Trump's Ideal Female Running Mate

The duties of the vice president (V.P.) have changed dramatically over time.  From 1789 through the 1950s, the V.P.'s primary duty was to preside over the Senate.  Today, V.P.s have become far more involved in the administrative process.  They serve as principal advisers to the president, are expected to support and advance the policies and legislative agenda of the president, attend Cabinet meetings, and advise the president on a wide variety of issues.  The V.P. position is a stepping stone to the presidency.

Until 1992, when Bill Clinton selected Al Gore for his experience, competence, and compatibility to make him an ideal "partner" in governing, running mates were selected to "balance" the ticket geographically and/or ideologically.  Gore's successor V.P.s have played similar roles (except for the current V.P.).  Mike Pence proved to be an effective addition to the national ticket because he was perceived as an admired representative of the party's mainstream; he helped to provide some stability and dissuade Trump from some ill-advised decisions in global affairs.  On the other hand, as chair of the Coronavirus Task Force, he managed to turn the pandemic response into a re-election-killing disaster and was, on January 6, 2021, derelict in a cowardly way in his failure to exercise his constitutional duty to send back disputed elector votes to the states for recertification.  Thanks to Pence's described leadership incompetence and cowardice, we now have the V.P. anomaly of incomprehensible, Peter Principled Kamala Harris, apparently chosen solely for her gender and ethnicity.

President Trump's probable ideal criteria for a 2024 running mate:

  1. A woman (i.e., an adult born female human being).  Trump significantly underperformed with female voters in 2016, when only 41% voted for him, and only 42% did the same in 2020.  He has substantial weakness with white suburban women, single women, young women, and swing-voter women.
  2. Middle-aged (age 40 to 60 years).  Trump's V.P. would become his heir apparent and 2028 frontrunner.  There would potentially be four years of service as V.P., then eight years as president.
  3. Must be unfailingly loyal to Trump and the MAGA agenda, with a record of publicly defending him during his many travails against numerous coup d'état attempts and now pre-emptive coup d'état lawfare attempts.
  4. Does not overtly seek media attention; will not outshine him.
  5. Perceived by voters as a moderating influence on Trump's impolitic impulses and relative political inexperience.
  6. Has leadership roles as U.S. senator, representative, or governor.
  7. Appeals to moderates, independents, swing voters, and voters outside Trump's base or who have left the GOP.
  8. Has business world/entrepreneurship or military command position experience.
  9. Will help with the essential counterrevolutionary reforms, especially the disempowerment and dismantling of the Administrative and Deep States, and the advancement of Trump's legislative agenda through Congress.

Let's narrow the field down to the three female politicians who most closely match the ideal Trump criteria.  (Others like Gov. Kim Reynolds, Sen. Marsha Blackburn, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Rep. Nancy Mace, Rep. Lauren Boebert, Nikki Haley, and Kari Lake were considered but eliminated after being vetted for the ideal V.P. criteria.)

Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota:

• Born November 30, 1971; wife, mother of three, grandmother of two.

• When her father was killed in a farm machinery accident in 1994, she left college to run the family farm, to which she added a hunting lodge and restaurant; earned a political science degree while serving in Congress.

• In 2010, after serving two terms (the second as assistant majority leader) as a member of the S.D. House, she was elected for four terms as South Dakota's well respected representative to the U.S. House.

• Elected as S.D. governor in 2018 and re-elected in 2022 with the largest vote total in S.D. history.

• Has a proven record of effectiveness as S.D. governor; resisted shutting down her state during the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Is a fighter but will not overshadow Trump.

• Has passed Trump's loyalty test; is committed to supporting and defending him.

• Could help Trump shore up the religious conservative demographic and, as a Midwestern farm girl, could boost GOP efforts in battleground states with large rural populations.

• Endorsed Trump for 2024.

Representative Elise Stefanik of New York:

Born July 2, 1984; married with one child.

• Prior to serving in Congress, she worked in her family's business and graduated with honors from Harvard with a B.S. in government.

• From 2006 to 2009, she served on Pres. George W. Bush's Domestic Policy Council staff and in the Office of the Chief of Staff, where she assisted in overseeing the policy development process and economic and domestic policy issues.  She helped to prepare the 2012 Republican Party platform.

• Currently represents N.Y.'s 21st District in her fifth term

• Is a member of the Committees of House Armed Services, Education and the Workforce, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.

• She is the third ranking House Republican as chair of the House Republican Conference.

• The Center for Effective Lawmaking ranked her in the top ten most effective Republican members and number-one most effective for commerce policy impacting small businesses and workers.

• Is a Trump loyalist and MAGA true believer, talking to Trump on a weekly basis.

• Endorsed Trump for 2024.

Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa:

• Born July 1, 1970; has one daughter who is a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

• Served 23 years in the National Guard (retired as lieutenant colonel) and is an Iraq War combat veteran; served as the commanding officer in two different military units.

• Was the Montgomery County, Iowa auditor and then Iowa Senate member; U.S. senator since 2015.

• On the Senate Committees of Armed Services; Small Business and Entrepreneurship; Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.

• On Caucuses of Abraham Accords (as co-founder and co-chair), Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues, Congressional Veterans Caucus, Republican Main Street Partnership.

• Is the chair of the Senate Republican Policy Committee and was vice chair of the Republican Conference; she is the number-four GOP leader.

• Appeals to voters across the Republican spectrum.

• Has been a Trump ally and defender with sustained public support for Trump's policies.

• Has not endorsed Trump or any other candidate for 2024.

Senator Ernst seems to be the best choice, but the current status of the Trump-Ernst political relationship is uncertain.  Trump currently has a tenuous relationship with Iowa's Republican Party leadership.  Iowa governor Kim Reynolds leans toward Ron DeSantis.

Do the GOPe (GOP Establishment) really want to win, or is their real goal to remove the threat to their Uniparty power, control, and money (even if they remain subordinated to the Dems) as represented by Trump and his MAGA supporters?  Is there any way to take our country back other than a reformative counterrevolution led by Trump and a MAGA administration?

Image: Kristi Noem.  Credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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