For Donald Trump’s sake, I hope the leaks from Ben Carson about potential running mates for him are not accurate. Let’s take them one at a time.
I like Sarah Palin’s toughness and unwavering adherence to her values, but, fairly or unfairly, a large percentage of the electorate thinks she’s a dingbat. Trump doesn’t need to give the media any more ammunition with which to belittle him.
Notwithstanding the fact that Ted Cruz is a smart, strict constitutionalist, Trump would be making a horrendous mistake if he tapped him as his running mate. For all his good qualities, Cruz is who he is — nasty, a bit shady, and the possessor of an ego that matches Trump’s.
If Cruz were vice president, he would not be completely incapable of subordinating himself to Trump, and a messy and embarrassing public split would be inevitable. That said, Cruz would make a great attorney general or even a Supreme Court judge.
Like Cruz, John Kasich is a nasty, bullheaded guy, but he’s also part of the establishment, notwithstanding his protestations to the contrary. With years of experience in government and his Cruzlike ego, he would treat Trump with visible disdain, which, as with Cruz, would lead to an ugly public split.
I can’t believe anyone is still talking about Robo Rubio, an opportunistic, establishment snake from whom Trump should keep his distance. I’m concerned that it’s only a matter of time until Rubio becomes president, and I can tell you years in advance that if that happens, it will be a dark day for America. But for now, he should be kept on the sidelines.
Chris Christie would be a bearable choice for VP, but Trump can do much better than him. If Cruz doesn’t get the attorney general job, Christie would fit that bill just fine.
Jan Brewer (mentioned by Trump, not Carson) is a tough and enthusiastic advocate, but I don’t know she’s probably not a great fit for Trump. I get the impression that her best days are behind her.
I don’t know enough about Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin (also mentioned by Trump, not Carson) to opine, but she certainly doesn’t have much name or face recognition, so other than being a woman, she wouldn’t add much to the ticket.
In my view, common sense boils it down to two possible choices, neither of whom were mentioned by either Carson or Trump: Governor Susana Martinez of New Mexico and Newt Gingrich.
Martinez is a no-brainer — a woman, a Latina, relatively young, and a governor. And to boot, she’s very likeable and incredibly funny. Because she brings so many political pluses to the table, I’d have to make her my first choice if I were Trump.
Gingrich, though he can be a bit nasty and arrogant at times, brings major-league brainpower and experience to the table. As minority Whip in the House, he became something of a legend when he introduced his now-famous Contract with America and succeeded in maneuvering Bill Clinton into balancing the budget. While he has strong opinions, his experience suggests he would not step over the line and try to upstage Trump. But he definitely would push the Democrats around, and that is sorely needed in Washington.
That sums up my take on possible VP choices. What’s yours?