ROMNEY WORDSWORTH – Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump is set to announce his selection for Vice-President, possibly as early as next week. The Republican National Convention begins in 11 days, on July 18th in Cleveland, Ohio. By tradition, running mates are announced no later than by the convention, which provides a national spotlight to showcase the Vice Presidential candidate to the nation.
It has become a fun party game in political circles to guess who Trump’s VP might be, and to circulate a predicted short list. Well, why should everybody else have all the fun? So without further adieu, here is my list and analysis:
First up is Chris Christie, who seems to be on everyone’s shortlist. In the plus column, Christie is a great campaigner and an energetic personality on stage and in front of the cameras. He gained significant national name recognition during the Republican Primaries, and earned good reviews (and sound bites) during the Republican Debates. In light of the FBI being corrupted and having been folded into the Clinton/Obama Crime Organization, it is going to be up to Donald Trump to prosecute Hillary for her serial crimes in the Court of Public Opinion. In that regard, Christie, a former prosecutor himself, would be an excellent attack dog. Picking a VP principally to be a campaign attack dog is not without precedent (think Dick Cheney or Spiro Agnew) and Christie has proven credentials in this job category, just ask Marco Rubio.
In the negative column, Christie doesn’t provide a balance in tone to the bombastic Trump, except to be even more bombastic. Geographically, it narrows the ticket’s appeal to the NY/NJ tri-state area. It’s not clear at all that Christie would even deliver NJ in the general election. I’m personally not enamored with Chris Christie as Trump’s V.P. for two reasons: First, I live in New Jersey and have lived under Christie’s tenure as a State Governor. He’s all bark and no bite. While he talks a great game, nothing much has changed in NJ. He’s not a real conservative. Instead he has a penchant for Big Government, and Big Government solutions. The beltway Oligarchs would be happy with a Christie pick, so that automatically puts up a Red Flag for me. Secondly, I will never forget how Chris Christie enthusiastically suggested during a Primary Debate that he would set up a No Fly Zone over Syria and shoot down Russian warplanes. His gut instinct was to recklessly start World War III, so his lack of proper temperament and judgment on foreign policy is a disqualifier for me.
Second on the short list is Freshman Senator from Iowa, Joni Ernst. In the plus column, Joni Ernst allows Donald Trump to somewhat neutralize the hyper estrogen of the vote-for-Hillary-because-she-is-a-woman of the Clinton ticket. Ernst can soften Trump’s image with women, and act as the spokeswoman to defend and deconstruct the “misogynist” attacks from Team Clinton. Joni Ernst is a genuine conservative, and is very strong on 2nd Amendment rights, having earned an “A” rating and an endorsement from the NRA. This is the kind of “bold contrast” recommended by Ronald Reagan to fight the gun grabbing agenda of Clinton and the Democrats. Joni Ernst is an Iraq War Veteran, and achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. This speaks integrity, honor, and leadership to thinking voters. Voters have historically looked favorably on military veterans that run for office, and she presents another bold contrast for voters over the ash tray chucking Hillary who infamously abused the Marine Honor Guard at the White House. Joni Ernst gives the Republican ticket a more geographically diverse appeal, and would be expected to deliver Iowa for the Republican ticket and hopefully extend that influence up and down the Mississippi border states. Ernst, like Trump, is a relative outsider to the Washington Beltway Establishment. This is a double edged sword. On the one hand, voters are very much in an anti-insider mood this election season.
In the negative column, on the other hand, most political analysts believe Trump needs an insider with years of experience on Capitol Hill to act as a liaison with Congress to help Trump get things done. Joni Ernst wouldn’t fit the bill if Trump picks his VP to principally act in that role. Being a political neophyte herself, Ernst doesn’t provide the ticket with any “gravitas”. Ernst doesn’t have national name recognition, although there is plenty of time for voters to get to know her.
Tomorrow I will present Part Two, and look at some more candidates on the short list to be Trump’s Vice President.