Big Odines

Trump Is Considering a Retired General as Veep

Despite his saying earlier that he wants someone with governing experience as his running mate, Donald Trump is seriously considering Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn (ret.) as his running mate, according to several sources familiar with what Trump is doing. The turn toward a military leader is something Trump himself is interested in, rather than something his advisers are interested in. He thinks it projects "tough and steady" to a broad audience.

The problem with Flynn, however, is that he would have a difficult time convincing many people that he is able to take over the White House at a moment's notice, if the need arose. He has been a career military officer his whole life. His only real executive experience was as Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency for two years. He has never held any elected office. If Trump picks him and Clinton picks Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), the contrast will be striking, since Kaine has been mayor of Richmond, governor of Virginia, senator from Virginia, and head of the DNC. He clearly understands how government works. With a pick of Flynn, Trump would be betting that foreign affairs in general and defeating ISIS in particular will so dominate the election that people will overlook the fact that he doesn't have any experience in civilian life in either an executive position or a legislative one.

Another problem with Flynn is that he is a lifelong registered Democrat. While Trump will try to spin this as a "bipartisan approach" to governing, conservative Republicans are more likely to interpret it as more evidence that Trump isn't a Republican at all.

  1. If this maneuver is successful, it would upend a custom that has held sway for at least 70 years. The last time the RNC selected the VP was 1944, when it chose both of the candidates on the ticket—Thomas E. Dewey for president, and John
  2. Bricker for Veep. It would also be a huge slap in the face to Trump, who could react in a variety of ways, most of them not very presidential. It is hard to ascertain what the purpose of this scheme might be; perhaps the anti-Trump delegates hope
  3. that insulting him will cause him to throw a temper tantrum and quit, or perhaps they really think he might resign before being inaugurated. In any case, the fireworks begin in just one week. (Z)