Donald Trump has a problem.
Lapping the Republican field with by far the most votes anyone has ever garnered in GOP primaries and already edging past Hillary head-to-head, while the clueless La Raza crowd does everything in their power to get him elected, Donald is in serious danger of peaking too early.
We should all have such problems, you say. Well, yes. Trump has clearly all but won the Republican nomination much sooner than many expected and, unlike Hillary Clinton, who may have to rely on her super delegates, he has done so without cheating — unless you consider the force of his personality cheating, which, in a way, it is, compared to the dullness of most politicians.
So I sympathize with my #NeverTrump friends, but they will have to decide for themselves how to deal with this. I would point out, however, that if there is the equivalent of a third Obama term, Canada is no longer the alternative it once was and the UK is headed for insanity.
Therefore those of us who intend to stay stateside have already turned to the next important question — who will be Trump’s vice president?
And who better than those lovable scamps at the New York Times to start the ball rolling in the proper (i. e., politically correct) manner with an article titled “Run on a Ticket With Donald Trump? No, Thanks, Many Republicans Say.” In fairness to the Times, they have (kinda, sorta, maybe) evidence:
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.”
Note that not one of these candidates — other than Lindsey Graham who has about as much chance at the vice presidency as my dog (sorry, Henry) — is speaking for himself here, but never mind. None of them are particularly inspiring choices anyway (Bush borders on the absurd at this point), and at least two of them — Kasich and Walker — would most likely accept the nomination if asked. I mean, c’mon, a lot of nasty words have been exchanged but have Kasich or Walker ever called Trump’s tax plan “voodoo economics” as George H. W. Bush did of Reagonomics before he became The Gipper’s VP? All can be forgiven in a heartbeat. This is politics, people. Winning is everything. You don’t need Vince Lombardi… or even Bobby Knight… to tell you that.
So with that properly cynical or realistic (call it what you will) attitude, on to a quick annotated list of some Trump VP possibilities. (You are absolutely free, indeed encouraged, to come up with your own. Who knows — someone of influence might be reading.)
MARCO RUBIO – One of the most talented young Republicans and an early pick for the nomination, Rubio’s an obvious choice. Trump has dialed down the “Little Marco” stuff, instead praising the soon-to-be retired Florida senator, who has refrained from joining in on #NeverTrump himself. Nevertheless, Trump easily defeated Rubio in Florida and doesn’t need him there. Also it’s questionable Marco can help with the Latino vote since Mexican-Americans are evidently not fans of Cubans. Go figure.
SUSANA MARTINEZ – The New Mexico governor gave a memorable speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention and is Bill O’Reilly’s pick. But Bill’s very reasons — that she’s a Latina (her great-grandpa is Mexican revolutionary general Toribio Ortega) and a woman — might work against her by seeming like pandering, which isn’t Trump’s style and probably shouldn’t be.
TIM SCOTT – Speaking of pandering (of the good sort), the young and personable South Carolina senator is another obvious choice, even though Scott criticized Trump for waffling on David Duke and the KKK (especially weird since Trump left the Reform Party in 2002 because of the presence of Duke). Scott could help with the African-American vote, which now seems surprisingly open to Trump, and, as a vet, with the military.
DUNCAN HUNTER – The California congressman is another young military vet (Marines). An early Trump supporter, he would have the advantage of a fresh face — but he is currently under accusation for misuse of campaign funds. Is this because he is a Trump supporter? I wouldn’t bet against it.
BEN CARSON – The last honest man in America, he says he’d run if asked. But doesn’t Trump need someone with real political experience? A variety of cabinet positions possible.
MARY FALLIN – The well-regarded Oklahoma governor who also has national security chops. Does she have enough of a national profile? Also, she has some awkwardness in her personal life, but doesn’t everybody?
NIKKI HALEY – Another well-regarded governor who would have been on everybody’s short list had she not taken a strong stand against Donald. Would he want her? Doubtful. Would she do it? Probably.
ROB PORTMAN – The senator’s not the most charismatic guy in town but he has plenty of congressional experience and he’s from … ta-dum… Ohio.
CHRIS CHRISTIE – The controversial NJ governor would love a VP nomination but will more likely have to settle for attorney general for his loyalty to Trump. In the long run, probably a better job.
JEFF SESSIONS – The dean of Senate conservatives deserves the job, but Trump doesn’t need his help to win the South. Still, a possibility.
RUDY GIULIANI – America’s mayor has been friendly to Trump but is probably too old. Could be in cabinet. Homeland Security?
NEWT GINGRICH – Who knows Congress better than Newt? Age also a factor, however. Cabinet or staff position more likely.
RICK SCOTT – The Florida governor is well-liked but what does that mean when the candidate himself already owns Mar-a-Lago?
SCOTT BROWN – The former Massachusetts senator has the personality and politics to mesh with Trump and has spoken for the businessman on TV. He lost to Elizabeth Warren — might be a plus.
CHRIS COLLINS – Congressman from New York was first in House to endorse Trump. A relatively obscure choice, but like Donald was a successful entrepreneur for decades. A business ticket.
There are plenty more and, given that it’s Trump, undoubtedly some surprising ones. Obviously MIA here are Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina, but who knows? As I said above, this is politics. Anything can happen.
Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media. His next book – I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already – will be published by Encounter Books in June 2016.