Donald Trump’s third run for the president has been unusually quiet so far, but his advisers are hoping that suggesting potential running mates would jolt him out of his slumber.
Two sources who have spoken to Trump and a GOP strategist who is familiar with the conversations say that Trump and his inner circle have been tossing names for an entirely premature veepstakes, despite the fact that the former president’s campaign has yet to make many hires in early primary states or even leave Florida to do any actual campaigning.
What links all of Trump’s possible vice presidential picks together? They are all females.
Representatives Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) have been mentioned, with a third possible candidate, Tulsi Gabbard, beginning to irritate some in Trumpworld.
A close Trump associate has said that Trump has taken notice of the Fox News contributor and former Democratic congresswoman during her appearances on the network, particularly when she has stood in for top-rated anchor Tucker Carlson.
Some members of the MAGA faithful were first confused by the Gabbard talk since it bears all the signs of a Trumpian trial balloon, but those who have supported Tulsi for a while found it less of a surprise.
Friends like Eric Jackman, who was one of Gabbard’s first surrogates in New Hampshire for her 2020 run, say that independent voters often want a Trump-Gabbard ticket. Others, though, imagine her running with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
For people “of the 9/11 age, served in the military, and would be extremely cautious to provide advice to a commander-in-chief to go attack or overturn another nation,” as Jackman put it, Gabbard’s past will ring true.
Depending on the Democratic nominee, he said he would be fine with Gabbard sharing the ticket with Trump or another Republican.
Personally, I hope she ends up at the top of the ticket, as Jackman put it. Tulsi Gabbard supporters, in the author’s experience, are “very past partisan politics, they don’t like partisanship, they don’t like to be pinned down by a label,” but “if it meant her at the top of the ticket with another Republican—yeah, you know, my experience is that Tulsi Gabbard supporters are very past partisan politics.”
One Republican strategist likened Trump’s selection of Gabbard to former President Joe Biden’s decision to replace Vice President Kamala Harris with former Republican Representatives. It’s either Liz Cheney or Adam Kinzinger.
The strategist said, “Sure, they stand up for you on certain subjects, but they despise you on everything else.” Cool, but we can’t give anything right now.
Supporters of Stefanik cite her dedication to President Trump during the impeachment process, the January 6 uprising, and her backing of his 2024 presidential bid as evidence of her dedication to him. They made a point of the fact that she was the first member of the House GOP leadership to publicly back Trump in 2024.
In any case, the unofficial shortlist isn’t exactly short, with approximately two years till voting day.
According to the GOP strategist privy on the talks, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake are also in the running, albeit on the fringes. Critics in Trumpworld say Lake has leadership experience and appeals to centrist voters, but she can spin any topic around to focus on election conspiracy theories.
The strategist also explained that Trump’s current consideration of exclusively women is no coincidence.
The GOP operative said, “You have to think about how you win suburban women and how you win battleground districts.”
Another Trump official expressed concern that Greene would even overshadow Trump, saying that she regularly received more applause from MAGA rally crowds than any other inaugural speaker because of how well she connected with the base.
A member of the Trump inner circle described her as “Trump in heels.” A source claimed Greene and Trump communicate “all the time,” and the congresswoman was seen holding up her phone with the former president on the line during last week’s contentious vote to confirm Kevin McCarthy as speaker.
But Greene has paid a price for her newfound loyalty to McCarthy: right-wing commentators have started assaulting her with sexist comments, most notably radio personality Sebastian Gorka, who recently retweeted a video suggesting Greene was in a sexual connection with McCarthy. (When contacted for a response, Gorka insulted a Daily Beast reporter instead of answering their questions.) Many in Trumpworld saw that Gorka shared a video implying a tie between Greene and McCarthy (R-CA), and they asked why he was going for Greene, a loyal Trump supporter.
The same insider from Trumpworld said, “Her manner is much like Trump,” and added that Greene is still ready to face down detractors on the left and the right.
While Trump has been holed up at Mar-a-Lago since leaving office, Greene’s position among Trump’s inner circle has only grown stronger. The congresswoman has become a regular sight at his MAGA rallies, where she stays in the press pen to provide exclusive interviews to Right Side Broadcasting, a YouTube site that broadcasts the events live to a viewership of 1.57 million.
Trump invited the congresswoman and Tucker Carlson, a major figure at Fox News, to his Bedminster club to watch a LIV golf tournament back in August. A source there said that the shout “MTG for VP” was heard when Trump was with Greene.
The GOP strategist warned that “Trump realized that you can’t choose Pence and Haleys who represent the establishment.”
Multiple attempts for a response from the Daily Beast were ignored by a representative for Trump’s campaign.
However, one need not strive to outdo Trump in order to succeed in this position.
He is “MAGA,” the strategist claimed. In order to win crucial swing states, you need a supporter who is both devoted and capable of raising money.