Donald Trump Reportedly Plans to Delegate All Domestic and Foreign Power to his VP

Introducing President Mike Pence.

Evan Vucci/AP

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.


In the week since Donald Trump declared Indiana Gov. Mike Pence his official running mate, it’s become apparent that the Republican nominee for president wasn’t totally enthusiastic over his religious-conservative pick. The delayed and then bungled announcement, the repeated insistence by a frustrated Trump that Pence, contrary to rumors, was in fact his first choice, and Pence’s lackluster performance on the 60 Minutes interview all contributed to the speculation.

A new report from the New York Times Magazine goes behind the scenes of the VP selection process and claims that Trump’s first choice was his former rival, Ohio  Gov. John Kasich. Perhaps more interestingly, the report sheds light on the unprecedented level of power Trump plans to delegate to his vice president if elected. According to the Times, Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., was responsible for vetting the potential candidates. Here’s a scene from one conservation he had with a Kasich adviser.

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.

If true, this means that Trump doesn’t plan on doing much governing at all. It may also reveal that he actually agrees with Hillary Clinton’s claim that he is temperamentally unfit to become president of the United States. As for Kasich, he declined the offer and isn’t even showing up to the Republican convention that’s taking place in his home state.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.