The VP Short List: Who Makes the Cut in 2016?
Now that Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee, and the primary on the Democratic side is winding down slowly toward June, the topic of vice presidential selection has taken the front burner. Do vice presidents even matter? That question is often debated, though most analysts agree that the choice is important since it sets a tone for how the presidential candidate will make decisions moving forward.
Here is a list of possible Vice Presidential picks for each of the remaining candidates with some explanation. The top 3 options for each candidate are being made by Nate, the 2016 Election Central founder, and Goethe, our front page news contributor. These are merely educated guesses based on our analysis of polling and primaries.
Republican Vice Presidential Candidates
Nate Top 3: Mike Huckabee, Jeff Sessions, Ted Cruz
Nate Explanation: Picking a running mate for Donald Trump is no easy task. He has numerous strengths and weaknesses, but is also very unpredictable and doesn’t fit any traditional mold. My gut feeling is that he needs someone on the “calmer” side to balance him out. He has also said he would pick someone with government experience. In my mind, both former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions fit the criteria. A distant third place might go to Ted Cruz, but I doubt he would accept the spot if offered.
Goethe Top 3: Rand Paul, Newt Gingrich, Susana Martinez
Goethe Explanation: Trump is seen as having favorability problems with women and minorities. Susana Martinez, Governor of New Mexico, is both woman and Hispanic. But I think Rand Paul would be his best choice. That would give us a ticket of “outsiders,” which wouldn’t make the “GOP-E” (establishment) happy. It would risk losing some enthusiasm, if not support from the Old Guard. In fact, some have hinted that they’d rather see Trump lose in November, so that he wouldn’t get a chance to shake things up. However, Rand is popular with young people, and the more educated. Those have been weak spots for The Donald. And we’ve seen that Bernie Sanders’ fans would appreciate Rand’s anti-war stance, and his hands-off attitude regarding social issues. Even so, it might be a good idea for Trump to pick Newt Gingrich, instead. Newt is intelligent, personable, and well spoken. He’s quick witted and is unflappable. He’s also been popular with the Tea Party wing, and would be much more palatable to the GOP-E. Newt would be my second choice, behind Rand. I had also considered Ben Carson, but Ben is slow-witted, confused, and sticks his foot in his mouth on a regular basis. I was also going to say that African-Americans are not going to vote for Trump, anyway, but I think, as the campaign goes on, his favorability ratings among all groups will turn upward, because he is a genius at connecting with people. That’s why I don’t think he has to pander to any group with his veep pick.
Democratic Vice Presidential Candidates
Nate Top 3: Bernie Sanders, Julian Castro, Tim Kaine
Nate Explanation: The laundry list of possible Vice Presidential picks for Hillary Clinton is a long one. I actually think that Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont would be a huge benefit for her, though I don’t necessarily believe it will happen. I see someone like Julian Castro, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, as a top choice. Also down the list could be Virginia Senator Tim Kaine. Virginia will be pivotal in 2016, so I could see someone from the Old Dominion landing on the Democratic ticket.
Goethe Top 3: Julian Castro, Joaquin Castro, Rafael Anchia
Goethe Explanation: Hillary needs someone young, male, and attractive. Two people who come to mind are Julian Castro, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and his brother, Joaquin Castro, U.S. Representative from the 20th District of Texas. She’ll want to firm up the Hispanic vote, and could use someone from the southwest. There’s talk of putting Texas in play in November. Rafael Anchia, U.S. Representative from the 103rd District in Texas, also makes the short list.
Nate Top 3: Hillary Clinton, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren
Nate Explanation: Yes, I think more than likely Bernie Sanders would lean toward picking a woman for his Vice Presidential pick. I think it has everything to do with the fact that he will have to beat Hillary Clinton out for the top spot to earn the nomination. Therefore, Hillary might be a top choice. Beyond Clinton I see New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. Even with those choices, Sanders can be as unpredictable as Donald Trump so perhaps he would reach outside the conventional wisdom.
Goethe Top 3: Kate Brown, Amy Klobuchar, Maria Cantwell
Goethe Explanation: Bernie would like to shore up the female vote, because he’ll tick off a lot of them if he beats Hillary. Kate Brown, of Oregon, is younger, attractive, and a governor. Amy Kloubarchar, U.S Senator from Minnesota, is popular, has national name recognition, and is from a must-have state. Maria Cantwell, U.S. Senator from Washington, is well-known, and from way out there in the west.
Most likely you have your own picks, or you think our suggestions are crazy. Please feel free to sound off in the comments. What ticket do you see emerging in the coming weeks for each party?