Donald Trump will have a tough time finding a vice presidential candidate if, as expected, he goes on to win the Republican nomination. Ohio Governor John Kasich, long presumed to be running simply to gain a vice presidential slot, said two days ago there was a “zero chance” he’d take a veep slot. “I have no interest,” said Kasich. “I’m going to be governor of Ohio. There is zero chance I will be anybody’s vice presidential candidate – period, end of story.” And there is no way that Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) will take the vice presidential slot; Cruz knows that Trump is a charlatan, and won’t be linked with a man who disdains Constitutional limits on power, speaks in defense of Planned Parenthood, says he wants a form of single-payer healthcare, and pushes American troops to commit war crimes, to name just a few policies with which Cruz will never go along.
So, who’s on Trump’s short list?
Chris Christie. Christie would take it. Christie has become the pathetic, mewling Renfield to Trump’s Dracula. He calls Trump “Mr. Trump” while Trump calls Christie “Chris.” Trump tells Christie to get on planes. He’s a sad sack of tragic russet potato face. Now that he’s sacrificed any sense of decency, honesty, or conservatism for his new Overlord, why not beg for that second slot? Christie said yesterday, “Chris Christie is not interviewing or considering any other public job. The fact is that’s not been a part of my discussions with Mr. Trump in the lead-up to my endorsement, and I can only tell you that you don’t interview for those jobs.” He added that it was his “intention” to serve the rest of his time as governor. That’s weak tea. Christie has largely been seen as an attorney general candidate, but veep would suit him just fine. After all, he’s now a pathetic meme.
Mike Huckabee. Huckabee is supposedly a Christian pastor. So he’s basically endorsed an adulterous strip club-owning self-worshipping pagan. He even defended Trump’s indefensible KKK and David Duke statements on Jake Tapper’s show. Why? Because he wants a shot at the veep slot. Rumors have flown for weeks that Huckabee and Trump have had such discussions. The question is why Trump thinks Huckabee would help him on the ticket. Huckabee had no pull during the primaries, and his religious shtick doesn’t help Trump with the swing voters Trump seeks.
Ben Carson. Carson dropped out before this debate, but he’s been conspicuously kind to Trump throughout the last few weeks, even though Trump once attacked Carson as akin to a child molester. Yesterday, rumors suggested that Carson had been asked by Trump to travel with him. Again, the question is what Carson adds to Trump’s ticket: no expertise, personal popularity, but a feeling of disquieting uncertainty about decisionmaking. Nope.
Here’s Trump’s actual most likely VP pick: former Virginia Senator and Assistant Secretary of the Navy Jim Webb.
You’ll remember Webb from his not-ballyhooed run for the Democratic nomination. During debates, Webb said things of which Democrats don’t approve, such as suggesting that killing American enemies is worthwhile and that gun rights are important. He was summarily dismissed from contention.
Now he’s back.
He told MSNBC today, “I would not vote for Hillary Clinton.” When asked about Donald Trump, Webb said, “I’m not sure yet. I don’t know who I’m going to vote for…If you’re voting for Donald Trump you may get something very good or very bad. If you’re voting for Hillary Clinton, you’re going to be getting the same thing.” And back in October, Trump said Webb would be “wonderful as an independent…He’d be a lot better as an independent than he would as a Democrat, because I watched [the first Democratic presidential debate] the other night and he was not registering as a Democrat.”
It would actually be a genius move for Trump to team up with Webb.
In 2008, John McCain seriously considered picking former Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman. He should have done it – it would have underscored his appeal to independent voters. Trump isn’t going to win over hard-core conservatives – in fact, he’s already taking them for granted, clearly believing that the threat of Hillary is enough to club conservatives into line. Why not underscore his appeal to “moderates” by picking an actual Democrat with strong national security background – a guy most people would trust far more than Trump with his finger on the nuclear button – to run with him? Trump could, in a single moment, dispel leftist worries about his extremism.
Trump says he loves to make deals. This deal would indeed be a coup.