Will Trump simply handpick the next President? Why running mate selection, or lack thereof, has never been more important.

It was just announced that Ted Cruz has chosen Carly Fiorina as his running mate.  With all due respect for Fiorina, an intelligent woman, Cruz stuck with what he is good at- unlikeability.  These two together are the aunt and uncle that you threaten your kids with punishments to go give Uncle Ted and Aunt Carly a kiss.  Blech.  Although I try to remain somewhat objective for this blog, I am not fond of Ted Cruz.

More importantly, however, is the overall importance of vice presidential choices in this campaign.  It’s impossible to avoid the implications in re: The Donald.  As a nation, we should be paying attention to who Donald Trump tells us he is- essentially, an unabashed opportunist.  He has made no apologies for taking full advantage of tax and bankruptcy rules, and seems even proud that he is savvy enough to do so.  He has likewise admitted to supporting any candidate who could help achieve his financial objectives.  Donald Trump has survived multiple bankruptcies and corporate failures, while walking away without a scratch.  The same cannot be said for his business partners, lenders, vendors, or shareholders.  He has refused to release substantive tax returns, and refused to commit to placement of his financial assets into a blind trust to avoid conflicts- as the President of the free world, his decisions will surely impact his business holdings.  He has not indicated any willingness to put his own benefit behind anyone else’s, even that of the country.

I’m guessing that Trump will be last to announce a running mate, and will do so only when pressed.  This is an important choice, and the greatest position of power that Trump has ever held in his little hands (sorry, couldn’t resist)- the opportunity to potentially appoint the next President of the United States.  I’m not talking about him dying in office.  I have great reason to wonder whether Trump actually wants to be President- no doubt, he wants to win the Presidency, but does he actually want to govern this country for four years?  Is he truly willing to walk away from his own financial interests and the many companies he operates?  Or- could he simply resign on day 2 of his administration, leaving his hand-chosen appointee as President?  

Day 1 would be used to appoint other positions of power, issue pardons to friends and business associates, etc., the usual.  I shudder to think of the executive orders.  Of course, the press has speculated that he would choose Christie or Carson, who sold their principals faster than a meth-addled hooker.  But, close your eyes and wonder.  What if.  What if Trump names his daughter, Ivanka, as running mate?  Or his goofy son, but for this reel, let’s stick with Ivanka, who he constantly and creepishly lavishes with praise as both the most brilliant and most beautiful woman on earth.  It was widely reported a few months back that Ivanka had refused to rule out the possibility of exploring her own political aspirations.  I would like to say that this was just a fun musing, and to now explore serious possibilities, but with Trump, I can’t rule out the wild card.  However, one could certainly argue that his choice would be less dramatic, yet still critically tied to his train- a board member from one of his companies, a protege, a decision maker in a lucrative business deal.  Not to be gauche, but could he sell the presidency for a development opportunity- hotel and golf course rights on a billion dollar coastline?  Of course to do so outright would be illegal.  But ask yourself how you feel about Donald Trumps’ objectives and ethics in choosing his running mate, and his willingness to govern the country, ignoring self-interest for 4 years.  Ask yourself.

Across the board, running mates have the potential to make or break this election.  Both Clinton and Sanders seem to have an eye on Elizabeth Warren.  Her brilliance, practicality, and likeability would go a long way in boosting Clintons’ unlikeable, untrustable image, and for Sanders, could offset both his age and the perception of him as a hippie dreamer  unable to carry through on any substantive matters of policy.  As to Kasich, who easily wins the award for most persistent, an amazing, popular choice could bolster his comparably bland personality- but, he’d probably need to choose Caitlyn Jenner at this point for some press.  Just, please, no-one drag Sarah Palin back into this.  I beg you.  And ask John McCain how important a running mate choice can be.

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