What calculations go into a Vice President pick? Ben Carson, may have weighed in during his short time on the vetting team. Over the past few campaigns, VPs weren’t picked on their ability to succeed the Presidential candidate but to add credibility to the ticket. Here are a few reasons why VPs were picked in past elections:
The Uniter. Ronald Reagan wasn’t a hallowed figure in 1980. He was the upstart that challenged Ford and the establishment in 1976. His victory made many Republicans, especially East Coasters, nervous. George H W Bush was the olive branch to get the party behind Reagan.
The Local. Similar to uniting the party, getting a Southerner on the ticket was critical for Democrats back in the day. LBJ was brought in as a way for JFK to reassure the South to stay Democrat in the 1960s.
The Ideologue. Sometimes the head of the ticket isn’t radical enough for the base. It’s hard to believe that applied to Mondale. But the Democratic Party felt he wasn’t progressive enough. Geraldine Ferraro fit that bill because it gave the fiery left the first woman on the ticket to rally behind.
The Key Demographic. Sarah Palin burst on the scene once the Democrats announced Barack Obama as their candidate. The reason was clever- swoop up all the women voters that wanted Hillary. It was a bitter Democratic primary (as now), so it was a perfect time to get those that were wedded to the idea of a woman in the White House. Of course, Palin also served the Ideologue role to boost McCain’s socially conservative ticket.
The Expert. Back in 2008, Joe Biden was considered a Democratic Senator with foreign policy expertise. Barack Obama, was inexperienced especially in foreign policy. Sure, Biden lobbied for the job, but it was also a pick to shore up concern among voters that Obama was too weak on foreign policy. Debating the foreign policy of this team is another topic, but this is why we got “Uncle Joe.” It is also why we got Dick Cheney for George W Bush, if you ignore that Cheney picked himself.
The Insider. It’s popular to run as an outsider, especially in the post-Watergate era. But if a Governor wants to be President, they need someone to win over the DC elite. So Bill Clinton tapped Al Gore to be his insider man.
The six Vice President types cover the choices of the past few decades. Some choices checked more than one of these types for sure. In the past there may have been other types (share in the comments). But with these types in mind, who do you think will be Trump’s Vice Presidential pick?
After some discussion, I’ll share mine.