With Ted Cruz out of the presidential race, Carly Fiorina now ranks in history among these fine politicians, above. Who, you ask?
Here’s a quick rundown on the shortest veep bids in modern American history.
Richard Schweiker: 24 days
When Schweiker died in 2015, headlines remembered the Pennsylvania senator as Ronald Reagan’s first running mate.
Even though the two had never met and it wasn’t for very long.
Reagan was making a serious challenge to President Gerald Ford in 1976 in the primary. As the nominating convention neared with Reagan behind in the delegate count, he needed a boost. So Reagan stunned the political world — and Schweiker — by announcing he was naming a running mate.
Schweiker was more moderate than Reagan, which Reagan’s campaign felt he needed. The two hadn’t met before, but apparently they hit it off. Reagan lost the nomination in a heart-breaker 24 days later. But when Reagan won the presidency in 1980, he appointed Schweiker to be his secretary of health and human services. Not a bad consolation prize — and one that Fiorina would surely be happy with in 2021.
Thomas Eagleton: 18 days
Thomas Eagleton is the reason politicians vet their veeps. George McGovern won Democrats’ 1972 contested convention (a regular thing back then) without a running mate after first Ted Kennedy and then other Democrats said no to him. (McGovern managed to upset a lot of the Democratic establishment with his upstart candidacy. Sound familiar?)
McGovern settled on Thomas Eagleton, a young Missouri senator, who then had to go on and win on a series of ballots for vice president. The two running mates spoke for two minutes over the phone and McGovern’s campaign did no serious vetting, said Joshua Glasser, who wrote a book, “The Eighteen Day Running Mate,” on the affair. That turned out to be a mistake.
Eagleton had been hospitalized for depression and stress and three times had undergone electroshock therapy. Back then, any hint of mental health problems was a political no-no. Eagleton initially stayed on the ticket despite pressure from the Democratic establishment for him to drop out. Eighteen days on, though, he ended it.
Carly Fiorina: Seven days
Ted Cruz actually took a page straight out of Reagan's 1976 playbook. After a terrible showing in the April 26 multistate I-95 primary, Cruz needed a big move to inject momentum back into his race. Donald Trump had won all five states by at least 30 points, and Cruz was mathematically blocked from winning the nomination before the GOP convention. The Republican establishment had already started resigning themselves to the fact Trump was going to be their nominee.
So Cruz tried to throw up one last roadblock. He preemptively named Fiorina his vice presidential nominee. Fiorina, who had dropped out of her own presidential bid months ago and had strong ties to California politics, which Cruz saw as one of his last, best chances to Stop Trump.
Unfortunately for the Cruz-Fiorina ticket, Indiana stopped them before they could even get to California.