They say people learn from their mistakes, so perhaps A.B. Culvahouse Jr. learned from his. The 67-year-old Washington insider -- who helped vet Sarah Palin before she became Republican presidential nominee John McCain's running mate in 2008 -- will now head the team that will screen vice presidential candidates for presumptive 2016 GOP nominee Donald Trump.
Culvahouse, a former counsel to the late Republican President Ronald Reagan, was among those taking criticism for the choice of Palin, the former Alaska governor who many critics blame for McCain's loss to then-Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., in the race for the White House eight years ago
Bloomberg reported Wednesday that Culvahouse met with Trump at his Trump Tower headquarters in New York City. While Trump has said he would welcome VP advice from a number of people, including his former campaign rival Ben Carson, lawyer Culvahouse has the qualifications to dig into any vice presidential hopeful’s background.
Trump has said he would announce his campaign partner during the GOP convention in Cleveland, July 18-21, and that he has a short list of five or six candidates.
Despite his role in Palin’s selection, Culvahouse has a long history in Republican power politics, dating to the Reagan era. In a Wall Street Journal column in 2012, Culvahouse stood by his decision to recommend Palin, but hedged his words by saying the process had to be completed more quickly than he would have liked.
“The vetting of Sarah Palin was no less rigorous, just compressed. She was a late addition to the short list, catapulted into contention by the campaign's calculus that a woman would broaden the ticket's appeal,” Culvahouse wrote. “Our team of lawyers churned out the expected detailed written vetting report — only we packed eight weeks of research into less than one.”
This time, Culvahouse has at least eight weeks to do the job.