Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Pa Rock's Veep Predictions

by Pa Rock
Political Prognosticator

A week from today the Republican National Convention will already be up and running in Cleveland - and one week further out will find the Democrats holding their quadrennial get-together in Philadelphia.  The national political conventions are upon us - and still neither "presumptive" candidate, The Donald or Hillary, has seen fit to name man or woman who would stand in their shadow patiently awaiting the demise of the boss or the occurrence of a tie vote in the Senate.

It is a lackluster job, one which a former Vice President, John Nance Garner, famously described as "not being worth a bucket of warm spit" - or a colorful variation thereof.

And while the position may lack the glamour and power of the presidency, it is still mandated by the Constitution, and there are people who would like to have it.

Donald Trump seems to be having difficulty in finding people who want to run on the same ticket with him.  If he goes down as disastrously in November as many expect he will, having one's name attached to the SS Trump could be a political career-ender.  The two possibilities who seem to be openly seeking the position, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, both seem to have reached their "use by" dates anyway and have little viability left on the political horizon - so either could afford to gamble that a run for the vice-presidency might harbor some personal benefit.  Governor Mike Pence of Indiana also seems to be a possibility, and like the other two, Pence's future in politics looks to be exceedingly sketchy.

Trump ought to take Indiana anyway, so adding Pence to his ticket wouldn't bring much advantage.  By the same token, it seems unlikely that he would win New Jersey - a state where Trump is already too well known and Christie isn't particularly loved, so bringing Christie on board might be a wasted move.  Gingrich is from Georgia, a state that Trump ought to carry, but Gingrich is also more well known as a national politician than the other two.

Christie, like Trump, is a bully - and Newt, like Trump, is somewhat of a philanderer.  My best guess is that Trump will gravitate to his comfort zone and choose to run with a fellow womanizer, Newt Gingrich.  They may not win, but the escapades on the campaign bus should be memorable!

Hillary is a more pragmatic politician and semsible person than Donald Trump - and while Trump might pull a John McCain and grab a nobody out of thin air, Hillary will have carefully vetted and re-vetted all of her possibilities.  There will be no Dan Quayle's or Sarah Palin's on her ticket - and there will be no surprises once the candidate is named.

I have felt all along that HUD Secretary Julian Castro would be a strong contender, and I still think he is a possibility.  Most of the buzz this week has been around another Cabinet member, also an Hispanic, Labor Secretary Tom Perez.  Perez is apparently a close friend of both Hillary and Bill, a bit of a policy wonk, and exceedingly bright.   Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has also been bandied about, particularly by supporters of Bernie Sanders who would like to see a bit of his progressive revolution cemented onto Clinton.

Clinton, by becoming the first female nominee of a major party in U.S. presidential history, sort of nullifies the gender issue, so there would be little to gain by her running with another woman.  It would make more sense to align with a strong Hispanic politician like Castro, or Perez, or Becerra, and stike Trump all the harder in that demographic.

Or would it?

Trump is getting clobbered in the Hispanic communities, and Hillary might have little to gain by going after a constituency that already belongs to her anyway - much like with the female vote.  The block that she does not own yet is the one containing the die-hard Bernie supporters.

My prediction is that she will go with Elizabeth Warren.  Warren helps to negate the feeling that Hillary is too pro-Wall Street.  Warren understands business and banking from a regulator's perspective, and she understands and can give voice to the impact that these enormous business institutions have on the lives of real people.  Also, Warren gets extra points for her ability to go full-Pocahontas  on Trump.  She bugs the hell out of him - relentlessly!   Elizabeth Warren could (and would) keep Donald Trump so wound up during the campaign that he would have time for little else than verbally sparing with her.

Those are my guesses:  Trump and Gingrich versus Clinton and Warren - with the ladies pulling a minimum of 350 electoral votes come November.  Better stand back - there's a landslide coming!

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