With Donald Trump flexing his political muscle as a non-politician, there is already some buzz about a non-pol ticket in 2016.
Trump drew an astonishing crowd of about 30,000 in Mobile, Alabama, on Friday.
Less reported is that Carson drew a smaller, but still impressive, crowd of 12,000 at a rally this week in Phoenix.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on August 21, 2015 in Mobile, Alabama. The Trump campaign moved tonight's rally to a larger stadium to accommodate demand. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)
“He’s a tame version of Donald Trump,” a Carson supporter from Iowa told Real Clear Politics, referring to the fact that neither the real estate mogul nor the retired neurosurgeon is part of the D.C. machine.
The Daily Mail this week posted a speculative piece about Trump tapping either Carson or Texas Sen. Ted Cruz as a running mate should Trump actually win the nomination.
From the Daily Mail:
Trump's campaign said he has 'cordial' relationships with both men based on 'mutual respect.'
An ex-aide to Trump, Roger Stone, was also seen meeting with Carson's campaign chief Jake Menges yesterday in New York. Stone says he did not set up the meeting at the behest of Trump, however.
Stone told DailyMail.com that he believes in 'citizen action' and met with Menges of his own volition because he thinks Carson would be a good fit on a Trump ticket.
He stressed that the meet-up was 'not authorized' by Trump and he no longer works for the real estate mogul.
Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson speaks during the Iowa State Fair on August 16, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. Presidential candidates are addressing attendees at the Iowa State Fair on the Des Moines Register Presidential Soapbox stage and touring the fairgrounds. The State Fair runs through August 23. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Veep speculation likely only works one way in this case: If Trump falls short in his campaign, his personality is not the type to accept a role as anyone’s number two.
Then again, August is not the best time to lead GOP polls — just ask Rudy Giuliani.
But if Republican voters are fully fed up – not just with Washington but the entire political class, including Tea Party office holders like Cruz, Rand Paul and Scott Walker – Trump and Carson might become very a viable option for total outsiders.
On the other hand, Trump — and for that matter Carson — might just be another manifestation of Americans letting off steam (i.e., Ross Perot, Steve Forbes, Pat Robertson, Howard Dean – all outsider candidates who looked good in polls until actual voting started).
And while virtually no one would admit to liking career politicians, historically career politicians win presidential campaigns. The exception being Dwight Eisenhower – who only won World War II.
A much more comparable example would be Wendell Willkie, the utility executive who stunned the political world in 1940 by winning the Republican presidential nomination after a grassroots groundswell. He lost to President Franklin D. Roosevelt — but winning the GOP nod was an amazing feat, in part because (sort of like Trump) Willkie had been a Democrat before running for president.