With the Republican National Convention fast approaching, and Donald Trump set to accept his nomination as their candidate for President of the United States, it is time for him to pick his Vice-President. A few serious candidates have emerged, while reports of other names are still coming out every day, with the public eager to find out who Trump chooses. There are some who believe Trump’s VP is the person who can help him unite the Republican Party, while others think he will only pick another person who shares his views on how to reshape the political reality in the United States.
Whoever he picks, Trump’s VP is set to make the headlines over the coming weeks and months. Trump is known for managing to keep himself close to the front page of the news, and many expect a similar impact from his Vice President. Whether the pick helps solidify and expand Trump’s support or simply makes #NeverTrump supporters more determined to vote for anyone but him, is anyone’s guess. There is a growing percentage of the population who do not see themselves voting for Trump under any circumstances, which means his VP choice could be his one chance to prove himself to those citizens.
The primary candidates for the Vice-Presidency under a Trump administration are Jeff Sessions from Alabama, Newt Gingrich from Georgia and Mike Pence from Indiana. Meanwhile, the likes of Chris Christie are also seen as serious possibilities for the role. Most Republican experts believe the role should and will go to Newt Gingrich because he represents Trump’s best chance of securing the Republican base and appealing to those #NeverTrump supporters from within his party.
Historically, picking a Vice-President has a bigger impact on the future of a campaign than people would expect. Even though being VP is a largely ceremonial role with no real power, it does make the Vice-President one accident or horrible event away from becoming President of the United States. One of the most prominent cases of a campaign picking the wrong Vice-President occurred in 2008, with John McCain picking Sarah Palin from Alaska as his running mate.
The logic behind McCain’s pick was fairly understandable, given the fact that he was running against an African-American candidate in Barack Obama. He wanted to diversify his ticket, which meant finding a Republican, who was a minority or a woman. He decided to go with a woman in Sarah Palin, but underestimated how unprepared she was for the national spotlight. Palin’s lack of knowledge about basic world events was exposed, which left the McCain campaign embarrassed. The move ultimately cost him any chance of winning the election, which is a mistake Trump is not going to want to repeat.