Donald Trump’s Vice-Presidential Choice: Would It Be Conventional, Or Crazy?

Several top Republicans have already said that they would not accept a position on a ticket with Donald Trump, so who might he choose?

Trump Escalator

At least for the moment, there don’t seem to be many top Republicans who would be interested in being Donald Trump’s running mate should he win the Republican Presidential nomination, which becomes seemingly more apparent with each passing day:

It’s a time-honored tradition for politicians to deny any interest in the vice presidency. But this year, with the possibility of Donald J. Trump as the Republican nominee, they really mean it.’

“Never,” said Chris Schrimpf, a spokesman for Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, who is still running against Mr. Trump. “No chance.”

“Hahahahahahahahaha,” wrote Sally Bradshaw, a senior adviser to Jeb Bush, when asked if he would consider it.

“Scott Walker has a visceral negative reaction to Trump’s character,” said Ed Goeas, a longtime adviser to the Wisconsin governor.

Or, as Senator Lindsey Graham put it, “That’s like buying a ticket on the Titanic.”

A remarkable range of leading Republicans, including Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina and Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, have been emphatic publicly or with their advisers and allies that they do not want to be considered as Mr. Trump’s running mate. The recoiling amounts to a rare rebuke for a front-runner: Politicians usually signal that they are not interested politely through back channels, or submit to the selection process, if only to burnish their national profiles.

But Mr. Trump has a singular track record of picking fights with obvious potential running mates like Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who has indicated a lack of interest in the vice presidency generally and has yet to reconcile with Mr. Trump publicly. Ms. Haley and another potential pick, Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico, have sharply criticized Mr. Trump at recent party gatherings and do not want to be associated with his sometimes-angry tone, according to advisers and close associates who have spoken with these Republicans.

Several Republican consultants said their clients were concerned that Mr. Trump’s unusually high unfavorable ratings with all voters and his unpopularity among women and Hispanics could doom him as a general election candidate and damage their own future political prospects if they were on his ticket.

Still, elected officials do have a way of coming around to the vice presidency, and Mr. Trump said in an interview on Saturday that he was in the early stages of mending fences and building deeper relationships with leading Republicans. And in a sign of growing acceptance that Mr. Trump is their likely nominee, several Republicans made it clear that they would join him on the ticket because they think he can win, or because they regard the call to serve as their duty.

Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, as well as Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama and the retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, said in interviews that they would consider joining the ticket if Mr. Trump offered. Two governors, Chris Christie of New Jersey and Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, have also told allies that they were open to being Mr. Trump’s running mate.

“If a potential president says I need you, it would be very hard for a patriotic citizen to say no,” Mr. Gingrich said. “People can criticize a nominee, but ultimately there are very few examples of people turning down the vice presidency.”

Mr. Trump, who could well become the presumptive Republican nominee on Tuesday by winning the Indiana primary, is just starting to mull vice-presidential prospects and has no favorite in mind, he said in the interview. Mr. Trump said he wanted someone with “a strong political background, who was well respected on the Hill, who can help me with legislation, and who could be a great president.”

He declined to discuss potential picks in any detail, but he briefly praised three governors as possible contenders — Mr. Kasich, Mr. Christie and Rick Scott of Florida — and said he would also consider candidates who were women, black or Hispanic. (A spokeswoman for Mr. Scott said he was focused on being governor.)

Asked if he was surprised about the array of Republicans who are uncomfortable being his running mate, Mr. Trump said: “I don’t care. Whether people support or endorse me or not, it makes zero influence on the voters. Historically, people don’t vote based on who is vice president. I want someone who can help me govern.”

A cross section of leading Republicans agree that his most sensible choice would be an experienced female governor or senator, given that he would most likely face Hillary Clinton in November and need support from a majority of white women to offset her strong support among blacks and Hispanics. Yet Mrs. Clinton is currently ahead of Mr. Trump with white women by double-digit percentages, according to a recent CBS poll.

The pool of Republican women in major offices is relatively small, and Mr. Trump has already alienated some of them. Governor Haley denounced him for not quickly disavowing support from the former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, and Governor Martinez has criticized his remarks about Hispanics.

Both governors endorsed Senator Rubio for president; a Martinez spokesman said she “isn’t interested in serving as vice president,” while a Haley spokesman declined to comment.

“There are some Republicans who would’ve said yes to running with Romney or McCain or Bush but would say no to Trump,” said Curt Anderson, a Republican strategist, referring to the party’s last three presidential nominees. “The issue is, no one knows what we’re dealing with here. Is it possible that Trump faces a historic landslide loss? Sure. Is it possible he beats the hell out of Clinton? Sure. No one knows — no one has predicted Trump right for a long time.”

Given the controversy surrounding his campaign, it’s not surprising that Trump may face some difficulty in finding a top tier candidate to fill the position of Vice-Presidential running mate. Indeed, from the perspective of a either a younger Republican politician who may have ambitions aimed at higher office of their own, or a more experienced politician whose selection would be intended to give a ticket with Trump at the top a sense of experience and gravitas that it might lack, signing on to a ticket with Donald Trump could end up being a political death warrant. For one thing, losing Vice-Presidential candidates have historically faded away into political obscurity, rarely heard from again. Only once in American history, for example, has a losing candidate for Vice-President gone on to win their party’s Presidential nomination and become President. That candidate was Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was the Democratic nominee on a losing ticket with James Cox in the 1920 election and, of course, became President in 1932 when he defeated Herbert Hoover thanks in no small part to the worst economic downturn in American history. Paul Ryan also seems to be carving out an exception to this general rule given his elevation to Speaber of the House, but for the most part being the second person on a losing ticket has traditionally been a guaranteed ticket to political death. Given the prospect that Trump seems likely to lose a General Election race to Hillary Clinton, and lose big at that, there would seem to be few advantages for any candidate to join a ticket with him at the top. Added into this fact of history is the prospect of the damage that being associated with a candidate like Donald Trump could potentially do to a politicians future. As we’ve noted before, Trump’s favorability numbers among voters in general rather than merely Republicans is at historic lows, and he does especially badly among women, African-Americans and Latino voters. In addition to risking the traditional fate of a losing Vice-Presidential running mate then, a candidate who agreed to be Donald Trump’s running mate would risk being tainted with his incredibly bad reputation with the voting public. It’s no surprise that so many Republicans are publicly saying they would not join him on a ticket.

Notwithstanding all of this, Trump will still need to find a running mate if and when he wins the nomination and the odds are that he will end up finding one rather easily. For one thing, some of the candidates who currently seem to be saying “No” may end up saying yes when the question is actually posed and the opportunity presents itself. Among the candidates who I’d put in this category are Ohio John Kasich and Florida Senator Marco Rubio, both of whom seem to be softening their anti-Trump rhetoric of late. Other potential candidates include New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Florida Governor Rick Scott, and Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin. Another name I’d keep an eye on would be Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, who apparently served as an informal Trump adviser on immigration for months before becoming the first sitting Senator to endorse him earlier this year. It’s also possible, I suppose, that Trump could pick someone from outside the GOP, but that seems unlikely. Trump is already the ultimate outsider and it’s likely he’s being advised that his running mate selection should be someone closer to traditional Washington politics if only to provide some balance and experience to the ticket.

Of course, Trump has spent this entire campaign succeeding by doing the unexpected so maybe those jokes about him picking a former Celebrity Apprentice contestant like Gary Busey or Meatloaf isn’t far off off the mark.

Nah, even Donald Trump wouldn’t be that crazy. Right? Right?

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Campaign 2016, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. gVOR08 says:

    Maybe Carly Fiorina. She’s easy.

  2. RWB says:

    He will pick someone who he has been associated with in the past, who has experience with foreign leaders, who has name recognition and who has already endorsed him; Dennis Rodman

  3. Lit3Bolt says:

    It’s got to be someone who’s political career is nearly over or is so insulated that their own voters’ wouldn’t mind an association with Donald Trump.

    Kasich I would rule out because he’s probably soften rhetoric for expediency, but still wants to keep himself relatively unblemished for later runs. Christie is from NJ and doesn’t add any obvious pluses to DT that I can see, since they’re both from the Northeast. Florida politicians know that joining any ticket with Trump would be the kiss of death for their Sunshine State careers in the Latino community.

    I would say Sessions, or some suitably crazy General or Admiral. Trump has the outsider cred, and now he needs the insider cred and someone who can potentially convince other Republicans to rally to his campaign. The usually “Governor from a state/region we need” strategy won’t predictably work under these circumstances.

    The wild card is of course Trump and what voices he’s listening to on any particular day. Who knows, Trump may double down on the outsider cred by tapping Carson or he may reach out to a disaffected Democrat like Jim Webb. For the right VP candidate, Trump can represent an unprecedented exposure/money/media opportunity. As for actually WINNING the election, well…

  4. PJ says:

    Who would want to be the VP on a losing ticket?

    I can only think of one person who was the VP on a losing ticket and ended up being elected President. But then, he was reelected three times.

  5. Pete S says:

    Is there the same age requirement for vice president as president? The logical choice is for him to pick one of his kids.

  6. Jen says:

    “If a potential president says I need you, it would be very hard for a patriotic citizen to say no,” Mr. Gingrich said.

    Trump/Gingrich? How many wives is that between the two of them? And seriously, how would evangelicals reconcile two serial adulterers on the ticket? And they’d have the audacity to even bring up Bill Clinton’s issues??

    This campaign is wretched.

  7. grumpy realist says:

    @Lit3Bolt: I was thinking about Jim Webb myself.

    And then of course there’s Oprah…..

  8. SKI says:

    @Pete S: Pretty sure the VP has to also be qualified to be POTUS – plus they have to have residency in a different state than the POTUS

  9. Jen says:

    @Pete S: Yes–the person picked as VP must be able to meet the qualifications for President so there is an age requirement–35.

    There’s also the prohibition on Electoral College members casting both ballots for two people from their home state that would complicate putting one of his kids on the ballot–assuming they all call New York home.

  10. Steve V says:

    Admiral Stockdale 2.0.

  11. Jen says:

    @SKI:

    plus they have to have residency in a different state than the POTUS

    That’s become a shorthand understanding, it’s actually more nuanced than that. There is no prohibition, but if the EC vote is close it would present problems. Politifact had a good explanation.

  12. edmondo says:

    It’s Joni Ernst

  13. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @edmondo:

    There’s no way we’ll get that lucky

  14. CSK says:

    If he wants to win this–not in the realm of possibility, in my opinion–he’ll pick someone with yuuuuuge name recognition. When he “ran” in 1999 he said that Oprah Winfrey would be his ideal running mate.

    Trump once said that the best way to make yourself look good was to surround yourself with inadequate people. If he’s serious about carrying this charade past the convention and into November, he’ll pick a total cipher who parrots his lines and visibly worships him.

    If he wants to torpedo himself, he’ll pick Sarah Palin, or some other total goofball-non-entity-dupe who brings nothing to the ticket but scorn.

  15. Jenos Idanian says:

    For one thing, losing Vice-Presidential candidates have historically faded away into political obscurity, rarely heard from again.

    I feel like testing that assertion. Let’s look at the recent failed veep candidates:

    2012: Paul Ryan, now Speaker of the House.
    2008: Sarah Palin, one of Doug’s crushes.
    2004: John Edwards, disgraced.
    2000: Joe Lieberman, drummed out of his party, stuck around for a while anyway.
    1996: Jack Kemp, stayed politically active.
    1992: Dan Quayle, ran (briefly) for president in 2000.
    1988: Lloyd Bentsen, Clinton’s Secretary of the Treasury.
    1984: Geraldine Ferraro, politically active for most of the rest of her life.

    Doug, I don’t think your declaration really stands up. Being a failed veep seems pretty good for one’s career (unless you get declared a heretic or get involved in felonious coverups, like Lieberman and Edwards respectively).

    But then again, Trump so far has shown himself by and large immune to a lot of rules, so that might rub off on who he might pick as his running mate and be a kiss of death.

  16. Jenos Idanian says:

    Going back a few more electoral cycles, we get Walter Mondale, Bob Dole, Sargent Shriver, Ed Muskie, William Miller, Henry Cabot Lodge and Estes Kefauver. I’ll give you Miller, but that’s one in 60 years. So I’m gonna have to disagree with you on that assertion.

  17. CSK says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Jenos, we certainly have heard from Sarah Palin again, but as a reality show star, a participant in a drunken brawl at a birthday party, as the mother of a daughter who despite her remunerative role as an abstinence spokesperson managed to spawn two children out-of-wedlock and demanded a paternity test from the putative father of child #2, a son who impregnated his girlfriend, married her, divorced her, and then was arrested on a domestic violence charge for assaulting his current girlfriend. This is not a distinguished career.

  18. Jenos Idanian says:

    @CSK: You wanna call that “faded away into political obscurity?” When was Doug’s last Palin post? I think I saw one recently…

    Well, relatively recently — it’s dated April 5, but it’s still on the front page in the “Quick Takes” section.

    Ran for veep in 2008, still attention-worthy (well, worthy of Doug’s attention, at least) as of less than a month ago. That isn’t “political obscurity” as I would use the phrase.

  19. grumpy realist says:

    @Jenos Idanian: The only reason Ryan became Speaker of the House was because it was a poisoned chalice position and nobody else wanted it.

    How many people who ran for VP on the losing side became POTUS or VP in a later election?

    Looking at your list–none.

    In other words, running for VP on the wrong side is a big nothingburger.

  20. CSK says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Jenos, people write about her because she’s a bad joke, not because she’s a force in current affairs. Every state in which she campaigned for Trump, Trump lost. Yes, she was briefly in Florida, which Trump won, but she had to go back to Alaska because her husband crashed his snowmobile while on a beer run.

    And by the way, she excoriated ESPN for firing Curt Schilling and retaining Mike Tyson, apparently unaware that Tyson had endorsed Donald Trump.

  21. Jenos Idanian says:

    @grumpy realist: Call it what you want, Ryan is hardly in “political obscurity.” And you’re talking about “became POTUS or VP in a later election” is moving the goalposts a hell of a distance beyond “political obscurity.”

    20 years after losing out for the veep slot, he won the nomination for the big chair. He didn’t win, but that’s hardly obscure.

    Can you try to defend Doug’s assertion, instead of rewriting it to suit your purpose?

  22. Jenos Idanian says:

    @CSK: Your first comment about Palin focused mainly on two of her children, who have never run for political office.

    A whole bunch of people on your side did their level best to destroy her and her family, and you’re positively gleeful about the harm done, especially to the children.

    I’m just taking careful note that politicians’ children are now fair game, because I’m fairly comfortable that that will come in handy at some point in the future. It’s a little late to hang Al Gore III around his father’s neck, but Chelsea Clinton could be a wonderfully ripe target, especially since she’s actively campaigning for her mother.

  23. edmondo says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    There’s no way we’ll get that lucky

    That’s what “Senator” Braley said too!

  24. CSK says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Jenos, you have zero idea what my politics are, or what my “side” is. I could be a conservative Republican who’s disgusted by the fact that the party–or at least the vocal base of it–has decided that the only worthy candidates (and the only real patriotic true Americans , for that matter) are semi-literate yokels/ignoramuses/vulgarians/charlatans.

  25. Jenos Idanian says:

    @CSK: So, fine, whatever. Let’s just strike the part you find so gosh-darned offensive, then.

    A whole bunch of people on your side did their level best to destroy her and her family, and you’re positively gleeful about the harm done, especially to the children.

    Feel better now?

  26. Tyrell says:

    Some considerations could be Jay Rockefeller, Michelle Nunn,
    Daniel Muilenburg (Boeing), Alan Keyes, General Dempsey, Ashton Carter, Gates.

  27. CSK says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    You’re still not getting it. Palin ruined herself. She could have continued in her job, become a serious student of foreign and domestic policy, and made some contribution to the general discourse, whether you agreed with her positions or not. Instead she quit the governorship to pursue a career as a reality show starlet. As for her children, no one would have cared what became of them but for the fact that she continually held up her family as an exemplar of wholesome Christian living. And you cannot deny that she did do that constantly.

    I will agree that she turned an enormous profit with the virtuous yokel shtick, so by that standard she could be accounted a success.

  28. Kylopod says:

    For once I’m going to have to agree with Jenos. Doug’s statement that being vp candidate on a losing ticket is usually a “guaranteed ticket to political death” is simply not borne out by history, recent or otherwise. Several former vp candidates–Joe Lieberman, Lloyd Bentsen, Bob Dole–had a solid political career for years afterward, and Dole actually won the GOP nomination years later. Sure he ended up losing the election, but so what? That has nothing to do with his having been a failed vp candidate 20 years earlier; if anything, that probably helped elevate him.

    If Doug had simply stuck to saying that failed vp nominees usually do not become president, that would have been a reasonable statement. But then he started talking about Paul Ryan, as if it were somehow an exception for a former vp nominee to even have a political career, when in fact it’s no exception at all.

    It’s even questionable that being a failed vp nominee lessens a person’s opportunity to be elected president later, compared to if they’d never been on the ticket at all. To my mind, Joe Lieberman, John Edwards, and Sarah Palin squandered the opportunities that being on the ticket gave to them. Early in the 2004 cycle, Lieberman actually led the polls for the Democratic nomination. Edwards’ sex scandal and Palin’s quitting her governorship to become a reality-show troll were things they did to themselves, not inexorable consequences of being on a losing ticket. Indeed, Edwards probably did a lot better during his 2008 presidential run than he would have if he hadn’t been on Kerry’s ticket in 2004.

    Of course I’m not suggesting that losing on a ticket with Trump at the top would be good for anyone’s career. But that has entirely to do with Trump, not with failed vp nominees in general.

  29. Jenos Idanian says:

    @CSK: No, You’re still not getting it.

    I’m not saying that Palin was a winner or a loser after being McCain’s running mate, I’m saying that she didn’t “fade into political obscurity.”

    And I’m not defending her and her family, I’m just noting that the precedent for using the deeds of politicians’ children against the politician has been firmly established.

    You’re attacking Palin, and I’m not defending her. I don’t care. It’s irrelevant to the topic at hand (did Palin “fade into political obscurity” after losing the 2008 election? Not hardly), and not something I have the least bit of interest in discussing anyway.

  30. PJ says:

    @grumpy realist:

    How many people who ran for VP on the losing side became POTUS or VP in a later election?

    There’s one. FDR.

    —————-

    Being the VP on a winning ticket is, with the expection of being a President up for reelection, the best thing to have on a resume if you want to be nominated as your party’s candidate, but also if you want to win the general election.

  31. Todd says:

    Trump’s VP nominee will probably be Chris Christie. I also wouldn’t be shocked if it was someone like General James Mattis. Of course the real coup for Trump would be if he could somehow convince NM governor Susana Martinez or NV governor Brian Sandoval to run with him. That would go a long way towards mitigating his hispanic problems. I would suspect that one of these later two are who Trump really wants … whether they are “gettable” at this point is the question.

    In any case, Democrats should still really be crossing their fingers hoping for a successfully contested Republican convention. Hillary Clinton very likely easily beats any “traditional” Republican ticket that might emerge from such a contested convention; especially the Cruz/Fiorina joke. If Trump gets the nomination though, and especially if he does have one of the hispanic western governors on his ticket, Clinton’s measuring of the oval office drapes is probably still a bit premature.

  32. Jen says:

    @Todd:

    Of course the real coup for Trump would be if he could somehow convince NM governor Susana Martinez or NV governor Brian Sandoval to run with him.

    My hunch is that a fair number of his supporters would view this as capitulating to “Politically correct” forces and would cost him a fair number of votes in his “build that wall” coalition.

    With respect to your other point: until The Donald’s numbers among the most rapidly increasing voting groups (women and Hispanics) level off, I think Clinton still has a pretty fair shot at the Oval Office. At least I hope so, because I think he is a buffoon who knows nothing about foreign policy, and is disastrous in several other key areas. He is a hot mess.

  33. Todd says:

    @Jen:

    At least I hope so, because I think he is a buffoon who knows nothing about foreign policy,

    Oddly enough, foreign policy is probably one of the areas where I’m apt to think Donald Trump is likely to be “better” (relatively speaking, based on a very low bar) than Clinton … mainly because I’m not sure exactly what Trump would do. What does seem probable though (based on some of his comments) is that Trump would be less likely to get us involved in new wars. Hillary Clinton is unquestionably the most hawkish candidate left on either side (now that Rubio is out of the Republican race). From my own personal perspective, that is her greatest negative … the prospect of her as commander-in-chief legitimately worries me … Bibi Netanyahu will have (too) much more influence on the decisions of a Clinton administration when it comes to what to do about places like Syria, Iraq and Iran.

  34. PJ says:

    Since 1856:

    Besides FDR, there have been two other Vice President candidates on losing tickets who have run for President and were nominated by their party, Mondale (who was elected VP in 1976) and Dole, both lost the general election.

    Two has won the Presidency in a later election after having been the Presidential candidate on a losing ticket, Nixon and Cleveland. Cleveland was the incumbent President in the election he lost though.

    Two others have been renominated for the Presidency by their party, Stevenson II and Dewey, despite losing their first try, both lost again.

  35. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    If we’re talking apprentices (celebrity or otherwise) the only real choice is the ultimate apprentice ticket: Trump/Manigault.

  36. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Todd: Meh, I think that Cruz is easily as hawkish as Hillary (although I’m not sure that he’s electable even if he pulls a rabbit out of his hat in Cleveland), and Trump could surprise us all when he finds out that the balance of the world may not be as willing as he’d like to have it’s children water the tree of liberty that we have planted in someone else’s yard.

  37. Todd says:

    lol, I love this comments section lately. Even if you say true things about Hillary Clinton, if they are not glowingly positive you get downvoted. 🙂

  38. Jenos Idanian says:

    I think I can make two statements that most everyone can agree with:

    1) So far this election cycle, Trump has essentially said “screw you” to the conventional wisdom about campaigning.

    2) So far this election cycle, Trump’s saying “screw you” to the conventional wisdom has worked out pretty damned well for him.

    With that in mind, it might be smart to look beyond the conventional wisdom. Trump won’t pick a veep that gives him geographical or ethnic or ideological balance. Trump will have his own priorities for that slot, and won’t give a crap about the conventional wisdom.

    Scott Adams has had thoughts about that, and I’ve had my own — influenced by Adams, but not quite in sync.

    Trump will want a veep that adds strength to his ticket, and that means assuaging swing voters who have concerns. And someone like Chris Christie won’t do that.

    What Christie seems to be doing is toadying up to Trump, hoping that that kind of servile loyalty will be rewarded. And it certainly might be — it’s a good move for Trump to reward loyalty — but Christie would, at best, get a Cabinet slot. His background would make him a good AG.

    My hunch is that Trump would reassure the swing voters by picking someone who is not dependent on Trump, who has his or her own base and doesn’t need Trump’s ongoing approval and support. Further, it would have to be someone who will be willing to stand up to Trump when Trump might be wrong.

    Obama’s pick of Biden was, in part, supposed to help him work better with Congress. Trump doesn’t have very good relations with the national leadership of either party, so one might think that he’d pick a veep who could do that.

    Bullcrap. If Trump wins the election, he will own the GOP leadership. He can pick and choose his liaisons then; he doesn’t need to put one in a position where he can’t fire them. He can make key current and former members of Congress as aides, advisors, special representatives, whatever. The important thing is, they will serve at his pleasure.

    Adams thinks Mark Cuban would be a good pick for Trump’s veep, and he fits the qualifications I outlined above — the independence from Trump, the reputation for standing up for himself and his beliefs, and a history of success. He could even plausibly argue that the veep slot would be a step down for him, and say he’s doing it out of patriotism.

    A well-recognized military figure would also fit the bill.

    But the key point I’m making is that Trump has a tremendous incentive to NOT put a career politician (especially one from the establishment) in a position where Trump can’t fire them. While the vice-president has almost no power except for what the president entrusts them with, they can still be a real pain in the ass if they so choose.

  39. Matt says:

    @Todd: I down-voted you because you’re delusional to think that Trump is less likely to engage in war. It’s like you haven’t even bothered to listen to the crap Trump has been spewing as “policy”. It’s also cute that you think Trump would be less likely to be influence by Israel than Clinton. The GOP establishment has been FULL court pressing to do everything Bibi wants for decades.

    Your delusional beliefs is what is getting you down-votes.

    Also it is probable that some people are starting to get tired of your concern trolling over Clinton.

  40. MarkedMan says:

    I’ve been wrong about all my Trump predictions so far so what the heck, I may as well weigh in on this. If he doesn’t trade the VP pick to party leaders in exchange for something (support?) I would say he would definitely not pick someone who could in any way look good by comparison. As crazy as it would be, Palin is certainly fills that criterion. So does that crazy racist sheriff from Arozona., Joe Arpaio. Maybe Dan Quayle?

  41. Todd says:

    @Matt:

    Your delusional beliefs …

    I know this is the internet and all, but simply calling someone you don’t agree with “delusional” (or some other ad hominem charge) does not tend to actually win any debates.

    If I was an actual Trump supporter, then I suppose that charge might make slightly more sense.

    But I don’t think there’s anything necessarily “delusional” about saying that Hillary Clinton might not be nearly the “shoo-in” to be the next President as the conventional wisdom seems to believe at this specific moment in time. November is still quite a ways off (in political time).

    I also don’t think it’s delusional to view the candidates objectively on individual issues. In other words, I can find Trump’s comments about immigration abhorrent while still allowing for the possibility that on some issues such as broad foreign policy beliefs and quite possibly Wall street reform I might be likely to agree with him more so than Clinton.

    On the whole, I would surely side with Clinton over Trump on a majority of issues (I’ve been a left-leaning Independent for a long, long time). But it would be partisan blindness to make a blanket statement that she is “obviously superior” across the board.

  42. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Matt: I really can’t tell which is most adorable:

    1) You think anyone cares about downtwinkles.

    2) You think anyone cares who you downtwinkle.

    3) You think anyone cares why you downtwinkle.

    Oh, heck. Who cares? They’re all adorable, and you’re just the most precious little snowflake ever!

  43. al-Ameda says:

    @Todd:

    lol, I love this comments section lately. Even if you say true things about Hillary Clinton, if they are not glowingly positive you get downvoted. 🙂

    I upvoted you on this but, I have to ask:
    When was the last time any one said anything positive about Hillary Clinton?

    I mean, to me, it’s been a 25 year cavalcade of constant invective toward Hillary. And now, no matter what her weaknesses are and how you (or I) feel about them, the fact is she’s been the subject of 8? 9? investigations of Benghazi/email, and she has withstood the innuendo and withering attacks.

    Is she an ideal candidate? Of course not. Do I want a Republican president to go with a toxic Republican congress, and said Republican presidents making nominations to the Supreme Court? Nope, none of it. I’ll be voting for Hillary Clinton, and hoping that the public hasn’t decided that a grease ball real estate developer would be a better choice.

  44. Matt says:

    @Todd: You know what doesn’t win debates? Having a bald faced lie in your first sentence.

    I didn’t just call you delusional. I straight up pointed out why you’re delusional.

    I didn’t say you were a Trump supporter either. So your second sentence is irrelevant.

    I didn’t say anything about Clinton being a shoo in or anything related to that. So your third sentence/paragraph has no reverence to my post.

    Your fourth paragraph/sentence has no real relevance to what I posted. You’re completely ignoring the batshit insane foreign policy stuff Trump has said he would do as President. Your response is to talk about how Trump who owes everything to the bankers on wall-street is somehow going to be harder on wall-street than Clinton. Which is hilariously divorced from reality as Trump is only rich because those bankers gave him multitudes of breaks. That says a lot about how bad of a businessman he is as Trump was born on third base and still managed to screw up that badly.

    @Jenos Idanian: Clearly you and Todd both care as you both responded and down voted me.

  45. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    A whole bunch of people on your side did their level best to destroy her and her family, and you’re positively gleeful about the harm done

    All of the damage that has been done to the Palin family has been self inflicted.

  46. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: All of the damage that has been done to the Palin family has been self inflicted.

    By what your “logic” implies, the same can be said about the Clintons. If Hillary had just used the established e-mail services, if Bill had just kept his pants zipped and his cigars in the non-biological humidor…

    I know you only talk to me when you’re trying to troll me off-topic, but you’re usually better than this. Are you feeling OK?

  47. grumpy realist says:

    @MarkedMan: We’re trying to riddle this out according to logic, while Trump continues to do his “fly by the seat of his pants.” He’ll pick whoever toadies up to him the most in the 10 minutes before the announcement.

    And the very same people who will harangue Hillary for whoever she picks, indicating that whomever it is, the decision “just shows her inability to decide” will turn around and burble incessantly over Trump’s “masterly wisdom”, even if he shows up with Palin.

    I predict it.

  48. Jenos Idanian says:

    I’m actually having a little fun speculating about how Trump would deal with a vice-president who went off the reservation.

    The only Constitutional duty of the veep is to oversee the Senate. So Trump takes away the veep’s White House office and access and exiles him/her to the Senate, and assigns some minor flunky to report to the veep every morning and inform him/her that Trump has not either died or become incapacitated overnight. Just a complete executive freezeout, and every time it comes up, the line is the same: “if he/she doesn’t like doing their Constitutional duty, then he/she can resign.”

    That could be remarkably entertaining.

  49. Jenos Idanian says:

    @grumpy realist: He’ll pick whoever toadies up to him the most in the 10 minutes before the announcement.

    You’re really letting your prejudices do your thinking for you there. That’s a bad habit.

  50. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jenos Idanian: I’m finding myself in the same situation as one of the other people posting here today–with the exception of the banal personal attacks on people (in which you are your usual obnoxious self) the substance of your comments on the issues related to the post are remarkably cogent and thoughtful.

    That having been said, I still wish you hadn’t lost your second job and so still didn’t have time to post here as often as you do. Just sayin’.

  51. Moosebreath says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    “Adams thinks Mark Cuban would be a good pick for Trump’s veep, and he fits the qualifications I outlined above — the independence from Trump, the reputation for standing up for himself and his beliefs, and a history of success. He could even plausibly argue that the veep slot would be a step down for him, and say he’s doing it out of patriotism.

    A well-recognized military figure would also fit the bill.

    But the key point I’m making is that Trump has a tremendous incentive to NOT put a career politician (especially one from the establishment) in a position where Trump can’t fire them. While the vice-president has almost no power except for what the president entrusts them with, they can still be a real pain in the ass if they so choose.”

    Like @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: I think this is fairly reasonable as far as it goes. I have no clue why someone like Mark Cuban would want to put his own set of projects on hold for 4 years for a job with almost no power and less visibility than he currently has. Retired military sounds reasonable, and also adds some foreign policy heft to Trump’s ticket.

  52. DrDaveT says:

    @Tyrell:

    Ashton Carter

    I want to be in the room when Trump asks Ash Carter to be his running mate. I should probably wear something stainproof, though…

  53. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: The “banal personal attacks” occur when I get subjected to banal personal attacks. I don’t ignore them as often as I should.

    OK, this time I defended someone else from a banal personal attack. But it’s never my first impulse.

    Speaking of banal personal attacks… I dunno who first started saying I lost one of my jobs, but they were talking out of their ass. I’m still putting in about 50 hours a week and not getting overtime, because it’s between two employers.

    But should Sanders get elected, I’m sure I’ll have one of my jobs “redistributed” to someone else…

  54. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Moosebreath: Why would someone like Cuban take the veep slot? There’s this thing called “patriotism” that some people find motivational.

    Imagine Trump tells Cuban that if he’ll be the veep, Trump will put him in charge of Cuban’s pet peeve about the federal government, and let him fix it the way he thinks best (subject to Trump’s approval, of course.) I don’t know a damned thing about Cuban, but I think if given the chance to reform the tax code, reshape the federal prison system, switch the US to the metric system, or whatever floats Cuban’s boat might get him to sign on.

    Also, people like Trump and Cuban tend to already have all the money they’ll need. They want something new to challenge them, a way to leave their mark on history, and a chance to show they aren’t one-trick ponies. Stepping away from the stuff they’re doing now for 4 to 8 years and really do something big and important could be very tempting.

    Plus, they can be seen as making these great sacrifices for public service. The Naval Observatory is probably a step down for someone like Cuban, and both he and Trump would be taking a huge pay cut, and giving up a lot of their privacy.

    The potential is there. All it takes is someone canny enough to see it, and go for it.

  55. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jenos Idanian: I understand now, and I’m glad that you haven’t actually lost your second job. Still, I do get nostalgic for how peaceful and sane it is around here when your gone. Is it possible that either or both of your employers would give you more hours? I’d be happy to put in a good word for you if it would help.

  56. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: I have a good word for you. It starts with an “f” and ends with an “uckoff.”

    Oh, look, there I responded to a banal personal attack with a banal personal attack. I feel so ashamed.

    Is there some government program or a 12-step program available to help me?

  57. Monala says:

    @Todd: It may not be your comments about Clinton that led to the downvotes, but about Trump. I really don’t get the idea that somehow Trump might be better in foreign policy because we don’t know what he’d do. He has already shown himself to be belligerent, thin-skinned and grudge-holding with his American opponents (political and otherwise). Do you really think his personality would change on the international scene? In addition, he has already said that using nukes and torture are on the table for him, and that he wants other countries to fear the fact that they don’t know what he’d do. How that translates to “less hawkish than Clinton” is beyond me.

  58. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Also, people like Trump and Cuban tend to already have all the money they’ll need. They want something new to challenge them, a way to leave their mark on history, and a chance to show they aren’t one-trick ponies. Stepping away from the stuff they’re doing now for 4 to 8 years and really do something big and important could be very tempting.

    You have to love this – insight into the motivations of our society’s elites from Jenos…

    Tell me something, have you ever even been in the same room with a guy on Cuban’s level? I’m reasonably well connected in professional sports, and I occasionally get a handshake or a “how ya doing” from an owner, but I have no special insight into what makes them tick.

  59. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    By what your “logic” implies, the same can be said about the Clintons. If Hillary had just used the established e-mail services, if Bill had just kept his pants zipped and his cigars in the non-biological humidor…

    Well, the “scandal” of Hillary’s email server seems to be something that exists pretty much in the Foxverse and the imaginations of GOP members of Congress.

    As for Bill, yes, his problems with Lewinsky are entirely of his own making. He showed terrible judgement and lack of restraint, and when he was called on it, he doubled down. It’s his fault.

    So yes, my original point stands. The Palin family suffers from self-inflicted wounds, not from persecution.

  60. Grewgills says:

    Jenos, I think you have it more or less right on the broad strokes, but not on some particulars.
    The VP slot, even failed VP does not in any meaningful way mean a ticket to political obscurity. Your list sans Palin is good. Palin certainly hasn’t faded into social obscurity, but she isn’t a political player, she is a joke that has no political clout. It wasn’t the failed VP bid that did that though. She came out of that with some political strength. Her choices since then destroyed her political cred while making her a fair bit of cash and keeping her in the media spotlight, largely as the butt of jokes rather than the political player it looked like she might have been. All in all a financially better choice if not a politically better choice and that is likely what she cares about.

    Cuban and Trump have a past. Cuban mocked Trump when he was on his birther nonsense (offered a $1mil to a charity of Trump’s choice for him to shave the tribble off his head). I don’t see Trump setting that aside to nominate Cuban and even if he did I don’t see Cuban accepting for a variety of reasons. Also, there is only room for one eccentric billionaire on the ticket.
    Retired military is a possibility. I’m sure he could find someone crazy and xenophobic enough to go along.
    Christie gains him nothing and crowds his brand. There is only room for one loud mouthed North East bully on the ticket.
    Sessions could get him some insider cred and doubles down on the racism, sexism, and xenophobia. Trump already wins AL and the rest of the real ™ deep South by virtue of the R next to his name so Sessions doesn’t do anything for him electorally.
    Kasich or Rubio maybe if he needs some votes on the first ballot to make it past the gate.

    PS I still don’t get your obsession with Dilbert. His analysis is nonsensical for reasons I’ve pointed out at length before. He has either lost his mind or is doing some high level trolling now.

  61. Grewgills says:

    @Todd:
    I share your reservations about Clinton triumphalism. Political predictions about Trump have been near universally wrong this cycle, so I’m not certain that he won’t be able to pull something off despite what should be crippling liabilities that would lead to a Reaganesque landslide for Clinton.
    I agree that Clinton is too hawkish and too cozy with Wall Street, but Trump is worse on Wall Street and worse by far on foreign policy. Have you read his foreign policy statements? He is batshit crazy or playing batshit crazy, either way he’d be a foreign policy train wreck.

  62. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    if Bill had just kept his pants zipped and his cigars in the non-biological humidor…

    Why is it that you are unable to post about anything related to sex without sounding creepy? No need to answer, I think we all pretty much know why.

  63. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Grewgills: I said up front I don’t know a damned thing about Cuban other than Adams thinks he’d be a good choice. In that context, their past conflict can also be an advantage — Cuban’s shown he’s not intimidated by Trump, is willing to stand up to him, and can help sell the “answering the call to service” angle.

    I’m gonna stand on Trump not gaining much from taking a career/establishment pol for veep, though. Everything such an alliance would gain him would also be achieved by putting such a person in another role — where they would be under a much tighter leash. I get the feeling Trump would want such people in a position where they are clearly subordinates, answerable directly to him, and serving at his pleasure. (And able to be told “you’re fired!” in a way that sticks, of course.)

    Of course, in speculating, I’m ignoring the incredibly wise observation someone whose name escapes me made earlier in this thread:

    1) So far this election cycle, Trump has essentially said “screw you” to the conventional wisdom about campaigning.

    2) So far this election cycle, Trump’s saying “screw you” to the conventional wisdom has worked out pretty damned well for him.

    Which means that all this speculating has a superb chance of being utterly irrelevant.

  64. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: Why is it that you are unable to post about anything related to sex without sounding creepy?

    Because the times I post about sex, it’s innately creepy sex that had no business becoming part of the public record (but did because the participant(s) did things that guaranteed it did.)

    But here’s a challenge for you: why don’t you talk about a 50-year-old CEO inserting a cigar into the vajayjay of his 20-something subordinate in the office in a way that isn’t creepy, but somehow tender and caring and meaningful and respectful and empowering? Show everyone that it doesn’t have to be creepy.

    Which also brings up an interesting and relevant diversion. Hillary, proud woman and defender of all things woman, had her husband go “off the reservation” on numerous occasions. Her response in each case was to work to destroy the women in question in order to preserve her husband’s political viability. Hillary stands for women — as long as they don’t catch Bill’s wandering eye. In such cases, all sisterhood is off and the woman has to go down.

  65. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Er… OK, I have to admit that that one was inadvertently creepy. How about “and the woman must be punished?”

  66. Kylopod says:

    @Grewgills:

    Political predictions about Trump have been near universally wrong this cycle, so I’m not certain that he won’t be able to pull something off

    I think that point has occurred to all of us. There’s just one caveat: a big part of why we thought Trump wouldn’t win the nomination was because we assumed GOP primary voters couldn’t possibly be so stupid and self-destructive as to nominate such a weak candidate.

  67. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    But here’s a challenge for you: why don’t you talk about a 50-year-old CEO

    Here, I will do better. Let’s talk about Clinton.

    “The President’s behavior with Miss Lewenski was inappropriate. Inappropriate that it should take happen in the workplace, inappropriate that it should happen with a subordinate, and disrespectful of the Office of the President.”

    I think the problem is that, being kind of a creepy guy yourself, you just don’t know how normal people think. Like I’ve told you before, I don’t think you realize how much of yourself you reveal when you speak, and just how unflattering it is. My sense is that most 16 year old boys have more experience with the opposite sex than you do.

  68. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: Here’s a counterproposal for you: you talk about the topic at hand, and I will consider answering you.

    But right now, I have a group of friends awaiting me. There might even be Adult Beverages involved.

  69. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jenos Idanian: So, I should take the possibility of your employers giving you more work for a “no.” Again, I’m sorry to hear that and wish that I had expressed my sincere hopes for your future prosperity (and a more peaceful web environment) in a more favorable way.

  70. Jenos Idanian says:

    @grumpy realist: Just got home, and I felt a little nostalgic. So I poked through certain archives, and found a buried treasure:

    Eh, I see this as an ego trip by Donald Trump so he can barrel out his claim that he’s worth $8 billion. (Forbes has estimated Donald’s only $4.1B) At some point he’ll make another Fidel Castro-ish speech about how he has done what he intended to do, which is move the race in direction X, then he’ll quit.

    It’s a marketing gimmick. He wants to add “ran for POTUS” and “worth $8 billion” to the cliches journalists will have to use to refer to him in the future, and this is a cheaper method than outright bribes.

    Man, that was some quality prognosticatin’ right there.

  71. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: Oh, for Christ’s sake, drop the facade. Your message was “go away,” wrapped in a faux “it’s in your best interests, and I only wan the best for you” sentiment.

    I could pick up even more hours, if I wanted to work myself into the grave that much faster, but what I have now is acceptable to me. And I also spend a lot less time commenting here than I have in a while. It’s like I’ve found several other activities far more entertaining — like the last three hours with some good friends.

  72. Todd says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    I said up front I don’t know a damned thing about Cuban other than Adams thinks he’d be a good choice.

    Actually, if you read the blog post where Adams talks about Trump VP choices, he throws Cuban’s name out there, but then points out that Trump would never select someone like Cuban because too many people would wish that it was Cuban running for the top job. Doesn’t fit the master persuader theory. I still contend that the most likely VP choice for Trump (if he can get her) is a hispanic woman … Susanna Martinez.

  73. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Todd: I probably should re-read Adams’ comments about Cuban (and veeps in general), but the alarm’s set for about seven hours from now, so I think I’ll get some Z’s.

  74. Todd says:

    @Grewgills:

    He is batshit crazy or playing batshit crazy

    It’s comforting to believe that Trump is batshit crazy, and that he only got the Republican nomination because their voters are also batshit crazy, however I just think that’s a little too convenient of a narrative for Democrats. Trump is a world class marketer/entertainer. He has lived and thrived in the world of mass media manipulation for decades. He is literally almost the “perfect” candidate for today’s short-attention span, 24hr news, social media driven society.

    What’s going to happen over the next 6 months or so becomes a lot less comforting (from the perspective of those who would prefer a Democrat in the White House), if you allow for the possibly that most of what Trump says (even, and maybe even especially the really outrageous stuff) is absolutely intentional, and done with a larger purpose in mind.

    We can come back and revisit this in September or October. If Clinton is way ahead, and Trump is the national joke that most of you seem to think he’ll be, I will be quite happy (honestly, overjoyed) to let you say “I told you so”. Unfortunately, I think it’s at least 50/50 (if not more likely) that come October Democrats will be in full on panic mode, wondering “WTF happened, how can so much of the country be this batshit crazy?”

    @Grewgills:

    PS I still don’t get your obsession with Dilbert. His analysis is nonsensical for reasons I’ve pointed out at length before. He has either lost his mind or is doing some high level trolling now

    Adams has been consistently right about Trump’s rise almost from the beginning. I’m not saying that the master persuader theory he puts forth totally explains everything that’s been happening. But as a person who usually tries to view things from a rational perspective, it makes a lot more sense than “Trump is crazy, and he’s only exceeded expectations by this much because Republican voters are stupid”.

  75. Scalia says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Why did you stop commenting at Wizbang?

  76. Jenos Idanian says:

    Something just struck me: has anyone taken a hard look at the convention rules for picking the vice-presidental nominee? Could the convention put someone on the ticket without Trump’s consent?

    I’m wondering if that’s the GOPe’s next fallback position: stick someone they trust on the ticket and hope he or she can exert some measure of control over Trump.

  77. Todd says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Trump said in an interview today on Morning Joe that he’s leaning towards someone “political” for his VP pick: “someone who understands how the Senate and House work, and can get along with them”. That sounds to me that it will likely be someone very acceptable to the establishment.

    Maybe Rubio?

  78. Kylopod says:

    @Jenos Idanian: This has been brought up before. Basically, delegates are unbound on the first ballot when it comes to vp choice.

    http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/gop-convention-vice-president_us_570277e8e4b0a06d58061e50

    At this point I doubt they’d want to cause chaos unless Trump selects someone truly off-the-wall.

  79. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Todd: @Kylopod: Thanks, folks. I still wouldn’t trust the GOP establishment to not try some shenanigans at this point, though.

  80. Bryan Soltys says:

    There should be consideration for K. T. Mcfarland, a Fox news contributor. Super intelligent and has a great background in all things political. I find her very informative on all current issues including international issues. I think she would be an excellent choice and she was to be up against Hillary in a former political race. I’d like to see her settle the score.