Following a week of intense speculation heading into the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump announced Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his pick for the vice presidency. Given the career politician’s record, the choice didn’t come as a surprise to anyone (but Chris Christie, Newt Gingrich and others vying to be the nominee’s mini-me). Yet the process by which Trump and his advisers chose Pence was largely left to the sometimes educated speculation of reporters, pundits and cable-news personalities. Or at least that was the case until the New York Times published a piece on Wednesday that, among other frightening bits of trivia, revealed what exactly Trump was looking for in a vice president.
Obviously, no one attached to the Trump campaign responded to the Times‘ requests for comment, but given the intel they received from Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s office and many others, the account seems all too plausible. Especially the bit regarding Donald Trump Jr.’s formal offer of the vice presidency to Kasich despite his past aggression against the New York real-estate mogul:
Donald Jr. wanted to make him an offer nonetheless: Did he have any interest in being the most powerful vice president in history?
When Kasich’s adviser asked how this would be the case, Donald Jr. explained that his father’s vice president would be in charge of domestic and foreign policy.
Then what, the adviser asked, would Trump be in charge of?
“Making America great again” was the casual reply.
Typically, whoever holds the office of vice president sits atop an academic bridge between the executive and legislative branches. That’s because the VP splits time between serving as the president’s second-in-command, and overseeing the U.S. Senate as its “president” — an otherwise ceremonial position given recent supermajority rules. (He or she is also the first in line to succeed the president should death, resignation or removal befall them.)
From the sound of the Trump campaign’s offer to Kasich, however, it seems Donald wants to bequeath his vice president with a great deal more responsibility. Being in charge of both domestic and foreign policy, jobs often ascribed to the presidency aren’t listed in either Joe Biden or Dick Cheney’s resumes per se. Yet by the Times‘ account, Trump wants to embolden his second fiddle with what equates to more power than his own office.
(Via the New York Times)