Now that Donald Trump has all but seized the Republican presidential nomination, he has to select a presidential running mate. Initial reaction suggests that qualified candidates aren’t rushing to apply for the job.
Trump said he hasn’t given the choice much thought, but is looking for somebody with political clout who can help move his agenda through Congress. A committee to consider VP candidates has been formed and apparently includes Dr. Ben Carson. Really.
Ever helpful in such endeavors, the media is floating the names of several potential candidates–Gov. Rick Scott, Senator Rob Portman, Gov. Nikki Haley and Senator Marco Rubio have been mentioned–followed by quick denials from most of them, just in case somebody thinks they really want the job.
Rubio has been mentioned with another former candidate, Gov. John Kasich, but nobody considers either a serious contender. Just think of the fun Democrats could have with “Little Marco” or Kasich’s “disgusting” eating habits.
There are two issues that make people who could actually help Trump’s cause reluctant to sign on. Many people think Trump will be crushed in November, and nobody wants to be on a ticket that gets annihilated. Then there’s Trump himself: A self-centered egomaniac who’s likely to ignore his VP and treat him or her like just another minion.
But there are always politicians who are willing to overlook the negatives for a chance to get back in the spotlight just a heart-beat away from the top job. Two who would probably say “yes” if they’re asked are:
–Sarah Palin, who was an enthusiastic endorser of The Donald–apparently too enthusiastic, as Trump became visibly antsy as she droned on. She could pick up where Trump left off, flinging insults and slander while The Donald tries to act more presidential. Sarah is dying to become relevant again, assuming she ever was.
–Newt Gingrinch, who hasn’t been doing much since his fact-based, principled conservative campaign for the Republican presidential nomination failed. You can’t question Newt’s conservative credentials–something that may make the National Review crowd relax a bit–and he knows how things get done in Congress.
But any running mate should be realistic about what he or she is getting into. John Nance Garner, who served two terms as VP under Franklin Roosevelt, said the job isn’t worth “a bucket of warm piss” (not “spit,” as most history books claim).
If Trump actually gets elected, the job will be worth even less than that.