Though it’s much too early to predict the outcome of the Republican presidential sweepstakes, it’s not too early to speculate about which two candidates would provide the strongest, most electable ticket and to imagine what offices the other candidates might fill.
Many pundits believe that Donald Trump will continue to wow the crowds and lead the polls for a time but ultimately lose. A growing number believe, too, that Jeb Bush has been sufficiently weakened by Trump’s attacks and his own lackluster responses to lose his bid.
Assuming the pundits are right, who among the remaining candidates would have the best chance to win the presidency? I believe John Kasich.
Kasich is among the most qualified candidates, having been the youngest person ever elected to the Ohio State Senate, an 18-year Congressman highly regarded for his efforts to reform welfare and balance the budget, and more recently the Governor of Ohio who turned a massive deficit into a budget surplus. He also has strength of character, even temperament, and demonstrated ability to work across party lines.
A Quinnipiac poll this week found that 84% of Republicans and 60% of independents approve of Kasich’s performance as governor. (Among Democrats the number was 46%; among men 62%, and among women, 60%.)
The best choice for Vice President, I believe, would be Carly Fiorina. The most articulate of all the debaters, she clearly won the initial second tier debate by a wide margin and has been the most effective critic of Hillary Clinton.
That criticism of Clinton would be equally effective on the later campaign trail not only because of Fiorina’s gender (a significant advantage in this case) but also for her impressive grasp of the issues. Her background success at AT&T and Lucent are widely acknowledged and though her performance at Hewlett Packard received mixed reviews, her success in increasing efficiency in that company would make her a valuable contributor to the task of streamlining government.
As important as having an electable ticket is filling appointive positions with individuals of special talents.
The best choice for Secretary of State I believe would be Donald Trump. Some would blanch at this choice because his arrogance and explosiveness is not considered the appropriate demeanor for a diplomat. But given America’s unremarkable performance (to say the least) in recent diplomatic affairs, those qualities may be precisely what is needed in the next administration. (Historians will recall that those very qualities served Otto von Bismarck very well.)
Choosing Trump to lead the State Department would not only be a good use of his talents—if done early, it would also discourage him from launching a third party effort.
Dr. Ben Carson would in my view be an excellent choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services, as would Ted Cruz for Attorney General.
Finally, the need to eliminate the bloat of bureaucracy in every other cabinet department (indeed, in all of government) would be best met by appointing the candidates with executive experience—Governors Chris Christie, Jim Gilmore, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki, Rick Perry, and Scott Walker.
What makes the 2016 Republican field of candidates unusual is not only its large number but also the variety of expertise represented. The challenges facing the nation will best be met by taking advantage of the considerable talents of all the candidates.
Copyright © 2015 by Vincent Ryan Ruggiero. All rights reserved