Even before Donald Trump announced his intention to run for president again in 2024, there has been wide speculation as to whom he might choose as his running mate. Obviously, it won’t be Mike Pence. In May of last year, rumors were that Trump had already settled on a potential running mate.
CNN reported at the time that sources close to Trump said that Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y) had caught his eye, and that “conversations about adding Stefanik to a future Trump ticket have gained steam in recent weeks at Mar-a-Lago and in other Republican circles.”
But since then, another name has been floated as a likely candidate: Kari Lake (R-Ariz.), who was at Mar-a-Lago with Trump back in November, sparking rumors that she is under consideration as a running mate as well. “Lake was frequently discussed as a potential vice-presidential pick for Trump, although she maintained on the campaign trail that she intended to serve a full term as governor if elected,” the Washington Post reported at the time.
Despite the widespread election irregularities that plagued Maricopa County, Ariz., Lake’s ongoing lawsuit won’t reverse the results of the election, so she can either wait three years to try another campaign or wait one year and either run for the U.S. Senate or join Trump’s presidential ticket — should he win the GOP primary.
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I was as impressed as anyone over Kari Lake’s candidacy — particularly how she handled the biased mainstream media. But I’m not sold on her being Trump’s running mate. Here’s why.
What made Mike Pence a great pick for Trump in 2016 was how well he balanced the ticket. Trump was a New York businessman without any experience in the public sector, while Pence was a former congressman and governor from Indiana. They were geographically, stylistically, and culturally opposites of each other. If you doubted Trump’s conservative credentials in 2016 and believed him to be a New York liberal in disguise, Mike Pence made it a lot easier for you to vote for him. Kari Lake is the female equivalent of Trump and does little to balance the ticket, save for geography. She is part of the MAGA brand, and Trump is more likely to benefit more by picking someone who is not to help appeal to the independent voters who will decide the election.
I also see Kari Lake as being far more important to save Arizona from being destroyed by the Democratic Party. Her efforts to expose the fraud and irregularities in the last election may be crucial to getting these issues fixed, and she would be far more effective in remaining focused on Arizona than being a fairly powerless vice president, who, unless there’s an evenly divided Senate, won’t have much to do. Kari Lake has a lot to contribute to the Republican Party, and I think her efforts are best served at the moment to save Arizona from being turned into a blue state.