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Kari Lake: The Future of the GOP?

Kari Lake
Kari Lake speaking with supporters at a "Stand for Freedom" rally at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Scottsdale Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. Credit: Gage Skidmore

Kari Lake, who represents the GOP in Arizona, hasn’t won her gubernatorial election yet. Actually, Lake has never won any election; she’s a political neophyte. Yet Republicans and Democrats alike are beginning to view Lake as a potential MAGA megastar. 

Before pivoting to politics, Lake spent about three decades working in broadcast media. The results are obvious: Lake is smooth and well-spoken, her teeth are straight, her hair is perfect. She is able to deliver her message with eloquence, packaged perfectly for social media. Now, Lake’s TV-ready polish isn’t unheard of for political candidates. JFK, Obama, Romney – they’ve all been photogenic and eloquent. What’s unique about Lake, however, is she uses her TV-quality delivery to deliver a MAGA message. Typically, when someone is promoting MAGAdom, they look like they’ve just crawled out of their mom’s basement after a marathon session of online gaming. Not Lake. She looks and sounds credible. The combination – a media pro spewing MAGA – has Democrats concerned about her potential. Similarly, the combination has Republicans salivating; Lake is even starting to garner attention as a 2024 vice presidential candidate.

David Plouffe, who orchestrated Obama’s 2008 presidential victory, rated Lake as a “plausible presidential candidate.” David Alexrod, another architect of Obama’s ‘08 win said of Lake: “If you get a candidate who has the performance skills of a major-market local TV anchor and the philosophy and thinking of Steve Bannon, that’s a potent and dangerous combination … Look at Italy.”

A ‘Trump Candidate’

Lake is beginning to garner attention from national-level Republicans, including Trump himself. It makes sense. Trump is well understood to reward loyalty and sycophantry. And Lake describes herself as a “Trump candidate.” 

Beyond being explicitly aligned with Trump, Lake has espoused deeply conservative positions. For example, Lake condemns abortions as “the ultimate sin” and supports the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision that overturned Roe v. Wade. Lake is all in favor of resuming the construction of Trump’s border wall. (So is President Biden, in case anyone is keeping score, although, Lake referred to Biden’s agenda as “demonic”). Lake believes that illegal immigrants, apprehended in her home state of Arizona, should be deported without federal oversight. 

Lake opposes legislation that would create non-discrimination protections for citizens based on sexual orientation and gender identity. She has also said that if elected governor, she would not “recognize” federal gun laws. 

All of Lake’s positions are concerning to Democrats. But perhaps above all, Democrats are concerned with Lake’s promotion of the idea that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump. In fact, 2020 election “fraud” is a central tenet of Lake’s gubernatorial campaign – and one of the reasons Trump has taken a keen interest in the broadcaster-turned-politician. 

With respect to election-related rhetoric, Lake has been extreme: she falsely claimed that Biden did not receive 81 million votes in the 2020 presidential election; she claimed that Trump, not Biden, won the state of Arizona in 2020; she demanded that the 2020 election be “decertified” (which is not a real procedure); she has endorsed the idea that Democrats use mail-in ballots to “rig” elections. Lake has even advocated for the imprisonment of her gubernatorial opponent, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, on the premise of unfounded claims that Hobbs committed criminal acts related to the 2020 election.  

Lake’s message – and the delivery mechanism – have GOP donors swooning. “RGA officials have made clear they are prepared to spend aggressively to get Lake across the finish line,” Axios reported

Asked whether she was eyeing a vice presidential bid, Lake responded that she was “going to serve eight years as Governor of Arizona,” Sarah Palin, who may be the closest thing we have to a Lake analog in modern politics, made similar promises – to fulfill her tenure as Governor of Alaska. She reneged, of course, gravitating instead towards the national political and media scenes, and drawing the wrath of her constituents in the process. 

Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, he joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. He lives in Oregon and listens to Dokken. Follow him on Twitter @harrison_kass.

Written By

Harrison Kass is a Senior Defense Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, he joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison has degrees from Lake Forest College, the University of Oregon School of Law, and New York University’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. He lives in Oregon and regularly listens to Dokken.



  1. Him

    October 25, 2022 at 12:27 pm

    Harrison, rather than participating in the tactic of saying it’s a lie that the 2020 Election was stolen, why not be an investigative journalist – see what points the Right Wing regard as evidence – and rebut it. Go into the details of the technological tests that scrutinised the paper fibers of the ballots, and how the tests showed the markings on the ballots had been printed by a printer, rather than written by hand. And then find out why that evidence got bottle-necked at the office of the Arizona Attorney General, beholden to the whim of one person whether charges would be brought. Why not write something that stands out from the Far Left herd?

  2. Dr. Scooter Van Neuter

    October 25, 2022 at 1:40 pm

    While she obviously has no experience, Lake is a pitbull, unwilling to cower before the woke crowd when it comes to voting integrity, school curriculum, and the border crisis. There absolutely was 2020 voting malfeasance in Arizona (as well as evidence in prior elections) and Lake is unafraid to say so despite major media’s continuing efforts to deny it. Her tenacity is much needed in our state.

  3. Tamerlane

    October 25, 2022 at 4:34 pm

    Arizona loves her, and she’ll be the next governor. She’s an America first candidate—something one would hope any and every candidate would be. Right down the list she is rock solid, and will uphold our constitution and defend the state from invasion.

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