by Stephen Kruiser
After the last few years, political predictions are dumber than ever, and I have sworn off them. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate about what appears obvious.
Barring an act of God or the Democrats’ perversion of the justice system, Donald Trump seems to be on a glide path to the Republican nomination for president. Even for those who are risk-averse, this appears to be a safe bet. If we’re looking at Trump’s position now compared to 2016, prognosticating is almost like playing with house money.
One of the few exciting things about the primaries for the party not in the White House is trying to figure out who the nominee’s running mate might be. The presumptive nominee and former president of the United States says he knows.
While it is true that anything can happen, Donald Trump has maintained a solid lead in the GOP primary polls and is easily favored to win the Republican Party presidential nomination. Even before he officially announced his candidacy, there has been speculation as to whom he might choose as a running mate. One thing that was obvious is that it wouldn’t be Mike Pence, who went on to run for president himself, though his campaign lasted less than six months.
In the past, we’ve heard several names floated. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y), Kari Lake (R-Ariz.), former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) were all under consideration at one point. But who is Trump planning to pick as his running mate, assuming he does win the nomination? Trump was asked about this during his Fox News town hall Wednesday evening with Martha MacCallum and Bret Baier.
“Who would be in the running for a vice president?” MacCallum asked.
“Well, I can’t tell you that, really,” Trump said before adding. “I mean, I know who it’s going to be.”
Why, Donald, you absolute tease.
Trump’s statement can be taken one of two ways.
The first would be that he knows who he wants to be his running mate and that his overwhelming ego assumes that he or she will gladly sign onto the ticket. This person has not yet been contacted by Team Trump because the boss keeps telling them that it’s a done deal once he gets on the phone (not an unreasonable assumption, by the way).
The second is that Trump has already sealed the deal with a running mate and is slow-playing it. It’s not outlandish to think that one of the most successful people in the history of reality television might want to heighten the anticipation for dramatic effect. The man does make politics interesting.
I have spent some time thinking about Trump’s potential running mates, and I’m not gonna lie: I can’t figure out the best fit. Trump has been very vocal about loyalty, which is most understandable when so many alleged and former confidantes have turned away.
Conventional wisdom dictates that the running mate is from a state the nominee needs to win. Since Donald Trump’s victory in 2016, however, conventional wisdom regarding United States presidential elections has been almost nonexistent. The talent pool for this metric is also quite small when you factor in that he needs Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan to upset the Magic Mail-In Ballot Machine apple cart.
Trump’s loyalty litmus test has no doubt ruled out a lot of people. In elections past, contentious primary opponents could get over whatever acrimony there was in the primaries and move forward together for the general election. Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush are perfect examples of this. As we are all aware, however, 1980 acrimony and 2024 acrimony are two very different things.
Until recently, Nikki Haley has been mentioned as a very likely running mate for Trump. She was never a good fit but is almost certainly out of the running since Trump and the Truth Social cheerleaders began promoting an insane Haley birther theory.