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Commentary By Joel K. Goldstein

Most Recent Releases

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March 14, 2024

The Republican Veepstakes 2024, Part Two: What History Suggests About Trump’s Options By Joel K. Goldstein


— If he sticks to history—and he very well may not—Donald Trump’s eventual vice presidential selection will be someone with high governmental experience.

— While Democratic VP nominees have very often come from the Senate, the backgrounds of Republican running mates have been more diverse in terms of previous government experience.

— The VP slot may be seen as particularly valuable on the Republican side because anyone elected with Trump knows that the Constitution prevents him from seeking a third term in 2028, meaning that the VP could run in four years instead of having to wait the customary eight for a presidential ticket headed by someone who has not previously been president.

— On the other hand, Mike Pence’s experience with Trump may deter some from making themselves available.

— Trump, a Florida resident, would be unlikely to pick someone else from Florida as his running mate because of the 12th Amendment.

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March 7, 2024

The Republican Veepstakes, Part One: Picking an Apprentice, Donald Trump’s Way By Joel K. Goldstein


— Vice presidential selection season is upon us, and the early apparent resolution of the Republican presidential nomination and the fact that former President Donald Trump will be orchestrating the 2024 Veepstakes promises to make the process a long and unique episode of that quadrennial event.

— Trump is an anomalous selector, having chosen a running mate once before. If his 2016 approach is a guide, and it may not be, the conventional wisdom that he will choose one of those who is publicly most obsequious may not be accurate.

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April 7, 2020

Applying Conventional Criteria to Biden’s Unconventional Vice Presidential Pool By Joel K. Goldstein


— Biden’s historic announcement that his running mate will be a woman will limit his process in an unprecedented way, yet it still leaves him with a number of choices who reachable voters are likely to view as plausible presidents.

— Even if Biden emphasizes choosing a presidential-caliber running mate, as governance and political considerations would dictate, the timing of the selection makes it inevitable that other political considerations will also be weighed in the choice.

— Democratic presidential candidates generally choose a running mate who is a senator and who has considerable experience in high government positions.

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June 25, 2015

The Democrats’ Mythical Third Term Obstacle By Joel K. Goldstein

Facts, Justice Louis Brandeis taught, are the basis of understanding. Yet facts, even if by definition true, can be misleading when stated imprecisely, without necessary qualifications, or out of context. The misleading power of truth was evident in recent political reporting that invoked history to suggest that Democratic presidential candidates have an uphill climb in winning the White House in 2016 because only once since 1951 has a party won the presidency in three straight elections.

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November 4, 2011

Veep Speculation is Just That By Joel K. Goldstein

There really is no need to talk about vice-presidential selection right now, but in recent weeks discussion of the subject has filled pages, airwaves and cyberspace as a number of knowledgeable observers have approached the subject from imaginable (and unimaginable) angles.