and into the limelight and have them risk their careers, in order to show that the guys hiding behind the curtains really, really mean business.

So we have Mad Dog Mattis – that’s General James Mattis to us civilians – who has had a brilliant military career and proved his worth in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, when if really counted. Like in Fallujah. And his blunt, colorful language apparently delighted the men and women under his command.

So he’s Patton. Not Eisenhower. But politically, who is he? That’s what most voters will say at this point. And the retired general himself has stated he wishes to remain “silent” on the issue of whether he’d even consider actually agreeing to run. That leaves supporters like John Noonan – former security advisor to Jeb Bush – with a lot of work to do to promote their guy.

This is getting ridiculous. The folks who advised Jeb Bush’s campaign are now going after a little-known (outside military circles where he seems to be greatly respected) general? Of course he’s going to remain silent. He’s been in battle. And he knows when the fire is either unfriendly or risks doing collateral damage. He won’t come out of his bunker unless he feels he has a battle plan that works. And the idea that a tough talking military officer will suddenly sweep away Trump supporters with his rough-hewed rhetoric sounds like a really bad script that never makes it past the concept stage. Are they serious?? Do they have that little faith in Ted Cruz? Or that much hostility towards the Texas Senator?