On July 25th at the Republican National Convention, two monumental events will take place in the American presidential cycle. First, Donald Trump will be officially nominated by the Republican Party to be the President of the United States. After applause, fanfare, and what the presumptive nominee has already previewed as “a TV spectacle”, Americans will finally learn who the business tycoon’s vice presidential running mate is.
So the team at Gavel Resources of IWG has taken it upon themselves to create a likely shortlist of plausible individuals to run with the most stirring presidential candidate since Barry Goldwater in 1964. In order to maintain readability, the list will examine several key qualities each individual brings to the table. Namely:
- Years of experience (either in Washington D.C., or elsewhere in the country) Demographic appeal (and electorate appeal)
- Significant shortcomings.
In no particular order, a shortlist for vice presidential running mates for likely GOP nominee Donald Trump is as follows (subject, of course, to a completely Trump-like surprise…):
- Newt Gingrich: although the former Speaker of the House of Representatives has been out of the political arena for more than seventeen years, the former Georgia Congressman embodies the particular Washington insight that the Trump campaign is searching for. With twenty years of Congressional experience under his belt, Gingrich presents one of the best opportunities for Trump to find a bona fide enforcer who would actively push President Trump’s agenda through both houses of Congress. On top of his insider knowledge of the gears of Congress, Newt Gingrich has arguably the best immediate name recognition on the shortlist. This can be attributed to Mr. Gingrich’s 2012 presidential aspirations, which proved unfruitful, albeit by slim margins. Newt Gingrich knows exactly how to attack the Democratic machine of Hillary Clinton. However impressive of a resume Gingrich boasts, he has some serious drawbacks as well. Notably, the former Speaker of the House has similar marital issues to Donald Trump (both men having married three times). This is extremely disheartening to the Trump campaign, who likely are aware of the criticism they would garner if they ran against an all-female ticket (say, Hillary Clinton and Sen. Elizabeth Warren). Given the spousal issues both men are plagued with, and the criticism Gingrich hurled at Trump for attacking a Hispanic judge last month, a Trump/Gingrich ticket seems a bit less likely.
- Jeff Sessions: the junior Alabama Senator is perhaps best known for the first senatorial endorsement of the Donald, a move that immediately put his name in contention for sharing the ticket with Trump in November. Sen. Sessions brings more than twenty years of Washington expertise to the table, and he, like Gov. Fallin, shares the somewhat controversial ideals about immigration with Donald Trump. Being a Senator from the deep south has its appeal, as Mr. Sessions would be able to broaden the ticket’s reach from Manhattan. While this is significant and shouldn’t be overlooked, the region Senator Sessions represents is already well within Trump’s grasp, as the business mogul performed better in the south (aside from Texas) than any of the other candidates this primary season. So this choice would successfully engage Trump’s voting base, but would have the adverse effect of limiting that batch of voters to the solid south, a strategy that hasn’t yielded the desired results in the past two elections.
- Chris Christie: no one on this list is as obvious of a choice as the first former presidential candidate to endorse Trump, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. That comes at a price, however, as Christie has already been serving as a Trump surrogate on the campaign trail and voters are already used to seeing the prominent Governor present his rhetorical support of Trump across the nation. That means that he could be a fairly bland pick as vice president. Another aspect of the Governor’s that should be considered is the myriad of scandals that have plagued the former candidate for a number of years. Chief among these is the “Bridgegate” scandal that affectively doomed Christie’s White House ambitions.
- Mike Pence: Indiana’s 50th Governor is a recent frontrunner in the potential vice president selection, as he has previously demonstrated his tremendous conservative agenda that will undoubtedly hold up to Trump’s scrutiny. Two key examples of this are when Governor Pence (then a Congressman representing Indiana’s 6th district) called for legislation that stipulated the U.S. adopt a “no amnesty immigration reform” and when the Governor advocated for a state-wide 10% cut in the income tax. Ultimately both of these political ventures proved unfruitful, but Gov. Pence was successfully able to implement a 5% income tax cut for his state. Two notable shortcomings of Governor Pence are his baffling call for Indiana to sponsor a state-run news program, dubbed “JustIN,” that was met with considerable backlash from both parties, and when the Governor passed a controversial state law (State Bill 101) that seemingly allowed for the discrimination against members of the LGBT community.
- Mary Fallin: Oklahoma’s current Governor is one of the more intriguing possibilities for the Trump coalition, as Mrs. Fallin is both one of the rising stars in the conservative movement and an obvious demographic shift that would shield Trump from attacks centering around to the “gender gap”. Aside from her demographic appeal, Gov. Fallin’s credentials speak for themselves and would likely garner the interest of a turnout minded candidate in any election. Prior to her service as Oklahoma’s Governor, Mrs. Fallin was Oklahoma’s 5th district Congresswoman for two terms and has consistently put forth conservative legislation, especially pertaining to immigration issues, one of Trump’s key campaign positions and a selling point for a large swath of Americans. It should be noted that the Trump campaign has expressed a reluctance to choose a female or minority running mate, as this could be seen as pandering by their base. Gov. Fallin has prominent faults of her own that merit extensive criticism. Namely, the OK Governor recently vetoed a state bill that would have charged doctors who perform abortions with a felony. This is a significant misstep in the eyes of conservative leaders, and it should be noted when assessing her viability as a vice presidential candidate.
By Bill Sellery with Evan Blauser