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January 21, 2019

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Jon Ralston:

Sandoval for vice president?

A Freedom of Information Act request produced this transcript from last week:

Secretary: (answers phone) “Good morning, Gov. Brian Sandoval’s office, where the sun always shines.”

Beth Myers: “Hi, my name is Beth Myers. I’m calling to talk to the governor. I am looking into potential running mates for Mitt Romney.”

Secretary: “I’ve had about enough of these crank calls.” (Click)

A few seconds later:

Secretary: “Good morning, Gov. Brian Sandoval’s office, where the sun always shines.”

Myers: “Please don’t hang up on me again. I really am the person vetting vice presidential candidates for Gov. Romney.”

Secretary: “Really? Then answer me this? Why would you even consider my boss, who is perfectly happy in his job here and says it is, I am quoting him here, ‘the best job in the United States?’ ”

Myers: “They all say they are not interested at first. Some even say they wouldn’t accept it even if it were offered. So let me at least talk to him.”

Secretary: “Please hold.” (A minute goes by.)

Sandoval: “Hello, this is Brian Sandoval.”

Myers: “Hello, Governor, this is Beth Myers.”

Sandoval: “Nice to talk to you. What can I do for you?”

Myers: “Gov. Romney asked me to go over a few things with you, Governor.”

Sandoval: “Well, I see I am not on any lists — not that I am interested. But, sure, fire away.”

Myers: “So why did it take you so long to endorse Gov. Romney? You actually thought Gov. Perry would be a better president?”

Sandoval: “I’m a careful guy, Ms. Myers. I also owed Rick. He helped me when I was running against a Republican governor. I am sure Gov. Romney would understand loyalty.”

Myers: “Sure. But Perry’s been out for a long time.”

Sandoval: “Well, I was keeping my powder dry. The governor knew I was with him all the way, right?”

Myers: “Well, actually, no. Seems foolish of you to have waited so long, but that’s spilled milk. How’s your Spanish?”

Sandoval: “I know a few words.”

Myers: “Can you learn quickly, or at least fake it at rallies?”

Sandoval: “Sí.”

Myers: “Bueno. How are you with Hispanics in this state?”

Sandoval: “Not so good. They didn’t like that I came out for the Arizona law. And Sharron Angle didn’t do any of us any favors.”

Myers: “No doubt. I saw a poll last week that showed a ticket with you and Gov. Romney loses by 37 points here. You are of no help to us. What about that?”

Sandoval: “Ms. Myers, not that I want to be considered because I have the best job in the country, but polls in April mean nothing. Besides, not only would I eventually help with Hispanics — you know they care about more than immigration — I could also help where you need it most — the gender gap.”

Myers: “You are a handsome man, sir.”

Sandoval: “Well, thank you. And that’s where I can help. No war on women with me on the ticket.”

Myers: “That’s a thought. But you’re pro-choice and that won’t sit well with the base.”

Sandoval: “Maybe not. But we could finesse it. I have never taken any actions as governor or attorney general or as a judge regarding abortion. And I could just say I respect Gov. Romney’s views. He’s pro-life these days, right?”

Myers: “Indeed. And I must say, Gov. Romney is happy to see that you are willing to leave jobs early after you started them. That’s how he knew you’d be willing to consider the second spot on the ticket.”

Sandoval: “I can explain that …”

Myers: “Don’t bother. We see it as a plus. Flexibility in furtherance of ambition is not a vice in this campaign. What about taxes, Governor? Grover Norquist can be a pain in the rear and he is after you.”

Sandoval: “But it’s misleading. Grover should know better. No Nevadan is paying more now than he or she did when I was sworn in.”

Myers: “Well, we might have to muddy it up. Don’t worry, though. That’s one of our specialties, too.”

Sandoval: “Not that I am interested in the job, you understand, and know that my concern would be Gov. Romney hurting my numbers, but: Remember when our Democratic AG refused to sue over Obamacare? I hired a special counsel. And I did a lot with school reform. Just ask Jeb Bush.”

Myers: “Oh, we did. He speaks highly of you. The only real question, to be frank, Governor, is how desperate we are when we make the pick. Rubio is being a pill, Portman is boring and you would be a sort of Hail Mary, like Sarah Palin.”

Sandoval: “That hurts.”

Myers: “Not at all. You could be the real game change, Governor.”

Sandoval: “OK, I have to go boost morale somewhere. Talk to you soon.”

Myers: “We’ll be in touch. Or not.”

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