“I can’t imagine a truly credible person agreeing to be his running mate, because it would be the end of his or her political career.” – John Weaver, former campaign strategist for John Kasich
That pretty much sums up Donald Trump’s short list for vice-presidential picks: not INcredible but UNcredible. Trump’s temper tantrums and overall incompetence have made him an electoral kiss of death. Add to that the fact that he can’t stop insulting Republicans and Trump has a real problem:
Trump has bashed star Republican Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico and ignored the advice of senators like Bob Corker of Tennessee, who might have brought valuable foreign policy and congressional experience to the ticket. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has ruled out the post (even as he reconsiders running for reelection), while South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst — both well-regarded GOP figures who might improve Trump’s dismal standing among women and minorities — have all but done the same.
And Gov. John Kasich, who might have helped Trump in must-win Ohio and heal wounds with the party establishment, can’t even bring himself to support the presumptive nominee.
In other words, no one with a future wants to even be considered. The only people willing to be vetted are conservatives whose political careers are on life support.
Unsurprisingly, New Jersey’s own Chris Christie, the perennially under investigation governor and Donald Trump’s sad little errand boy, is at the top of the list followed closely by Newt Gingrich, the master grifter. Both men actually want to be Trump’s VP, presumably because it will extend their stalled political careers so they can demand higher speaking fees down the road.
While both men have the political experience and ability to not look insane that Trump sorely lacks, both are very damaged goods. Christie is deeply unpopular in his own state and Trump has already filled the “Obnoxious loud guy from the northeast” role. Although Christie is a bully very much like Trump and that seems to really appeal to his base.
Gingrich, on the other hand, is not as loud and obnoxious but he might be a little too smart to run with Trump. Gingrich is a master at pandering but there’s a limit to how much he can do to not make Trump look even more like a buffoon than he already does. But Gingrich has been scamming people out of millions for decades, the same as Trump. What Newt and his fellow con artist would do in the White House boggles the imagination. We would be investigating their embezzlement schemes for decades to come.
Politico also mentions Tim Scott as a potential pick and it would fit very well with the tone-deafness of Trump’s campaign. Scott, an African-American, could be Trump’s token black friend to prove how popular Trump is with “The Blacks.” Sure, it would make any ordinary human cringe into a fetal ball but his base would eat it up. After all, if they’re ready to vote for a black VP, they CAN’T be racists, right? RIGHT?!
Trump’s eventual pick will be a signal to the rest of the country that he’s seriously trying to win or that he’s so lost in his own mythos that he thinks it doesn’t matter. I’m betting on the latter.
Featured image via screencap.