Former President Trump is said to be heavily considering a female Vice President running mate, and many are speculating that his potential pick may be former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake. According to Axios, Trump is reported to be polling very poorly in the white suburban women category — many predict choosing a popular female conservative such as Lake may significantly bolster his chances at recapturing the demographic. Lake has been outspoken in her support of the former President, and she carries a unique personality that captivated many in the 2022 elections. While Lake being picked as Trump’s VP is not a done deal, experts are stating that she may be his best bet at boosting his momentum and popularity going into the primaries.
By Mike Allen; March 7, 2023
Why it matters: Trump is already gaming out the general election in November 2024 — and knows he has a massive weakness with the white suburban women he would need to beat President Biden.
Lake, a former TV anchor who lost her race for Arizona governor in November, meets Trump’s most important qualification for a No. 2:
- She has shown she’s willing to defend him vociferously, no matter the issue or controversy.
- But Trump friends say Lake carries a big downside: He wants no risk that his running mate could outshine him. Lake would be assumed to be angling for president from the day she entered the White House. She made a political trip to Iowa last month.
- And, of course, losing her winnable governor’s race (which she challenged) hurts her mojo.
Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung said: “Anyone who thinks they know what President Trump is going to do is seriously misinformed and trying to curry favor with ‘potential’ V.P. candidates.”
- “President Trump will choose his running mate on his own time, and those who are playing the media game are doing so at their own peril.”
Between the lines: The characteristics Trump is most looking for are, ironically, quite like former Vice President Mike Pence, with whom he’s no longer on speaking terms.
- Trump wants someone who is unfailingly loyal — and bland enough that they don’t steal any spotlight.
Some close to Trump think Nikki Haley — former South Carolina governor and his ambassador to the U.N. — might be the best fit.
- She’s his best-known declared opponent for the GOP nomination. He calculates she doesn’t take a single vote from him.
Another strong fit might be Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who was Trump’s White House press secretary.
- Trump recently asked her for an endorsement in the presidential race and she demurred, as the N.Y. Times’ Maggie Haberman reported.
- But Sanders left an opening to embrace Trump if he looks like a winner.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem also is frequently mentioned by Trump confidants as having strong veep potential.
Photo: Nathan Howard/Reuters