A strange line-up for a Sunday morning that’s mere weeks away from two presidential conventions: Neither the nominees themselves nor any of their top surrogates are booked as guests as I write this on Saturday afternoon. The biggest name on the list is former nominee John McCain, who’ll be on “Face the Nation” with sidekick Lindsey Graham to talk about … something. Probably the idea that Orlando, Istanbul, and Bangladesh prove we need 500,000 American troops in Syria tomorrow. If you simply must get your presidential fix this morning, Gary Johnson will appear on “State of the Union” to discuss why he’s polling almost but not quite as well as a giant meteor strike that would end human life on Earth.
There are a few B-list veepstakes candidates on this morning too, in case you’re interested in checking out people who might conceivably be, but almost certainly won’t be, the next VP. Sen. Sherrod Brown will be on “This Week,” Sen. Cory Booker will be on “State of the Union,” and Labor Secretary Tom Perez will be on “Meet the Press.” Brown is a true-blue progressive from Ohio; Booker is the Senate’s only black Democrat and might help Hillary hold together the Obama coalition; Perez could conceivably help with Latinos, although antipathy to Trump is her best friend within that group. Her short list appears to be down to Tim Kaine, Elizabeth Warren, and Julian “Who?” Castro, though, so these dudes are dark horses at best. Tom Cotton, who’s been kicked around as a potential Trump VP, will also be on “Meet the Press,” although I can’t figure out why people think he would be a good match for Trump. He’s a veteran, yes, but he has all of 18 months’ experience in the Senate, he’s a super-hawk where Trump is more isolationist, and he’s … 39 years old. The last thing Trump needs to calm doubts about whether he’s prepared for the presidency is a veep nearly half his age with not much more governing experience than Trump himself has.
How about Rick Santorum as a dark-horse VP for Trump, though? He’s been a champion for working-class families throughout his presidential runs, years before Trump became Mr Populism. (Santorum praised Trump’s blue-collar message in an op-ed just a few days ago, in fact.) He’s from Pennsylvania, where Trump is competitive and which he almost certainly needs to win to have any chance at a national victory. He’d bring social-conservative credibility to the ticket and he has two full Senate terms’ worth of governing experience. Granted, he’s unpopular nationally, but Trump seems dead set on choosing a VP whom people hate. Chris Christie’s job approval in New Jersey is in the toilet right now whereas Newt Gingrich’s favorable rating as of 2012 was, um, 26/61. Besides, Trump himself is pulling unfavorable numbers around 60 percent. What harm can a disliked VP do when you’re already dragging around a boulder like that? The full line-up is at the AP.