Wednesday, May 4, 2016

UPDATED: Ryan to be a heartbeat away from succeeding Pres. Trump?

Lyin' Ted Cruz said that he's stay in the race for the presidensity as long as there was a viable path to the nomination. Last night he said his path had been foreclosed. That's how politicians talk. He wouldn't say he got thumped by Trump. Oh no. His path has been "foreclosed". So that's that, then. There's only one more putative candidate left. Of him, CNN politics says "John Kasich is not going anywhere". Truer words were never spoken.

Meanwhile, and still in Indiana, Bernie Sanders eked out a win over Hellery Clinton. Because of the Democrats' crooked nominating system -- having 100s of insider "super-delegates" pretty much screws an outsider like Sanders -- la Clinton is still likely to wind up riding the Dem Donkey, even though she enjoys only lukewarm support from the majority of her party.

And that, dear reader, means there's at least a 50-50 chance that The Donald will be the next POTUS. If I could get Trump plus 6 points, let's say, I'd put my $$$ on the table right now. And that means that Mr. Trump, the Republicans and Americans of all stripes need to start thinking hard about who should be Vice-President (VPOTUS), because... as they say... that person will be only a heartbeat away from becoming President and all that entails.

For a country with a short history -- 240 years isn't much compared with China or even the UK -- the Paranoid States of America has had more than its share of presidents who have died in office, of either natural or unnatural causes. Four sitting presidents have been killed, all of them by gunshot: Abraham Lincoln (the 16th President), James A. Garfield (the 20th President), William McKinley (the 25th President) and John F. Kennedy (the 35th President). That's an average of one every 60 years. It's been 53 years since JFK was assassinated, so do the math.

Indeed, Mr Trump might not even make it through to November 8th. Remember what happened to Bobby Kennedy? To George Wallace? Don't tell me that The Donald is any less hated than those guys, either of whom might have won but for a case of severe lead poisoning. All it would take would be another murderous Muslim (Sirhan Sirhan) or loonie leftie (Lee Harvey Oswald), or just some nebbish who wants to get his name in the papers (John Hinckley). So Mr Trump's choice of candidate for VPOTUS is more important than at any time so far this century.

In last night's victory speech, Mr Trump went easy on Mr Cruz. No more "lyin' Ted". In fact he called his opponent "a helluva contender". Could we be looking at a Trump-Cruz ticket? It would sure as hell give Establishment Republicans a reason to do their utmost to keep The Donald alive and viable, because although they hate Trump, they loathe Cruz!

Seriously, though... as the stand-up comic says... I can't see Mr Cruz taking the VP nomination, even if it were offered to him. And I don't think the job will be offered to Carly Fiorina, in the name of gender parity -- not after her amazing speech last week. In 1972, Tom Eagleton proved that a candidate for the second-highest office in the land can't have "issues".

Who, then? Mr Trump will be under pressure to offer a sop to the Republican Establishment -- some harmless, centrist, non-WASP from one of the southern or western states -- to balance the ticket. That would seem to suggest Marco Rubio, a "progressive Republican" with more ambition than brains who already has the GOP grandees' seal of approval. Mr Rubio has the added advantage of being young and lightly Hispanic, appealing (it says here) to the kind of voters Mr Trump has trouble with. But Senator Rubio and The Candidate had some prettyh nasty things to say about each other during the primaries, so a public burying of the hatchet will be awkward, if not downright laughable.

If not Mr Rubio, then who? Walt repeats his call for Paul. If something should, God forbid, happen to President Trump, Paul is the kind of man I'd have confidence in to lead the USA along the path to peace and prosperity. Donald, if you're reading this, don't listen to those other guys; listen to me! Have I ever given you a bum steer? (Lifetime pct .988.)

Further reading: "House Speaker Paul Ryan refuses to back Donald Trump", on the CBC News website, 5/5/16. Mr. Ryan said "I'm just not ready to do that at this point. I'm not there right now." My emphasis.

UPDATE AND WOW! "House Speaker Paul Ryan to meet with Donald Trump next week to talk 'Republican principles'" Reuters via CBC News, 6/5/16. That didn't take long, did it...

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