Kari Lake: A Trumpian Tragedy – She was one of the most dynamic individuals to run for higher office in the 2022 Midterm elections.
A former Emmy award-winning news anchor from Phoenix, Arizona, Kari Lake was a former Democrat (like almost everyone else in the news media) who had praised former President Barack Obama repeatedly while the forty-fourth president was in office.
Lake then took a hard right turn (good for her) when Donald J. Trump became president.
Ultimately, Kari Lake decided to run for the governorship of Arizona in 2022. Like the campaigns of Donald Trump, her campaign was full of sound and thunder, generating much controversy—and international media buzz—that resulted in her electoral defeat.
Just as with Trump in the 2020 Presidential Election, Lake refused to acknowledge her defeat and challenged the outcome in the courts. And like Trump in 2020, Kari Lake lost her legal battles challenging the election results from that year.
Today, Kari Lake is still floating around the media ether, raging about how her election was stolen away from her, reminding audiences that she could very well be Donald Trump’s female clone, and chastising Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis for daring to challenge Lake’s Spirit Animal, Trump.
Yet, Kari Lake, who was once a widely-respected, serious person, has now become a bit of a crank in the eyes of many people. She has proven she cannot win an election in her own state where she was a minor celebrity.
Lake laid the Trumpian act on thick throughout her campaign and she failed to achieve victory.
Saying that there were election irregularities and proving that in a court of law are two different things, as Lake discovered when her legal battles challenging the election in 2022 in Arizona failed. And if one cannot prove these radical claims in a court of law, then one should likely not make such accusations if they are seeking to one day return to politics.
Make no mistake: Kari Lake is very much interested in returning to politics. It’s just that she’s gone about it bizarrely.
Where Kari Lake Should Have Gone
What should have happened after her defeat, was Lake should have accepted the results of the election, and then gone to work on laying the groundwork for her next campaign.
The woman who defeated Lake is not capable of doing anything truly successful as Arizona’s governor. Her time in office will likely be short and unimpressive.
Lake could have positioned herself for the next election as the “See, I Told You So” candidate. Instead, many voters were turned off by her antics.
US Army General George S. Patton is reported to have once said that “Americans love a winner” and by default they hate a loser. Americans hate a whiner more.
Sadly, Kari Lake, an articulate, attractive, and smart woman who had a large media presence in the state she sought to be governor of, threw that away by whining about the election outcome.
Undeterred both by her electoral defeat and subsequent self-imposed humiliation, Lake is now fancying herself as a potential vice-presidential nominee for Donald Trump’s potential victory in what is shaping up to be a brutal Republican Party primary in 2024.
Certainly, former President Donald J. Trump loves Kari Lake. He’s said as much repeatedly. Trump supported Lake like he has supported few others. The two seemed simpatico in every way.
Plus, we know from years of the former president running his business in Manhattan that he preferred empowering women and having women in the roles of his most powerful and trusted executives. Trump tends to work better with women, too. Especially headstrong women, like Kari Lake.
Kari Lake is a One-Trick Pony
Kari Lake resonates well with the MAGA base of voters. Again, she is Trump in female form. But, Lake is a loser. And, like Trump, Lake does horribly among independent voters and she probably will do poorly with female voters as well.
Thus, she makes little sense for a possible number two slot on Trump’s 2024 campaign.
It is hard to believe that this is where Kari Lake has fallen to. A promising, upstart Republican candidate who was tough, articulate, and appealing to many voters made her the candidate to watch out for in 2022.
What few on the Right recognized, though, was just how badly the Trumpian political bomb throwing that Lake had mastered was insufficient to win the Arizona voters over. In recent years, Arizona has become an increasingly contested state. There are many independents there. Lake lost them bigly.
Trump is already losing independent voters by 14 points in a head-to-head match-up against President Joe Biden. If he were to again be the GOP nominee, Trump would need someone who could possibly bring at least some of those independents back into Trump’s orange fold.
But Kari Lake is the worst possible choice to do that. Unfortunately, all that Trump seems to know to do is how to double-down on his previously failed strategy of resonating with the specific MAGA-type voters—his base.
But national elections are not won alone with the base. And picking someone like Lake, who only appeals to that same base, as his number two is a waste.
Both Trump and Lake are entertainers. Trump used his background in entertainment to devastating effect in the 2016 Presidential Election. In the succeeding elections that Trump was part of, though, it did little to enhance his standing.
Kari Lake’s showmanship was also insufficient to secure for her the governor’s mansion of Arizona.
There’s a pattern here that the MAGA wing of the GOP has yet to rectify: they say they love the Trump-Lake axis of politicians. Yet, these two individuals have a demonstrated history of being unable to win elections.
A Promise Unkept
Kari Lake was one of the most promising 2022 Republican candidates.
She was, quite frankly, the light that failed.
And she lost entirely because of her own obsession with appealing to Trump and his MAGA base while ignoring the rest of the electorate in her state. Lake is incapable of learning from this lesson.
Maybe, if Trump is the nominee and he picks Lake as his vice-president, somehow the two of them get lucky against Biden-Harris and manage to defeat the forty-sixth president.
But, barring the total collapse of the United States’ economy or the initiation of the Third World War (which, may happen soon), a Trump-Lake ticket is more likely to remind voters how scared they are of the Republican ticket when compared to the so-called “stability” of “Sleepy” Joe Biden.
Kari Lake is a Trumpian tragedy; she got ahead of herself in a bad way and was unable to step back and regroup to strike back in a better fashion.
Now, like Trump, Lake is stuck. Another election will not serve either Lake or the GOP well.
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A 19FortyFive Senior Editor, Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (Encounter Books), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (July 23). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.