Sad. Very sad. Now that it appears almost certain that Donald Trump will win the Republican nomination, potential running mates are hastening to disclaim any interest in joining him on the ticket. The list of those saying they're going to sit this one out grows longer by the hour, as the GOP Establishment stampedes for the exits.
Let us ask ourselves why. Could it be that they're afraid The Donald will lose to Hellery Clinton? Could be, but trends suggest The First Lady in Waiting shouldn't be measuring the Oval Office for drapes quite yet. [She probably already knows the measurements from years of looking behind the drapes and under the desk for interns! Ed.] No, I think there's more to it than that. I believe the likes of JEB! are not just afraid that La Clinton will win, but hoping for that result!
What the "moderate Republicans" are hoping, I'd guess, is that Trump will turn out to be a latter-day Goldwater, and lead the party -- their own party -- to a defeat so disastrous that it will take four or possibly eight years to recover. They'll let the right-wing, populist Tea Partiers carry the ball, hoping for a QB sack, after which they'll come onto the field and move the team back to the centre. [That's enough metaphors. Ed.]
In 2020 they'll bring back the old coaches and put in a new, young, NICE quarterback [Stop it! Ed.], like, say, Marco Rubio. It worked for the Republicans in 1968, as Rick Perlstein explains in Nixonland, recommended here a few days ago.
The regular machine Democrats tried the same thing when the "radical" George McGovern captured their nomination in 1972. His chances of beating the Evil Nixon weren't great to begin with, but according to Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (in Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, Straight Arrow Press, 1973), the Democratic Old Guard set Senator McGovern up to lose! That (the Dean of Gonzo Journalism says) is how he came to choose Thomas Eagleton as his running mate, in blissful ignorance of the Senator from Missouri's three sojourns in the Wet Sheet Hilton.
Walt cautions Mr Trump to be very, very careful in choosing the man (or woman) who could be only a heartbeat away from the presidency. Don't listen to the voices from inside the Beltway. Go for someone solid, someone with an independent mind and an abundance of common sense, someone who has a record of calling BS on the Establishment when they deserve it... someone with a name like... wait for it... Paul!