Excerpt from Michael Collins’ report on Sen. Bob Corker bowing out as a potential Donald Trump running mate, but leaving the door open for other endeavors:
“When it comes to being a vice president, it’s a highly, highly political role,” Corker said. “I view myself as sort of a policy person.”
Corker, 63, said his decision to withdraw from consideration as vice president opened up “a candid conversation” with Trump and his team about policy and other roles he might play. He would not say whether they discussed the possibility of him serving as secretary of state.
Asked if he would consider working in a Trump administration, Corker said he shares the same philosophy of public service as Howard Baker Jr., a former Tennessee senator who served as President Ronald Reagan’s last chief of staff and, later, as U.S. ambassador to Japan.
“If the president calls you to serve, certainly it’s your responsibility to sit down and strongly consider that,” Corker said. “But to try to respond to conjecture (about a specific position) at this point is just not appropriate.”
…Corker said he doesn’t yet know if he will be making other campaign appearances with Trump.
“We’ll see,” he said. “I’ve got a job to do here; I’ve got things to do back home. But I will say yesterday was a very enjoyable day, and it certainly was a privilege to be in the position to see the internal workings of the campaign, but also to witness Trump in person and see what has been happening and to see (the crowd’s) response.”
Corker said he has been offered a speaking role at the Republican National Convention that begins July 18 in Cleveland, but details still are being worked out.
Further Corker commentary from the Times-Free Press:
“I’m chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today. I love that, and I appreciate the citizens of our state allowing me to do that.
“At the same time,” Corker added, “if at some point serving in an administration was something that became an opportunity, there’s just better ways for someone like me to serve than being a candidate for vice president.”
Corker said there “are people who are better suited for that kind of thing [vice president] and I think I’m far better suited for other kinds of roles if I were to serve in an administration.”
…Dr. Bruce Oppenheimer, a Vanderbilt University political science professor,… asked, what was the upside for Corker in being on a ticket, should Trump lose, other than getting “credit, I guess, for being a good soldier? But my sense is he didn’t have anything to gain and everything to lose from running.”
Corker, whom some see as harboring presidential aspirations himself, could face the problem No. 2 candidates on losing presidential tickets face when running in their own right, Oppenheimer said. In modern U.S. history, they don’t seem to get far, he said.