Who Will Trump Pick as his Running Mate?
Who Will Trump Pick as his Running Mate?
It’s no longer just a potential strategy in the primary. Now it’s real. Trump must pick a running mate, and consistent with his own unpredictable jibs and jabs, no one knows how this move will go either.
Former rival, Ben Carson was tapped to lead the search for the Vice Presidential nominee. Carson was a direct target of Trump’s fluidity of derogation, but showing how forgiving he is, Dr. Carson quickly jumped on board the Trump Train and refreshingly admitted that he had been promised some role in a Trump administration. In the search for a VP, Dr. Carson is dutifully fulfilling his end of the deal, though some speculate that he would really prefer to be the subject of the search himself. Dick Cheney led the search for George W. Bush, and look how that turned out. Dr. Carson can only hope.
But let’s say a whole slate of potential running mates is assembled. Who would likely be on that list? Who wants to be on that list? Not everyone as it turns out. Trump has not given us much to indicate what he’s looking for, though he has said he wants someone with political experience, which I take to mean someone good with the Establishment (which is odd since I thought Trump was going to blow up the Establishment). Other than that, all we have to go on is the tired conventional wisdom of lining up the benefits that certain candidates can bring to the ticket – be it needed votes in a valuable state, or particular characteristics that appeal to special interest groups.
Standby to watch Trump supporters who laud Trump for being politically incorrect start defending these choices as being “the best person for the job” and nothing more. Nah, once you realize Trump is working the system as hard as you deny that he is, you will have to face the inconsistency of your stance. Just pull the band-aid off now, the healing needs to begin. Own your hypocrisy, just like he does.
As for the VP picks, there isn’t much agreement between the pundits, but here are some potential names being thrown around:
Chris Christie: New Jersey governor and obvious short lister – he made an early endorsement of Trump after his loss in New Hampshire, and has stood awkwardly by his side ever since.
Rick Scott: Governor of Florida, business man, strong supporter of Trump, ever since Trump won his state of Florida. Way to go out on a limb there Rick, but he might lack the insider status Trump admits he needs. Scott says he’s not interested anyway.
John Kasich: Governor of Ohio, and Trump needs Ohio. Bonus, Kasich has proven to be a very capable punching bag for The Donald. “Please sir, may I have another?” would be a commonly heard refrain in The West Wing with this combo.
Marco Rubio: Florida Senator who needs a job! Rubio is not running for reelection, and even if he was, he would still need a job because he’d lose that too. He really skunked the good people of Florida with his Gang of Eight antics, and this probably served as his main problem with mainstream GOP primary voters. On top of that, and all his soaring rhetoric, he just couldn’t bring himself to swing any influence in the primary after dropping out. This confounded even more people as many true conservatives hoped for a Cruz-Rubio combination of some sort. Well it could all be explained very easily when we found out that he’s been lobbying for Trump’s VP pick for a long time. Not sure it will work out for him since Trump seems to think he doesn’t need Rubio for Florida and that he’s too junior to bring much gravitas to the ticket. Also, Trump probably has a litmus test that Rubio couldn’t pass: his hands are bigger than Donald’s.
Ted Cruz: Heh. No one is seriously throwing Lyin Ted’s name into the mix. Trump killed that possibility himself. Ted Cruz makes enemies by standing up for his principles, Trump makes enemies by making fun of wives and telling lies about his rivals.
Now for some picks that don’t seem too exciting, and we all know how Trump’s all about the jolt.
Jeff Sessions: Senator from Alabama. Traitor to Ted Cruz. Sessions appeared to be one of Cruz’ only supporters in the Senate, but his endorsement of Trump shocked the voting public. Quite a defection until you learn that Sessions has had his own messaging problems with walking the line between being strong on immigration and being a closet racist. He may be expecting to be rewarded for his public humiliation of Cruz, but he doesn’t seem to bring much of anything that’s lacking to the ticket. Another old white guy from the South. Trump’s got all those interests covered.
Rob Portman: Senator from Ohio. Ohio is an important state, so Portman has that going for him. But he’s also said he’s not interested.
Some picks that might not be on Trump’s radar, but want to be:
Paul LePage: Governor of Maine. He’s looking to further his political career – either in the Senate or “into the Trump administration.” LePage and Chris Christie are buds, and everywhere Chris goes, Paul is sure to follow. He endorsed Trump as soon as Christie joined the Branch Trumpidians.
But in the end, LePage may be a little too much like Trump and would create a ticket too heavy in vulgarity:
LePage, like Trump, is known for making offensive, eyebrow-raising comments. In January, he encouraged Maine residents to shoot drug dealers, who, he claimed, often come to the state with names like “D-Money” and “impregnate a young white girl before they leave.” He has also warned about letting asylum-seekers into Maine because of the diseases they may bring in, such as the “ziki fly.”
Mary Fallin: Oklahoma governor. Fallin endorsed Trump immediately following his win in Indiana. She is a two term governor with a solid political career having been elected to both state and federal offices.
However she seems a little bit needy. She admits no one has called her about the position, but then said she was honored to be mentioned as a potential running mate. It seems like the only one talking about her, is her.
Fallin also said she was honored to be discussed as a potential vice presidential candidate alongside Trump, although she said neither Trump nor anyone from his campaign had approached her about the possibility.
“It’s a great honor just to be mentioned,” said Fallin, a former state legislator, three-term lieutenant governor and two-term U.S. member. “My first and foremost goal right now is to finish our legislative session, but if I were to receive a call that said: ‘I need you to help make America great again,’ I’d be happy to take that call.”
How about some other ladies?
Joni Ernst: Senator from Iowa. Well respected, military veteran. While some may call this a politically correct position – simply because she’s a woman (sort of a reverse PC insult) – Trump seriously needs to consider putting a woman on the ticket. His disapproval with women is over 70%. Any smart dealmaker should be able to see the cards are on the table. He needs to pick someone women will like, and with a woman like Joni Ernst, he’d be going a long way to win that battle.
Women voters can certainly be open to a male duo, but in this day and age with so many great women in the GOP, Trump would be well advised to ensure he has his own binders full of women.
Susana Martinez: Governor of New Mexico. Hispanic female with political experience. Win-win-win. Except she already said she’s not interested.
Seems Trump’s charms won’t work on her, nor will they work on the next lady who would have been the best pick.
Nikki Haley: Governor of South Carolina. Another brown skinned female with a lot of political gravitas. She is the first female and Indian governor in South Carolina, a state that is constantly painted as a hotbed for misogyny and racism. Among Republicans Haley enjoyed a very high favorability rating until she showed her ugly ambition and caved to cries of the hate hustlers when she initiated the move to take down the Confederate flag from a small plot of land located on the statehouse grounds. She lost a lot of South Carolina conservatives with that move, but clearly won a lot of other voters’ approval across the nation reading crossover appeal. Complete political calculation. That action was totally calibrated to achieve her goal of becoming the Republican running mate in the general election.
Ironic now that the position was hers to lose, but she threw in against Trump way back in January with her thinly veiled (and tacky) attack against Trump in her response to the State of the Union. Now to save face she is put in the position of saying how flattered she is to be considered, but that her “plate is full” and she’s not interested in serving as vice president. Oh she’s interested all right, but even she knows her political career would be in the toilet with that massively public flip flop. She’s young, next time around and she won’t make the same mistake twice.
Out of these choices may or may not come Trump’s running mate. Is there anyone on this list you think would be best? Who isn’t on this list that would be a good choice? Don’t ignore the obvious, that is to say the Polls (which Trump loves by the way). They say it’s a steep uphill battle for Trump to actually win the general election. Who do you think would help him get to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?