President Donald Trump, currently the frontrunner in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, has recently stoked the embers of speculation about his potential choice for a vice-presidential running mate. In an NBC News interview this week, Trump revealed that he “likes the concept” of picking a woman but maintained he would select “the best person.”
Although the former President says he hasn’t given it too much thought, he didn’t hesitate to offer high praise for several Republican women in the spotlight. Among them, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) stands out. She was highlighted by Trump for her “full-throated endorsement” at a recent rally in South Dakota.
“She’s been a great governor. She gave me a very full-throated endorsement, a beautiful endorsement, actually. And, you know, it’s been a very good state for me. And certainly, she’d be one of the people I’d consider, or for something else maybe,” Trump said about Noem.
— New York Post (@nypost) September 16, 2023
It’s not just Noem who’s caught Trump’s eye. Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) and former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake are also in the conversation. Huckabee Sanders, a strong Trump ally, served as his press secretary and successfully won her gubernatorial race in Arkansas last year. Despite losing the highly controversial Arizona governor’s race, Lake remains a frequent Trump surrogate.
Trump’s inclination to consider a female running mate appears calculated but still open-ended. It aligns with a broader sense that the Republican Party is becoming more inclusive while staying anchored in its conservative principles. But Trump remains laser-focused on winning the presidency again, not just shaking up his ticket for the sake of it.
The 45th President’s potential picks are all seasoned political figures. They’ve shown resilience, a firm stance on conservative policies and have developed strong support bases, making them serious contenders for the vice presidential slot or other significant roles.
Trump also took a moment to address concerns about his cognitive health, suggesting he would be open to taking another cognitive test. This is in light of criticisms aimed at Joe Biden’s competency. “I frankly think testing would be a good thing,” Trump stated, distancing himself from the notion that age alone defines capability for the office. “I don’t think Biden’s too old,” he said, “But I think he’s incompetent, and that’s a bigger problem.”
Trump’s latest comments do more than add to speculation — they offer a glimpse into the strategy and considerations at play for a man who continues to dominate Republican politics. It’s a calculated game of chess, and Trump seems poised to make moves that could, once again, reshape the American political landscape.