Here’s a good summary on Business Insider of the top 14 likely VP picks for Trump. See if you can predict who Trump will choose.
Few things are harder to predict than a VP choice because the situation stays fluid until the actual selection. And frankly, I don’t know much about the fourteen people mentioned in the link. You probably don’t know much about them either. But watch how much that doesn’t matter.
In the past I have opined that Mark Cuban would be a strong choice. But he’s not an option now because he’s gone negative on Trump in a way that can’t be fixed when your brand is “straight-talker.” And Trump has repeatedly said he wants someone with Washington insider experience. So Cuban is out, and probably noodling about running for president himself someday.
Chris Christie is a strong option, as I have said before. But the risk is that he’s too much like Trump in personality. Christie wouldn’t take any of the scare out of a Trump presidency, and scariness is Trump’s main problem. Christie probably doesn’t help with women either.
Trump will take a long look at the women on the list. But if he picks a woman, it takes away his “woman card” argument against Clinton without adding much back. That feels like a weak play.
Of the remaining options, Scott Brown is probably the best fit to run for office on a ticket with the Master Persuader. Trump says he wants someone with legislative experience, and Brown has that. He’s also an ex-attorney with a good education. Smart. But he is also famously handsome. Attractiveness is more important than most other factors, whether we like to admit it or not.
Brown’s “flaws” as a Republican are the kind that will help in a general election. He’s in favor of abortion rights and banning assault rifles. Trump could make that work, one way or another. It plays to “common-sense conservative.”
Another advantage Brown has is his last name. As silly as this sounds, it makes him seem less white. Science tells us that people are more influenced by names than common sense would suggest. For example, people with so-called “lower class” names such as Justin are less likely to get job interviews.
People named Dennis are more likely to become dentists, according to studies.* And my guess is that people named Trump are more likely to be associated with winning (trumping). By this same line of thinking, Brown would take some of the white off of Trump. That could help in the general election. And yes, I am totally serious. People trained in persuasion would likely agree.
As I said, predicting a VP choice is nearly impossible until the last minute because the situation is fluid. A candidate might need some help in a key state, based on current polling. Or the opponent might open up a new line of attack that needs a defense. A lot can change in a few weeks.
But as of today, and according to the Master Persuader filter, I put the odds at 90% than Trump picks Brown as his running mate.
Don’t be surprised if I update (change) my prediction later.
* That example is bad, say my readers, pointing to this. But the general point stands, in my opinion.
If you don’t like Brown, you might like my book because it has a red cover.