In recent weeks, Fox News host Tucker Carlson has elevated himself to become arguably the most influential voice in the conservative movement.
The host is so popular right now, people are buzzing about a possible run for president in 2024 — and many believe Carlson could win if he were to do so.
As conservatives feel vulnerable following months of seemingly never-ending societal chaos, Carlson has emerged as a voice of reason.
For many, the 51-year-old’s nightly monologues are akin to former President Franklin Roosevelt’s fireside chats.
That’s obviously a very bold statement, and any critique of such a comparison is welcome.
Carlson, though, makes a lot of sense to a lot of people.
“Tucker Carlson Tonight” is now the highest-rated program in cable TV history, according to Forbes.
Carlson’s monologues are also going viral on social media, where they are being viewed millions of times.
More and more, Tucker Carlson’s monologues come across as someone who is positioning himself to be the face of the GOP and planning a 2024 run. pic.twitter.com/pQeXCsBQjY
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) July 1, 2020
Not only is he routing his competitors in total viewership, but he is running the table with key demographics that are sought after by advertisers, despite campaigns to boycott those sponsors.
Simply put, Carlson’s messages calling for common sense and the preservation of the country’s founding principles — and his penchant for calling out Republicans he says refuse to listen to their own voters — resonate with millions of Americans, and many of them are ages 25-54.
Only a deranged idiot could find this monologue deranged. Everything Tucker says here is exactly correct and all rational humans agree with it. https://t.co/YumFmFcRz5
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) June 26, 2020
President Donald Trump, facing a constant barrage of attacks from nearly every angle, at times seems almost entirely alone in his quest to unify and fortify a nation in the throes of an identity crisis.
Additionally, many GOP leaders have seemed rudderless amid the unrest.
Carlson, who stands in Trump’s corner, shows them no quarter.
He culls from the herd any Republicans who display perceived weakness to the country’s domestic enemies, and he holds their feet to the fire.
Perhaps that is why Carlson’s appeal is so strong. He’s become a fearless defender of conservative principles — even if that means turning the spotlight on elected Republicans.
Carlson turned his ire on Indiana Sen. Mike Braun after the Republican sponsored a bill to curtail qualified immunity for police officers following outcry last month over the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis.
Full Tucker Carlson segment with Indiana Senator Mike Braun on his support of Black Lives Matter and bill to scale back qualified immunity:
“I don’t think you’re going to win on this issue. I don’t think the public supports you at all on this.” pic.twitter.com/IhTHf0Hfcs
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) June 30, 2020
He calls out Republicans for their perceived complicity or inaction in responding to the bad actors aiming not only to topple the symbols that represent America’s past but to take down the country as we know it.
Carlson comes for them with fury, and they feel the wrath.
Two GOP senators, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson and Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford, have been seeking to replace Columbus Day with Juneteenth as a federal holiday. Carlson saw the senators as capitulating to Black Lives Matter and other leftist groups.
He pounced on them.
One of those senators, Lankford, issued an explanation to angry voters about the Columbus Day proposal less than 90 minutes after Carlson went after him on his program Wednesday.
Lankford said the proposal was merely an attempt to explore how to save taxpayers money.
The quick response is evidence, though, that Carlson’s words carry a lot of weight, and more and more people are taking notice.
He is averaging 4.33 million viewers nightly.
So it comes as little surprise that Carlson, who ditched his signature bow tie in 2017, is being floated as a serious potential 2024 presidential candidate.
“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,” Politico reported Thursday.
“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 and America First isolationism that he articulates unapologetically and with some snark,” the outlet added in its profile of Carlson’s recent and unprecedented success.
Politico also linked Carlson to the eldest son of the president.
“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,” the report said.
While there are many emerging young voices on the right, few of them right now have the platform that Carlson does.
Young conservative stars such as Charlie Kirk and Candace Owens might someday lead the party. But Carlson, who leaves it all on the table every night, could walk into 2024 right now as the Republican frontrunner, former Trump aide Sam Nunberg told Politico.
“Let me put it this way: If Biden wins and Tucker decided to run, he’d be the nominee,” Nunberg said.
National Review editor Rich Lowry also spoke of Carlson’s appeal.
“What he’s been saying speaks for a lot of people, and it’s basically not expressed or serviced by most Republican politicians,” Lowry told the outlet. “There’s a lot to be said for being fearless, and he is, while Republican politicians, as a breed, are not.”
Still, Carlson is vocal about his revulsion for politics and previously ruled out the idea of running for office.
Nunberg told Politico that the Fox News host is “so disgusted with politicians” that he doesn’t envision Carlson hitting the campaign trail.
But there is little doubt he would win a lot of support if he did.
@TuckerCarlson makes a great leader. He speaks the truth with tremendous courage, isn’t afraid to step on toes of both parties to hold them accountable. We need such brave leaders to step forward, “for such a time as this.”
— Charles (The Hammer) Martel (@JukkaHyva) July 2, 2020
While 2020 is still in front of us, many are already looking ahead to the next election.
Carlson’s name is starting to show up on lists of possible candidates, even if he ultimately decides to sit on the sideline.
But the Fox News host apparently has mapped out a strategy for winning the hearts and minds of conservative voters for whoever might be the 2024 nominee.
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