Saturday, April 30, 2016

The VP slot

A few weeks ago, I posted this, arguing that Indiana Governor Mike Pence is a likely VP nominee for either Trump or Cruz.  Two bits of news on that front.

1)  Cruz selected Carly Fiorina as his "running mate."  That goes in quotes because it ain't gonna happen.  As we all remember, mergers involving Carly Fiorina don't have the best record of success.  Cruz has lost the nomination, but doesn't want to admit it.  (See my comments on losers in denial here).  The point of naming a hypothetical running mate was to try to gin up some media attention and convey the false impression that he is still running a viable campaign.

Parallel universe question:  in the hypothetical, alternate universe in which Ted Cruz decisively wins the nomination by actually winning primaries, what does Ted Cruz do?  He waits until just before the convention, goes through a normal vetting process, and picks... someone.  Who?  Probably not Carly Fiorina.  The only reason to pick Fiorina is to generate headlines.  An actual winner doesn't need to do that.

2)  Mike Pence endorsed Cruz, and sucked up to Trump.  Smart move.  He shows the "establishment" that he is one of them by endorsing someone not named "Trump," but does it in a way that also doesn't alienate Trump.  He is still a reasonable pick for Trump's VP.

The irony, though, is that Trump will go through the VP selection process normally, unlike Ted Cruz.  He has no need to rush through some stunt selection to generate media attention.  He gets all the media attention he needs anyway.  What he really needs is to convince the Republican establishment that he won't be a recklessly stupid nominee or president, and the way to do that is to take some real care in his vice presidential selection process.

That kind of process is much more likely to lead to Mike Pence than Carly Fiorina.  Her merger with Ted Cruz will be about as successful as past mergers she has attempted to manage.  (Google it, kids).

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