America, it’s VP Buzz City! Kasich, Cruz, and Trump, are all talking VPs. Ted Cruz has shared a short-list of vice presidential candidates with a terrified public, and there is nothing in the revelations to calm all those pounding hearts. Cruz campaign manager Jeff Roe tweeted what can only be described as a warning to all Americans Monday:
We have narrowed our VP candidates to a short list and are going thru the normal processes associated with picking a running mate.#CruzCrew
— Jeff Roe (@jeffroe) April 25, 2016
Appearing on Jake Tapper’s “The Lead,” Tuesday, Cruz campaign chairperson Chad Sweet said “He is vetting a number of solid candidates,” and then contradicted himself by saying, “certainly Ms. Fiorina is absolutely one of them.”
Except that Fiorina is no more a solid candidate than is Cruz.
The news was confirmed by Fiorina aide Sarah Isgur Flores, and that’s fine. We accept that he’s seriously interested in Fiorina. Our expressions aren’t so much ones of disbelief but of horror. Cruz is bad enough, but he wants to put the person who ran Hewlett-Packard into the ground one heartbeat away from the nuclear football?
For those consumed with doubt about Fiorina’s bona fides, Cruz, speaking from Indiana, had reassurances:
“Any responsible candidate — just a couple of months out from the convention — would begin that process, examining a both a long list and now a shorter list. And that naturally includes a vetting process.”
Kasich agreed, telling CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday, “Well, we have some old hands now who are beginning to do that. These things come quickly and you don’t want to have yourself in a position where you’ve got to pick somebody out of a hat.”
Where certainly anybody you found would be mad as a hatter. Which, looking at the GOP field, works.
And well, “responsible candidate.” Why didn’t you say so? You’re obviously not talking about yourself then! All’s good, right? We’re good?
Not that this will make you feel any better about Cruz’s likely choices, but Donald Trump has said he thinks the suggestion of Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin, who has proved her own conservative bona fides by running not a corporation but an entire state into the ground, is “great advice.”
Now look, Republican governors running states into the ground is no big deal anymore – Jindal did it in Louisiana and Brownback in Kansas and Rick Snyder not only destroyed Michigan but as Larry Wilmore quipped on Comedy Central’s Nightly Show, “f**ked up a glass of drinking water.” So competition in the race to the uttermost bottom is stiff.
The thing is, not being the worst the GOP has to offer does not make Fiorina the best. That she’s not the worst of an appalling lot doesn’t actually recommend her. At some point we will surely become inured to the horror that is the GOP, but that day is not yet.
Meanwhile, Cruz has to first survive Donald Trump’s rush to 1237 candidates. He hasn’t had an easy road. There’s all hate and dishonesty the revelations about his laissez-faire attitudes toward work. He escaped the pancake eating scandal that consumed his rival John Kasich, but he’s under investigation for campaign finance violations.
There is many slip betwixt a cup and a lip, as the old saying goes, and anything could happen between now and election day, but if the Republican Party had set out as their strategy a plan to scare America straight, that is off the poison that is today’s Republicanism, they could not have done a better job.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.