Donald Trump says he likes Ted Cruz, and hasn’t ruled him out as a V.P., should he get the nomination. I’m sure he does like Cruz. He’s my #2 pick thus far. But he’s not going to be the man he picks. Trump and Cruz are both outsiders, and each one makes plenty of people mad. If either of them becomes the GOP nominee, they’ll need to pick someone to appease the establishment. That’s just the way it works.
That’s part of the reason John McCain (the Democrats’ favorite Republican) chose Sarah Palin in 2008. Yes, she’s a woman, but she’s also a conservative that the Mad-As-Hell conservative-base likes. Palin’s gender was clearly more of a factor, but her ideology mattered. He needed a conservative.
So, who might Trump or Cruz pick? It will have to be someone who reassures the moderates. I’m guessing South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. If you’ll remember, she gave the GOP rebuttal to the State of the Union, in which she criticized the “siren call of the angriest voices,” which was taken to mean those like Trump and Cruz.
The angry base didn’t like that:
Trump should deport Nikki Haley.
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) January 13, 2016
Trump was invited to respond at his next debate, but didn’t dispute Governor Haley at all. Rather, he agreed with her: he is angry. It was a classy response, and it also left room for him to appeal to her later. I don’t know that he had the V.P. slot in mind when he said that, but it works.