Who Will be Donald Trump’s Running Mate?
Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump says he has developed a short-list of potential running mates…but there is one name that didn’t make the cut.
The real estate mogul-turned-presidential candidate is apparently looking at “five or six” people. However, Dr. Ben Carson doesn’t seem to be on the list. (Source: “Ben Carson Is Off Trump’s VP Vetting Team,” Daily Beast, May 10, 2016.)
In an odd twist of fate, the neurosurgeon is actually helping the Trump campaign narrow its list of vice president (VP) candidates. The news may not sit well with the evangelical wing of the Republican Party, a group that has recently pushed Trump to clarify his stance on abortion.
Some conservative members of Congress have even tried to force Trump into naming his preferred Supreme Court nominations. Knowing that he would appoint pro-life judges would go a long way in gaining their support, but I doubt Trump will give any names.
He never negotiates from a position of weakness.
But Trump has given some signals on the VP question. He has stated publicly that his running mate is likely to be an experienced politician, someone who can help him build bridges in Congress. It’s a very smart move for Trump.
Although he has amassed incredible support across the country, the GOP primary election drove a wedge between him and the Republican Party elders.
They couldn’t stop Trump’s meteoric rise and that drove them to desperation. There was open speculation about hijacking the nomination from him. But those schemes started to fade once both of his opponents dropped out of the primary race.
Trump is now unopposed. He is the presumptive nominee and it has allowed him to focus on bringing the party to heel.
One way he can do that is by nominating an establishment figure as his running mate.
Although the short-list isn’t public, Trump refused to cross New Jersey Governor Chris Christie off the list. In politics, that’s basically admitting that Christie is in the running.
The New Jersey governor was previously a presidential candidate himself, but he dropped out early to endorse Trump.
By bringing party elders to the table, Trump is thinking past the election. He knows he’ll need allies in Congress to get legislation passed, so he’s laying the groundwork now.
That being said, there’s still a long and dirty campaign season between him and the Oval Office. The Clintons are already firing up their political machine to smear Trump.
Lucky for Trump, Hillary Clinton is being deposed on charges related to her e-mail servers even while she is under investigation for what happened at the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi. She has plenty of skeletons in her closet for him to drag out.
Trump plans to announce his final choice for VP at the Republican National Convention in July. It is usually a boring event, with an endless procession of boring speeches, but this year, Trump is the nominee. He plans on using his years of media savvy to spice it up.
“The concept of some entertainment from a great singer, a great group I think would be something maybe to break things up,” Trump said. “You’ll be hearing plenty of political speeches.” (Source: “AP Interview: Trump down to 5 or 6 choices for VP,” Associated Press, May 11, 2016.)