With Ben Carson leading in most GOP presidential primary polls, it seems likely that he will be a contender for the length of the campaign season. Soon America will be distracted by the holiday seasons and the poll numbers will likely settle down without much change for a month or two. When the early primary elections occur in the early part of next year, we will start to get a much clearer picture about who is the more likely GOP nominee. If it is Ben Carson, then picking a running mate like Marco Rubio could make him a favorite to win the general election.
Ben Carson is an incredibly motivating speaker. His personal story and his professional accomplishments make him a very likeable candidate. And his calm and consistent manner project a presidential gravitas that Donald Trump is seriously lacking. An outsider not tied to the Washington establishment, he has all of Trump’s outsider benefits with none of his gaffes or un-presidential bluster. In addition to being energizing factor among the GOP base, Ben Carson could also offer the possibility of attracting a significant percentage of the black vote. Black voters who have voted Democrat in past elections have been economically hit very hard over the past several years of the Obama administration and might be more open than normal to looking at a Republican alternative. The brilliant retired brain surgeon is too successful and capable to ever bring up how his race might be a benefit in the general election but it would indeed be such a benefit.
Barring an unlikely indictment or a hereto for unknown health problem, Hillary Clinton will be the Democrat nominee. She hopes to maximize advantage among female voters looking to elect the first female President of the United States and to keep the advantage among black voters that President Obama enjoyed in both of his elections. But repeated polls over the past several months leave both of those in doubt. One of the worst kept secrets in Washington DC is that she plans on choosing HUD secretary Julian Castro as her running mate as a strategy to get more of the Hispanic vote. Ben Carson could easily eliminate any advantage she might get from this maneuver by selecting Marco Rubio as his own running mate.
Selecting Marco Rubio as his vice presidential running mate would offer several advantages. First of all he’s a much higher profile candidate then Julian Castro. Most people outside of Washington DC have never even heard of Julian Castro where is Marco Rubio will continue to be building his national profile throughout the candidate selection process. Also, as a Florida Senator, Marco Rubio would very likely guarantee a GOP win of Florida’s electoral votes. Julian Castro is a former three-term mayor of San Antonio, TX but it is highly unlikely that a very Red State like Texas would end up voting for Hillary Clinton regardless of who she picks as a running mate. And Marco Rubio could match Julian Castro word for word in the very likely large amounts of Spanish commercials and public events likely to happen during the election process.
Republicans are not as comfortable as Democrats in using identity politics as a tool in elections. And both Ben Carson and Marco Rubio are gifted and talented enough to never need to stoop to using race or ethnicity for political benefit. If they were to become the eventual nominees for the GOP, it would not be because of their race or backgrounds but rather because both have incredible abilities and offer a leadership vision that America badly needs.