Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker announced today he is withdrawing his name from consideration as a potential running mate for Donald Trump.
As is always the case in VP speculation, a bunch of names get thrown around by the media, a “shortlist” is leaked by the campaign, and then slowly but surely, people start pulling their names from consideration; which of course fuels even more speculation as to who will finally get the job John Nance Garner, who was FDR’s VP from 1933 to 1941, described as being less worthy than “a bucket of warm piss.”
The role of Vice President has obviously changed since then. Dick Cheney and Joe Biden have both been very power Vice Presidents in the two most recent administrations.
Even with that factored in, it is rare for a Vice Presidential pick to drastically alter the course of a presidential race. And it is even more rare for the pick to be a surprise.
Joe Biden was a safe pick for Obama back in 2008 and did not come as a surprise to many. On the other side of the 2008 coin, John McCain shocked just about everybody by selected an obscure Governor from Alaska, Sarah Palin, to be his running mate. It was a risk that had short term benefits, but ultimately crashed and burned at the end. In fact, the dumpster fire rages on eight years later.
Corker would have been a safe pick for Trump. As Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he is well respected on both sides of the aisle and is not seen as an extreme ideologue either. He also has the “Washington experience” Trump said he is looking for in a potential second in command and would have given the ticket some gravitas and maybe, just maybe, would give more voters the impression that Trump is a serious candidate who does in fact want to govern as president.
So while it wouldn’t have changed the game, a Corker selection certainly would have helped. But alas, it is not happening.
Soon after Corker withdrew his name, another potential pick, Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst more or less pulled her name from the Veep-stakes. A bit of a double whammy for Trump.
The two names still being floated as the frontrunners are Newt Gingrich and Chris Christie. Though there is some speculation former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown could be a dark horse pick as well.
We are likely to find out within the next week who ultimately takes the plunge and decides to say “yes” to having their name forever tied to Donald Trump.