It’s hardly a select fraternity, is it? Speaking here of folks who don’t want to haul water for Donald Trump as his vice presidential candidate. One of the more bizarre aspects of the on-air speculation on who the Donald might choose as his running mate is that pundits discuss the various possibilities as though all of these folks would be interested in the honor, if such it is.
Some of those suggested as possible parts of Trump’s tag team include people who would be as eager to share a ticket with Trump as Barack Obama would be to share a pub crawl with Benjamin Netanyahu. One of the favorites of the various mentioners is Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who took the time today to make it clear that he’s not interested.
As is so often the case these days, Rubio made his announcement via a Facebook post, to wit:
While Republican voters have chosen Donald Trump as the presumptive GOP nominee, my previously stated reservations about his campaign and concerns with many of his policies remain unchanged. He will be best served by a running mate and by surrogates who fully embrace his campaign. As such, I have never sought, will not seek, and do not want to be considered for Vice President. Instead I will focus my attention on representing the people of Florida, retaining a conservative majority in the Senate, and electing principled conservatives across the country.
Crystal clear, and a polite way of saying I wouldn’t touch this stiff with a 10-foot plantain. He’s also re-stating the obvious, that Trump is in no way a conservative. At 44 (45 later this month) Rubio is young enough to be able to wait and see if there is anything left of the Republican Party post-Donald, and therefore if its presidential nomination is worth having. The jury is still out on this one. Most political gossip in the Sunshine State has Rubio’s next political venture a run for governor in 2018, when Florida Governor Rick Scott is termed out.
Others mentioned, who have not taken themselves out of consideration, include Ben Carson, a man of great character who has been very charitable in his remarks about a man who has so far demonstrated none in his long public life. But it’s really hard to imagine the good doctor would want to play Felix to the Donald’s Oscar.
It will be instructive to see how the Donald proceeds on this. It may not be easy to find someone who would improve his electoral prospects and also be willing to be part of a campaign that could well degenerate into a train wreck, and which has very little prospect of ending up at 1600. Don’t even get me started on what an unlikely Trump administration could lead to, and what a Trump VP might be called on to defend.
Someone who meets the two standards mentioned above might show up. Or the Donald might find himself in the same bind George McGovern found himself in in 1972 looking for a partner for his quixotic campaign, which ended up a record failure. For a while there it looked like McGovern would have to take out help wanted adds across the country to find a running mate. (Remember Senator Tom Eagleton, whom McGovern backed “1000 percent” when Eagleton’s medical issues surfaced, and then withdrew the offer.) Finally a Kennedy in-law with nothing to do during the day, Sargent Shriver, agreed to come on board and go down with McGovern’s sinking ship.
Stay tuned. There’s a lot of air-time to fill, so the speculation will go on. And, by the way, I don’t want the job either.