Why Vivek Ramaswamy should be Trump’s vice president

This week, former president Donald Trump made news when he suggested that he would be open to having Tucker Carlson as his vice president.  In a previous late September speech to Michigan auto workers, Mr. Trump indicated that he did not see a potential vice presidential candidate among the current crop of rivals running against him in the GOP primary.  With all due deference to Mr. Trump, I believe there is one clear choice who stands out above not just the primary candidates, but also any other candidates, and that person is Vivek Ramaswamy.

Is it because Mr. Ramaswamy is young, energetic, and charismatic and has a number of new ideas?  Well, that certainly helps, but the real reason for choosing him comes down to, at the risk of sounding racist...math.

Donald Trump will enter the general election season with a lock on 233 electoral votes.  He will win a supermajority of states in the South, the Mountain West, and the agricultural Midwest.  This means that in order to achieve the 270 votes necessary to win the presidency, he will need to win just three additional swing states: Wisconsin, Arizona, and Georgia.  This is where Vivek comes into play.

Trump lost Georgia in 2020 by approximately 12,000 votes, so he needs to...ahem...find those votes among the population in 2024.  Now, it just so happens that the city of Atlanta is home to approximately 140,000 people of Indian descent, of which almost 70% vote Democrat.  This means that poaching just 10% of the votes from that population would result in a Trump win in one of his three critical states.

So, were I Donald Trump, I would name Vivek Ramaswamy my V.P. pick and immediately send him to live in North Atlanta for the next eight months, where his entire job would be to stop in at every Indian restaurant, temple, clothing store, wedding, and social event and press the flesh in an Iowa-style campaign to win over that 10% (or more) population that was planning on voting Democrat.

With a personal fortune of over $600 million, Mr. Ramasway could be exceptionally generous when it comes to patronizing local businesses, donating to charities, setting up scholarships for people in the Indian community, etc., none of which would be regulated by campaign finance laws.

“But what about Nikki Haley?” you might ask.  “She’s Indian as well.”  The answer is that Nikki Haley is Indian in the same way that Ben Kingsley is, meaning that if someone didn’t tell you, you wouldn’t know it.  She doesn’t use her ethnic name, but rather goes by the Anglicized nickname “Nikki.”  She is also a Christian, which accounts for 2% of India’s religious demographics, and she’s a female in a culture that is highly patriarchal.

Likewise, Kamala Harris, who also has Indian heritage, identifies more as a black person than an Indian, as well as a Christian.  Further, her infamous interview where she talked about spending a lot of time in college smoking weed and listening to Tupac Shakur music is completely incongruent to Indian culture, which places a high value on college education.  Talk to any Indian member of the professional class about his college experience, and he will tell you about all the hard work and study he put in, not how much time he spent getting wasted.

Vivek, on the other hand, identifies as an Indian; goes by his ethnic name; and is a Hindu, by far the dominant religion in India.  He is also a successful businessman.  A large number of Atlanta’s immigrant population settled there due to the city’s burgeoning tech industry.  Who better to speak to such people on a level that they understand than Mr. Ramaswamy?  In many ways, he is what so many of them aspire to be exactly: entrepreneurs, not government drones.

If you’ve followed Mr. Trump for any period of time, you’ll notice he has a clear M.O.  He assigns an employee a low-level task, and if that person is successful, he promotes that person rapidly, in exchange for him taking credit for that person’s work.  It would be a perfect start to their professional relationship if Vivek could deliver those votes and thereby the state of Georgia, leaving his campaign with only two states to focus on.

Vivek Ramaswamy's candidacy as vice president could offer Donald Trump a strategic advantage in securing the crucial Indian-American vote in the swing state of Georgia.  His alignment with Indian culture, his business acumen, and his political freshness might just be the winning ticket for Trump's campaign.  It's a gamble, certainly, but in the high-stakes game of presidential politics, it's the bold moves that often lead to victory.  As Trump focuses his efforts on those crucial swing states, Ramaswamy could be the ace up his sleeve, turning electoral math into a winning formula.

Timothy Jankowski is the author of Financial Freedom for Kids: The Basics of Budgeting and Investment, available on Amazon.  Follow him on X @mister_irony.

Image: Vivek Ramaswamy.  Credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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