Will Donald Trump ever be “presidential” in the conventional manner we have come to expect?
It’s a path he may never follow. But after his victory in Indiana on Tuesday night, and Ted Cruz’s decision to suspend his campaign, there is now rampant speculation as to what “presidential” will mean should Trump’s executive desk move to the Oval Office.
As with any presidential nominee, the selection of their vice presidential running mate is important because it offers us a window into their thinking.
Trump recently gave some insight into his thoughts on the matter when he told Neil Cavuto on the Fox Business Network: “I would want to choose a politician. I’m a businessman. I don’t think we need two guys like me.”
His comments suggest that he wants a running mate with experience and expertise in areas where he is seen as lacking. At the same time, political pundits and election followers predicting that Trump will do something ordinary and expected simply have not been paying attention to how the man operates.
Here are four individuals who may very well get the call from the presumptive GOP nominee:
U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama. To a large extent, the Trump candidacy gained its initial traction and momentum by his promise to get tough on illegal immigration. So forget where you stand on immigration. The point here is that for a Trump presidency to succeed, he must deliver on this issue to the satisfaction of his supporters—a group that views this issue as a matter of national security.
It is not coincidence that Trump named Senator Sessions the head of his national security advisory group. In the Senate, he has carved out the role of the leading conservative voice advocating a tough stance on immigration and the border with Mexico.
He is tough without being confrontational. Just the sort of person needed to actually get legislation passed.
As a former judge, he understands how to navigate the complicated legislative waters. Further, rewarding loyalty is something that history shows is a solid strategy. Senator Sessions endorsed Donald Trump early. Choosing him as a running mate sends a message for everyone to see that there are consequences, positive and negative, for giving or withholding support -- an action that is part and parcel of how Trump operates.
Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton. Bolton briefly considered seeking the 2016 presidential nomination himself. He is highly regarded among conservatives for being an outspoken advocate for a strong America and a foreign policy that will not blink in the face of confrontation by our adversaries. These are qualities Trump recognized when he discussed Bolton last year on “Meet the Press.”: “I think he’s, you know a tough cookie, knows what he is talking about. I think he’s terrific.”
After eight years of feckless leadership from President Obama, our friends no longer trust us and our foes do not fear us.
Assuming former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be the nominee for the Democrats, having Ambassador Bolton on the ticket goes a long way toward eliminating the argument that a Trump presidency would be without an adult at the table when it comes to foreign policy.
Who is better prepared and equipped to make the case that Hillary Clinton’s tenure at the State Department was nothing but an exercise in failure?
Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio. It will be no easy task for the next president, Republican or Democrat, to actually pass a legislative agenda. As we have seen, unity among the strongest conservatives in the House of Representatives has impacted the results, or lack of results, coming out of Washington.
At least 36 House Members belong to the Freedom Caucus and Congressman Jordan is their chairman. He has a following that must be dealt with.
A former wrestler, Jordan is dogged and undaunted in his passion to put his and his caucus colleagues’ conservative principles into actual policy. Having Jordan as vice president would help both Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan advance a Trump agenda in the U.S House of Representatives.
In addition, he hails from what has become the number one target state for both parties: Ohio. No Republican has ever been elected to the presidency without winning Ohio, while no Democrat has been elected without carrying the Buckeye State since 1960.
While having Jordan on the ticket hardly guarantees that the GOP would carry the Buckeye State, it certainly gives Republicans a head start.
Trump’s selection of Congressman Jordan would be consistent with his promise of a new way of doing things.
Kobe Bryant. Yes, he’s a wild card but he is looking for a new career… and we all know Donald Trump follows his own playbook.