Donald Trump doesn’t want to be president — or at least, he doesn’t want the responsibility.
That’s the way things look after the New York Times reported Wednesday that Donald Trump Jr. offered Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) the opportunity to be "the most powerful vice president in history" back in May.
According to a Kasich adviser who spoke with the Times, the younger Trump said that Kasich would be in charge of both domestic and foreign policy. And what would Donald Sr. be in charge of? "Making America great again."
People have long debated Trump’s rationale for running for president. Some think it’s a way for him to prove the "haters and losers" wrong. Some think he’s power-hungry. His supporters believe he genuinely wants to lead the country in a new direction. But whether he’s willing to do the actual work if the job becomes his is the real question.
Vox’s Matt Yglesias wrote about Donald Trump’s "profound laziness" following the Melania Trump plagiarism debacle:
Plagiarism offers a window into a different aspect of Trump, one that isn’t integral to his appeal. Trump is a phony. And a lazy one at that. He refuses to put in the work, and if he becomes president the consequences are likely to be disastrous and unpredictable.
Just ask his wife who stood up on a nationally broadcast primetime telecast to vouch for his integrity and decency, and turns out to have been set up for humiliation because Trump couldn’t be bothered to build the kind of professional presidential campaign that would equip Melania Trump with a decent speech.
Offering Kasich control of both foreign and domestic policy would leave Trump with little responsibility. He would be a figurehead, so to speak, but he would have the last word over any proposals thrown his way.
According to the Times, that’s pretty much how Trump went about deciding on a running mate anyway: He was presented with a list of 16 names, "perused it and, without suggesting any additions or deletions, nodded that it looked fine." After letting others do the hard work during the vetting process, Trump simply wanted to make the final decision.
Ultimately, Kasich said no to the offer and refused to endorse Trump or attend the Republican National Convention in his own state. It’s not clear if Trump offered his chosen running mate, Mike Pence, the same powerful role he offered to Kasich.
Come November, should Trump secure the presidency, we’ll see if he really wants to lead — or if he’s simply in it for the title.
Trump has since denied the claim that he asked John Kasich to be his Vice President via Twitter.
John Kasich was never asked by me to be V.P. Just arrived in Cleveland - will be a great two days!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2016