Now that Republican voters have made it clear that they really want Donald Trump, his campaign will be moving in a new direction. Every presidential nominee needs a stellar running mate, but there's one person Trump shouldn't pick as vice president. Up until this point, Trump has been leading the way to the GOP nomination, but not without a fight from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who both dropped out after the Indiana primary on May 3. Now that there is just one Republican candidate remaining in the final nine contests, Trump will likely be the GOP nominee — unless they're still coming up with ways to stop him.
Many have wondered who Trump would pick as his vice president if he got the nomination. Kasich, Marco Rubio, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — all candidates who formerly ran against Trump — have been named as potential picks by media pundits. Even Joe Biden joked about being Trump's VP pick on Wednesday morning. "I anticipate he'll ask me to be vice president. I have nothing serious to say," Biden said.
But one person whose name has also been tossed around could be both the best and the worst pick for Trump's running mate, and that's the former Gov. of Alaska, Sarah Palin. I mean, let's face it: She has a way with words.
Palin wouldn't necessarily be the worst pick as Trump's vice president, depending on how you look at it. A 2010 Stanford University study found that Palin, who ran alongside John McCain in 2008, cost his campaign 2.1 million votes in the general election. "Palin’s campaign performance did not necessarily change the election outcome, but was certainly large enough to be substantively meaningful," according to the study. In this case, a Palin pick might not be great for Trump if he wants to gain the support of conservatives, some of whom have considered backing Democrat Hillary Clinton over Trump.
On the other hand, Palin could be a good pick because she and Trump have so far proven themselves as political outsiders who want to shake up the political establishment. When Palin has spoken at prior campaign events, she has tapped into Trump supporters' fear of losing their power in a country that is increasingly focused on "political correctness" and racial justice. Specifically, at a campaign stop in Florida, she even spoke about the "petty, punk-ass thuggery stuff that's been going on with these 'protesters,' who are doing nothing but wasting your time and trying to take away your First Amendment rights..."
Trump and Palin have both proven themselves as unapologetic individuals who are willing to say anything to reach potential supporters. FiveThirtyEight even referred to Donald Trump as Sarah Palin 2.0.
Would Palin be the worst vice presidential pick for Donald Trump? That really depends on how you look at it, but she likely wouldn't help Trump garner support from those disenfranchised voters who clearly weren't interested in a 2008 Palin vice presidency.
I'd at least look forward to the Tina Fey and Darrell Hammond SNL impressions to get us through this election. It's going to be a long one.
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