Former President Donald Trump is making his third consecutive bid for the White House. But unlike the first two runs, Trump will be without former Vice President Mike Pence on the ticket, as the two are no longer cordial. Instead, Trump will need a new running mate. And rumors are suggesting Trump may be considering former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.
Apparently, as Axios reported, Trump is keen to select a female running mate. Why? Because Trump needs to solidify his support amongst white suburban female voters if he wants to dislodge President Joe Biden from the Oval Office.
Intuitively, Trump figures he can solidify the support of white suburban female voters if he assigns one to his ticket.
Enter Kari Lake. She’s on Trump’s VP shortlist – a list that seems to be exclusively female.
Kari Lake still relevant
Lake and Trump have a fair amount in common. They’re both TV personalities. They’re both MAGA subscribers. They’re both election deniers. They both ran for prominent political positions as political neophytes. They’ve both lost.
Lake differs from Trump in that she, as a former newscaster, is telegenic and eloquent. I wrote last Fall that Lake’s eloquence, when paired with MAGA rhetoric (which is typically spewed in halting, stumbling fashion from someone less attractive than Lake) would be politically potent.
Trump feels similarly, it seems, endorsing Lake full-heartedly before her gubernatorial defeat last Fall, and of course keeping her on his VP short list now. It makes sense. Lake is a Trump loyalist and Trump values loyalty. Lake is an eloquent MAGA disseminator.
Lake is the perfect vessel to bring MAGA rhetoric to white, female, suburban voters – voters who Trump repulses.
No confirmation yet
Steven Cheung, a Trump spokesperson, commented on Axios’s Trump shortlist piece, saying, “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.”
Cheung added that Trump will choose a running mate when he is ready and that anyone “playing the media game are doing so at their own peril.”
Lake, for her part, deflected speculation that she was gunning for, or being considered for, Trump’s running mate.
“I am 100 percent dedicated to serving as Arizona governor,” Lake told Fox News.
“I will also work to make sure President Trump gets back in the White House ASAP. Anything outside of those two goals is nothing but a distraction. Our best days are ahead of us, and it all starts with electing America First candidates all across this country,” Lake said.
Could Lake outshine Trump
The question has been raised: would Lake outshine Trump on the ticket? It’s possible. Trump’s stock has never been lower. He’s embroiled in investigations and lawsuits. Most Republicans appreciate Trump’s policies – but are sick of Trump the person.
Aside from the context of the moment, Lake is just an easier pill to swallow than Trump. She’s prettier. She’s younger. Her voice is more pleasant. She’s more articulate. She doesn’t have the years and years of baggage. Yet her commitment to MAGA is on par with Trump himself.
So, yes, Lake has the potential to outshine Trump on the ticket – a circumstance that would likely trouble the vainglorious former president.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison 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. Harrison listens to Dokken.