- - Wednesday, January 27, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

If he becomes the GOP’s presidential pick, who should “The Donald” pick as his number two? Let’s start with the candidates he won’t select.

Sen. Ted Cruz was the obvious choice but he fell out of Mr. Trump’s good graces by “attacking” him (and starting to gain on Mr. Trump), ending the ‘bromance’ between the two men. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley might have been an option, since she could attract women voters, but she slammed Mr. Trump in her response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address by referring to Mr. Trump as “the siren call of the angriest voices.” What about Sarah Palin, one of Mr. Trump’s most recent and high-profile endorsers? Unfortunately Mrs. Palin is a political lightning rod who would prove more of a liability than an asset.

So whom should Mr. Trump select as his vice president? Should it be someone who hasn’t drawn his ire? Someone who agrees with most of his policies? Someone who has been in politics but is not ‘of politics’? Someone who can balance the ticket? Someone who can woo evangelical Christians?

Two candidates fit the bill. First is former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who would be able to secure the evangelical vote for Mr. Trump. Since many evangelical purists don’t trust Mr. Trump’s ‘road to Damascus’ conversion to conservatism and his verbal commitment to defend pro-life, Christian liberties, they may stay home during voting season. The second candidate is Ben Carson, an intellectually skilled and even-tempered Christian. Mr. Carson would be a smart choice because he may be able to attract black and Christian voters for the party, taking votes away from the Democrats.

Mr. Trump may make his vice-president decision earlier on in the process, especially if his primary results fail to meet his high expectations. My guess is that Mr. Trump will pick Mr. Carson, someone the liberal media can’t smear without looking like sophomoric bullies. Opposites do attract.

DAVID FANNING

East Peoria, Ill.

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