Amber Duke

Meet the women vying to be Trump’s running mate

Photo-illustration: Lukas Degutis (Getty)

‘Ibelieve President Trump will have a female vice-president,’ said Donald Trump’s former strategist Steve Bannon in a recent interview. He was echoing the thoughts of many of those close to the probable 2024 Republican nominee. Mr Trump himself has said that he likes ‘the concept’ of choosing a female VP. Happily for him, there is no shortage of Republican women auditioning for the role of best supporting actress. The second season of The Golden Bachelor is coming sooner than anticipated.

Kari Lake, the former TV newscaster turned politician, won the Conservative Political Action Committee’s (CPAC) straw poll for the VP slot last spring. Lake demurred at the time, as she was in the midst of a legal challenge against her defeat in the 2022 Arizona gubernatorial race. After several failed lawsuits, however, she spent a conspicuous amount of time at Trump’s Florida club. According to several reports, Lake took up temporary residence at Mar-a-Lago and was seen ‘schmoozing’ guests. Then, during a family vacation to the Bahamas, she was photographed wrapped in a Trump-themed inflatable. The dirty secret, though, is that as much as Trump loves loyalty, he doesn’t respect an ass-kisser. Trump advisers whispered to the media that the former president was turned off by her ‘shameless’ behaviour and ‘sees through her gambit’. Ouch.

Next there’s South Dakota governor Kristi Noem, who endorsed Trump in September and is campaigning for him in Iowa (in lieu of the state’s governor, Kim Reynolds, who is backing Ron DeSantis). Her ambitions bigger than ever, Noem told reporters this week that she would consider being Trump’s veep if he were to win the nomination. Noem’s state was one of the first to buck Covid lockdowns, but some conservatives still feel the sting from when she vetoed legislation that would have banned biological men from competing in women’s sports.

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