Mark Cuban Wants To Be Hillary Clinton's VP

by Seth Millstein

With the primary campaigns almost over and the general election campaign still gearing up, the 2016 cycle has hit a bit of a lull. As such, there's not much to do at this point but speculate about vice presidents, and there's one especially ridiculous possibility that just won't go away: Mark Cuban for vice president. The billionaire businessman and Shark Tank entrepreneur said that he'd be open to serving as Hillary Clinton's vice president, but only under one condition.

"Absolutely. But the key would be, she'd have to go more to [the] center," the Dallas Mavericks owner said when asked if he'd consider being Clinton's running mate. "I like the fact that Sen. Clinton has thought out proposals. That's a good thing, because at least we get to see where she stands. But I think Sen. Sanders has dragged her a little bit too far to the left."

Clinton has warmed up to Cuban as VP, but, in all likelihood, her VP short list won't actually include his name; this is isn't because she won't move to move to the center in the general election (she probably will, because that's how you win presidential elections).

Rather, the reason Clinton won't tap Cuban for VP is that it would be far, far too risky.

There's a reason presidential candidates usually don't pick non-politicians as their running mates: Every successful vice presidential candidate since 1940 had electoral experience when they were put on the ticket; Cuban has none. It's also debatable, to say the least, whether Cuban is qualified to serve as president. The most important job for a vice president is to take over on day one if something happens to their boss, and Clinton would be justifiably criticized if she put a potentially unqualified candidate on her ticket.

But all of that might be irrelevant because Cuban also said he'd be willing to join Donald Trump's ticket if asked.

"If he asked me, I'd be like, 'Okay, Donald. That's great. Let's talk about it,'" Cuban said in the same interview when asked about becoming Trump's running mate. "But we're both going to have to dig in and really look and understand the issues so we can come up with solutions."

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

It's impossible to say with certainty, but Cuban is probably only being being mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate, for either candidate, because of his apparent similarities to Trump; they're both outspoken businessmen with backgrounds in reality TV, after all. But that comparison is superficial: Trump's political brand is based almost entirely on his personality, and while Cuban does get animated from time to time on Shark Tank, he's nowhere near as acerbic, gruff or intentionally offensive as Trump.

When asked who he'll vote for in the general election if he isn't on either of the tickets, Cuban indicated that he might need a bit more time to decide. But he did say which way he's leaning.

"I'd probably say, right now, it'd be Hillary," Cuban said. "The devil you know is better than the devil you don't know."