Amid a recent report that Trump is telling friends that he plans to run again for president in 2024, the talk is apparently serious enough that his close confidantes are also already looking into possible vice presidential running mates.
While conventional wisdom says that should Trump run, he will walk into the 2024 Republican nomination, there is still the matter of choosing a running mate who can energize the base and beat whatever Democrat ticket emerges.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Politico reports that former VP Mike Pence is not among the possible contenders.
So who is?
Donald Trump has made no formal announcements, and will most likely not do so until after the 2022 midterm elections.
There is also no official vetting process underway, but while the speculation begins, one thing is all but certain: Former Vice President Mike Pence will not be on the ticket.
One Trump advisor, when asked if there was a chance Pence might be the number two on the ticket again replied, “zero.”
Politico reports that many Trump supporters continue to be angry with Pence and his decision to certify the 2020 election. Pence has also been a guest speaker at several conservative events in recent months where he has gotten a chilly reception.
So who might some of the serious contenders for the number two spot should Donald Trump decide to run be?
Currently, the list reportedly includes Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, former Sec. of State Mike Pompeo, and Senators Tim Scott, Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, and Josh Hawley.
Gov. Ron DeSantis is a former Florida congressman, a popular governor, and Trump ally. He is absolutely a rising star among conservatives for his tough talk with the media and for his handling of the pandemic in the Sunshine State.
DeSantis even beat Trump in a recent poll of conservative activists at the Western Conservative Summit.
DeSantis has urged police officers to seek employment in Florida because they will be supported there, and has demanded that President Joe Biden help Cubans who are protesting the communist regime in that nation.
DeSantis is certainly the current runner-up, though we are a long way from 2024.
Gov. Kristi Noem made a misstep recently when she failed to sign a ban on biological men playing on girls’ sports teams in South Dakota. (She later signed an executive order.)
She is also a friend to Donald Trump, and called out the hypocrisy of the Biden administration for refusing a permit for a fireworks display at Mt. Rushmore while having one at the White House.
Noem also recently sent South Dakota National Guard troops to assist Border Patrol agents in Texas.
She earned major kudos among conservatives for her refusal to lockdown her state during the pandemic.
Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley is also a former Governor of South Carolina.
Immediately following the Jan. 6 riot, she did not have good things to say about Trump and appeared to be distancing herself from him, saying that the party should not have listened to or followed him.
That backfired when in February, she requested a meeting with Trump at Mar-A-Lago and was turned down. She recently called on every state governor to ban critical race theory.
Former Sec. of State Mike Pompeo became the nation’s top diplomat under President Donald Trump in 2018. Prior to being Secretary of State, he served in Congress from Kansas’ fourth congressional district.
While in Congress he served on the House Intelligence committee, Energy and Commerce committee, and the House Select Committee on Benghazi.
Completing the current list of possibles, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina was first appointed to the Senate by Gov. Nikki Haley to fill the seat of Jim DeMint. He later won election to the seat.
Even though Trump did well with minority voters in 2020, Scott would have the power to perhaps increase black votes for the ticket, and was a strong Senate lead for the President’s criminal justice reform efforts.
Former opponent to Trump, Ted Cruz of Texas would be a strong voice for border security, and may still have presidential aspirations.
Sen. Tom Cotton is serving his second term in the Senate, and is a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. He would be a strong voice for the military and for veterans.
Freshman Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri burst onto the political scene as Missouri Attorney General and has made noise for his populist views.
He has been a strong leader in the war against big tech and censorship. However one negative for him may be lack of experience.
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