Trump to announce his running mate at 11 a.m. on Friday

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Published by: Dan Calabrese on Thursday July 14th, 2016

Ruth Bader Ginsburg probably not the choice.

Running mate choices strike me as the stories in election cycles that get the most attention without really deserving it. People get it in their heads that a good vice president (or one who agrees with them on a lot of things) will make a major difference in the way a president governs. I can only think of one example in which that was probably the case, and that was Dick Cheney, who was viewed as a not-very-exciting choice.

It's possible the Trump running mate will also have an oversized impact because of Trump's own lack of governing experience. It seems to me that a guy who's got particular goals in mind but doesn't really know the ins and outs of Washington would benefit from a running mate who's intimately familiar with what goes on inside the Beltway. That would be an argument for the boss's choice, Newt Gingrich. Then again, if you're concerned that Trump doesn't grasp the details of policy all that much, maybe that's an argument for Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

Any way you look at it, you won't have to look at it much longer, because Trump is going to tell us tomorrow at 11 a.m. Eastern in an announcement set for Manhattan:

Trump also argued that he’s not looking for a vice president to play the traditional role of attacking a general election rival.

“I just want to pick somebody that’s solid, who’s smart. I’m not looking for an attack dog. Frankly, I’m looking for somebody that really understands what we’re talking about,” Trump said. “I would rather be talking about policy … not talking about ‘Crooked Hillary.’ ”

Of course, he will need to keep talking about Crooked Hillary because preventing her rise to the presidency is the primary motivation of many people to vote for him. But assuming he defeats Crooked Hillary, he then has to run the Crooked Government, and he will need all the help he can get in doing that. Trump's choice of a vice president is really only the first of many crucial personnel choices he will need to make, because while the vice president is somewhat high profile, he or she really only has the power the president decides to give him. The Constitution grants him none, except the breaking of ties in Senate votes.

Trump's cabinet choices will probably influence the operation of the executive branch more than his vice president, and his judicial choices will certainly be critical in reversing the courts' growing disregard for the law and the Constitution.

But it's the running mate that gets everyone excited, and it's the first real test of Trump's ability to surround himself with really really great people like he's always telling us he's going to do.

This would be a good time to show us something, even if it's not nearly as important as everyone makes it out to be.

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