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Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Like Buying a Ticket on the Titanic

Rick Scott, archvillain
Well, it's now a fait accompli. The Cheetoh-hued carnival barker is going to be the Republican nominee for president. President of the United States! Now the talk turns to who his running mate will be, a quadrennial guessing game that fascinates many political writers and can make someone obscure instantly famous.

The strange thing about this process is that many of the most obvious candidates may not be interested in the job. Vice-President is the one job that no one aspires to, but no one refuses. At least not until this year. Many have publicly said no, which is different than other years, when a "I'm not interested, thanks" may be passed along through private channels. Consider those Trump has vanquished. John Kasich, who would be an excellent choice given his experience and his home state of Ohio, categorically refuses. So does Marco Rubio, another good choice, demographically speaking. I think we can rule out Ted Cruz and especially Carly Fiorina, unless she wants a chance to lose three times in one election.

One of the vanquished foes, Ben Carson, was named to head Trump's veep committee. If he's anything like Dick Cheney, he will choose himself. But Carson lacks any government experience, which Trump says he wants, and Carson is also crazy. Lindsey Graham has sad many bad things about Trump, including that being his running mate would be "like buying a ticket on the Titanic."

The only former candidate that would take the job is probably Chris Christie, who after dropping out buried his head far up Trump's ass. Christine gazes adoringly at Trump as much as Nancy used to look at Ronnie. Some think he's angling for a cabinet position, but vice-president isn't out of the realm of possibility. Of course, he offers Trump nothing geographically (New Jersey is done with him) and the whole George Washington Bridge scandal would be re-hashed.

Other governors come in two flavors: sensible and uninterested, and interested but toxic. If the nominee were someone more run-of-the-mill, such as if the Paul Ryan gambit had worked, the likeliest choice would have been Susanna Martinez, governor of New Mexico. She is female, Hispanic, and fairly scandal free, except for a loud party when the cops got called. If not her, then Nikki Haley of South Carolina, who came through the Confederate flag stink not so terrible and is also a woman of color. Problem--Martinez has publicly said no, and Haley endorsed Marco Rubio.

So Trump is left with horrible governors, like Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, who wanted a law passed preventing the raise of a minimum wage, or Rick Scott of Florida, who looks like Lex Luthor and is in the running for America's worst governor (only Paul LePage keeps him from the title). Scott repeatedly does things that are astounding in their insensitivity,

As for senators, only one has publicly endorsed Trump, and that's Jeff Sessions of Alabama. Again, this offers Trump nothing geographically, and Sessions was once denied a seat on the federal bench for charges of racism. Another name floated is Joni Ernst of Iowa. Maybe this would make up for Trump's quote: "How stupid are the people of Iowa?"

Trump's problem is that anyone young and with a promising career ahead of them doesn't want to go down with a sinking ship. Someone like Christie, who has nowhere left to go, would jump at the chance. That's my guess, though Trump is completely unpredictable and may go in an entirely different direction. And you know who would take the job? Sarah Palin.

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