Who Will Be Trump's VP Choice? Probably No One We Expect

AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson

The Trump campaign made big news today. The campaign let it be known that they had asked for personal information from about half a dozen Republican potential VP picks, including all the frontrunners we've been hearing about for weeks.

I'm not going out on a limb in saying Trump's eventual choice for vice president will be none of these. The Associated Press reports the list includes "North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, Florida Rep. Byron Donalds, New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, and Trump’s 2016 rival-turned-cabinet member Ben Carson were also said to be on the list."

“Anyone claiming to know who or when President Trump will choose his VP is lying, unless the person is named Donald J. Trump,” Trump campaign spokesperson Brian Hughes said in a statement.

No one expects any less. That the eventual choice will be one of the named candidates is by no means a dead certainty. Donald Trump has a reputation for cracking norms and blowing up traditions to uphold. It's not too much of a stretch to think that he will surprise us all and pull someone from obscurity or perhaps even a non-politician to run with him.

The first requirement of any vice presidential candidate is that he be absolutely, lock, stock, and barrel, 100% loyal to Trump. That leaves out any candidates who would be less than MAGA fanatics. Does Rubio's opposition to Trump in 2016 matter, or does J.D. Vance's mean words about Trump make a difference? I would say yes and leave those two on the sidelines.

The second requirement is that they've got to be able to shake the money tree. And shake it hard.


Trump’s vice presidential contenders have been taking aggressive steps to distinguish themselves, such as doing interviews with national news outlets, fundraising for the former president and attending his hush money trial in New York.+

Vance, a former venture capitalist, helped to organize a Silicon Valley fundraiser that Trump will be attending on Thursday evening. Scott, who is also trying to demonstrate his fundraising abilities, is scheduled to host a June 19 donor confab in Washington that is expected to draw major contributors.

Trump has been closely monitoring what the potential picks have been doing to help his campaign, according to a person familiar with the selection process, and he has continued to ask people around him for their opinion.

Trump says he'll probably choose his running mate sometime close to the Republican National Convention in July. That leaves plenty of time for Trump to float all kinds of names to dangle in front of the media.

One thing we can be 99% sure of is that Donald Trump will not pick Nikki Haley. Even if polls show that Trump would win in a landslide with Haley, the former South Carolina governor is not going to be on the ticket.

How about a governor? Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) would make immigration the central issue of the campaign. And it would be on Trump's terms as Biden continues to validate his predecessor's immigration policies by adopting them and denying he's doing so. 

And for the sake of all the disobedient puppies in the world, let's hope Trump has forgotten about South Dakota's Kristi Noem.

With the Democrats targeting "reproductive rights" as their major focus in the coming campaign, and Kristi Noem and Nikki Haley not in the picture, how about a fellow New Yorker in Rep. Elise Stefanik?


Pros: She’s one of the party’s strongest leaders, she has the messaging that the party needs, and, not to mention, she’s a millennial and a woman. Republicans are in dire need of that kind of leadership — especially when it comes to abortion and bringing younger voters into the fold.

Cons: Stefanik’s rapid political transformation is an eyebrow raiser that’s led some to question her motivations for that shift. Stefanik has reacted strongly to that insinuation, including when it came up in a recent interview on Fox News Sunday. She’s also from New York, and won’t be able to carry the state for Trump and boost any lead over Biden.

Another point in Stefanik's favor is that Trump likes her. As for her "transformation," has anyone taken a look at pro-life Joe Biden from 20 years ago who "transformed" himself into a pro-abortion warrior in 2020?


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