- - Thursday, July 14, 2016



CLEVELAND — How could the single most exciting presidential candidate in the history of voting possibly pick the single most boring vice-presidential candidate in the history of the world?

By picking Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, real estate mogul Donald J. Trump would take a serious departure from the instinctual campaign style and gunslinging strategy that has served him so well and allowed him to pull some of the most unlikely spectacular political surprises in recent political times.

He went from laughingstock to clearing a field of 18 candidates, most of whom were seasoned political professionals. He hijacked a party that prides itself on recycling old “safe” candidates. He kicked off the general election in a dead heat with the most dominant political machine in the past 25 years.

Picking Mr. Pence, as was being widely reported Thursday, is the first time Mr. Trump has taken the professional route in this entire campaign.

Obviously, Mr. Pence is the “safe” choice — at least as “safe” is determined by the establishment Republicans who are now working to get into the good graces of the man who hijacked their party. To them, Mike Pence is somebody they understand and can relate to. They have all wrestled in the sewer together for years.

But there are far more reasons why Mr. Pence is not the best choice.

First, he is a career professional politician who has been shimmying up the greasy pole for two decades. He first ran for congress in 1998, making him one of the only people Donald Trump could pick as his running mate who would have been in national politics longer than Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Also, not sure how much Mr. Pence helps a Trump ticket. Do you really think that a devoutly Christian conservative who has principled reasons for objecting to Mr. Trump will suddenly lose all reservations with a Pence pick? And what ever handful of such voters you can find will be offset by the independents attracted to the irreligious Mr. Trump.

Anyway, Mr. Pence is as boring as they come. For many presidential nominees, this would be an asset because if you are dullards like Mitt Romney or John Kerry, you are rightly terrified that if you picked a bowl of cold, leftover rice as your running mate, you would probably get overshadowed.

Mr. Trump runs the risk of NOBODY ever overshadowing him. Period.

If he really wanted to double down on Mr. Trump, here are three people he should have picked.

1. Ivanka Trump — Of all the people Mr. Trump could choose as his No. 2, none would be Trumpier than his daughter, Ivanka.

After all, Mr. Trump himself has acknowledged that had he not sired her, he would probably seek to date her. As would any other red-blooded available American who likes a strong, smart capable woman. It doesn’t hurt that she is dang good looking.

Not only would she stand to make history as the country’s first Jewish vice president, she brings a host of other enormous assets.

Ivanka Trump is a flawless spokeswoman for her father and his values and his political beliefs. She is successful and immensely respected, especially among young women and people who are new to politics. She — and her family — are living proof that for all of the entertaining carnival antics of her father, he did a seriously great job raising his children.

Picking his daughter to be vice president would be to go all in in the new Trump family business. Just like plastering his name in gold lettering on his latest high rise.

It would be the birth of a new dynasty.

2. Rudy Giuliani — Because what strong man doesn’t like to have a strong man at his side?

Mr. Trump has run his entire campaign as if he is running for mayor. He is going to fix bridges, fill pot holes and build that wall along the Mexico border.

For all of his lack of granular details, few candidates in recent political history have gotten as deep in the weeds of who is raping and murdering whom and picked more personal fights with reporters, politicians and other personalities. It’s like a Chicago mayor’s race, but national.

Since Mr. Trump is running as mayor of the nation, why not go ahead and pick “America’s mayor.”

And there is absolutely nobody Mr. Trump could pick that would more boldly declare that he is running as the “law and order candidate” against the secretary of Benghazi who issued a correction for uttering that “all lives matter.”

3. Newt Gingrich — Mr. Trump himself has admitted that even if elected, he may not serve. This is understandable for a guy who leads a pretty exciting life and is accustomed to making things happen on his timeline.

This is where Mr. Gingrich comes in. He knows the inner workings of Washington, he has a yuuuuuge brain and is famous for thinking way outside the box. He is an outsider who still has the GPS coordinates for every body buried in Washington for the past 30 years.

Even many of the #NeverTrumpers out there have so much respect for Mr. Gingrich that they would have a very difficult time not supporting a ticket that includes him.

Donald J. Trump could hand over control to his policy wonk genius, leaving him in charge of all the details. This would make Mr. Gingrich something of a prime minister, allowing Mr. Trump to be more of a king.

After all, it is good to be the king. And that has gotten Donald Trump all this way.

• Charles Hurt can be reached at [email protected]; follow him on Twitter via @charleshurt.

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