AP

One of the parlor games Republicans are playing in the shadows of the Russia investigation is this: Who would President Pence pick as his vice president?

Quick refresher: If a president leaves offices for any reason, the sitting Vice President takes over and picks his number two, subject to majority vote in the House and Senate.

Quick stipulation: Yes, this is premature and highly speculative and premised solely on Trump leaving office for whatever reason.

The various theories being tossed around:

  • Return to normal: Pick a conventional, mainstream Republican to usher back in pre-Trump conservativism. Think Paul Ryan or Mitt Romney. (Romney more likely, because you wouldn't want to disrupt a second branch of government.) Or Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., and former South Carolina governor.
  • Reassurance: Pick someone who helps ease the nerves of an anxious nation. Think Bob Gates. Or Mitch Daniels, for Hoosier supremacy? John Boehner?
  • Calm the country: Pick someone who sends a clear signal that anything approximating the status quo of Trump or even pre-Trump won't cut it. Think Joe Biden or Michael Bloomberg. The chattering class would go ga-ga!
  • Double Down: Pick someone who can keep the spirit of America First Trumpism alive. The problem is it's thin pickings: Jeff Sessions? Rudy Giuliani? Newt Gingrich?
Subscribe to Axios AM/PM for a daily rundown of what's new and why it matters, directly from Mike Allen.
Please enter a valid email.
Please enter a valid email.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Subscribed! Look for Axios AM and PM in your inbox tomorrow or read the latest Axios AM now.

Go deeper

Louisiana braces for 3rd hurricane in 2 months as Zeta closes in

The probable path of Zeta, per the National Hurricane Center. Photo: NHC/NOAA

Zeta has strengthened into a hurricane again is on track to make landfall in southeastern Louisiana on Wednesday afternoon, per the National Hurricane Center.

The state of play: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) requested a pre-landfall Federal Declaration of Emergency in a letter to President Trump on Tuesday, ahead of the storm's expected arrival south of New Orleans.

Updated 33 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Unrest in Philadelphia after fatal police shooting of Black man

Demonstrators rally on Tuesday near the location where Walter Wallace was killed by two police officers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The Pennsylvania National Guard was mobilized Tuesday during a tense second night of protests in Philadelphia over the fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace, a 27-year-old Black man.

Driving the news: Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (D) and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a joint statement Monday that police were launching a "full investigation" to answer questions that arose from video that captured part of the incident with police.

Updated 45 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage."
  2. Health: Hospitals face a crush.
  3. Business: Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. World: Putin mandates face masks.