Ross Perot continues to mull over his choice of running mate for this November’s election, but finding a volunteer for his Reform Party ticket may pose a problem.
Some analysts say potential candidates may be reluctant to join his campaign.
Bruce Buchanan, a University of Texas political scientist and longtime Perot watcher, says the Texas native has been perceived as a “misfit” ever since his presidential run in 1992.
“It has made him something of a pariah,” said Buchanan, adding that some people perceive Perot to be overbearing. “Nobody wants to be subordinated to a guy that’s perceived as quirky, unpredictable and flaky.”
While a mainstream politician would be an ideal candidate, pundits say, finding one is the rub.
“I think it may be difficult to find a well-known running mate. Mr. Perot is going to be so dominant in any relationship it will be difficult to convince any politician they have anything to gain by being his subordinate,” said Earl Black, a political scientist at Rice University. “It’s moderately embarrassing if no one wants to sign on, but I’m sure he can find a employee who will do it.”
Former Colorado Gov. Richard Lamm, who was Perot’s opponent in the Reform Party primary, must be excluded from any potential list, given that he has said he not only has no interest, but won’t even support the Texas billionaire.
Another reported candidate, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, reportedly was asked but declined Perot’s offer. And Rep. Linda Smith, R-Wash., has responded to “persistent rumors” by saying she hadn’t been offered the nomination, nor would she accept it.