Kari Lake – Could She Be VP? The GOP presidential nominee is far from decided, but already, observers are speculating who might be chosen as a running mate.
One name that keeps coming up: Kari Lake.
Lake is a curious prospect in that she has never held political office.
And her only attempt to secure political office ended with defeat.
Nevertheless, Lake secured national attention with her bid for the Arizona governorship, and is rumored to have the eye of the GOP’s most prominent member, Donald Trump.
President before Vice President
Guessing at a vice president is hard when you don’t have a president lined up. Obviously, the calculations change entirely based on who is at the head of the ticket. Different presidential candidates have different needs with respect to demography, geography, ideology, demeanor, and so on.
The rule of thumb is that you don’t want to have redundancies; a white, male candidate from Florida probably doesn’t want to run alongside white, male candidate from Florida – as the two likely appeal to the same voters and the idea in picking a vice president is to broaden the appeal of the ticket.
The nice thing Kari Lake has going for her, is that she’s not going to be redundant with any of the prospective GOP nominees. Lake is a former TV anchor turned aspiring politician. She’s a woman, and she’s from Arizona. So, on paper, Lake is distinct from all viable candidates (Trump, DeSantis, Haley, Pence, Scott).
Instead, what could dictate Lake’s trajectory for the 2024 election, is her ideology. She’s a MAGA zealot. So, the question will be if a MAGA candidate secures the ticket, will he double down with a MAGA-oriented VP, or will he use the VP slot to curry favor amongst moderates? Similarly, if a mainstream Republican secures the nomination, will that person select a MAGA VP in order to court the portion of the party who will likely feel disenfranchised after a Trump/DeSantis primary defeat?
Lake as VP
Lake’s best shot at the vice presidency is a Donald Trump ticket. It’s hard to imagine politicians who take themselves as seriously as Haley and Pence selecting someone like Lake. Tim Scott, meanwhile, is running an anti-Trump campaign based in optimistic and traditional rhetoric. Accordingly, Scott will not be bringing in a MAGA flamethrower; doing so would undermine the entire ethos of his campaign.
Could Ron DeSantis select Lake as VP? Possibly. DeSantis is running a “Trump without the drama” campaign and Lake has a “Trump in a refined package” sort of thing going on. It could be a fit.
But Lake’s best shot at the vice presidency comes from Donald Trump. If Trump can secure his third consecutive GOP nomination, he will reportedly select a woman as running mate. That would likely put Lake on a very short list – a list that also includes Marjorie Taylor Green, who is what the French call les incompetent – meaning Lake would actually have a chance.
Lake is a terrible option for VP
To be clear, Kari Lake is a terrible option for Vice President of the United States. Lake has zero governing experience. And I know, Trump had zero governing experience, too, before he took office. But at least he had some, like, management experience. And either way, Trump wasn’t exactly a smooth operator in office.
We, as a people, deserve better than having Kari Lake backing up an octogenarian 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.