OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Former President Donald Trump is once again the clear frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination, but since he’s not an incumbent this time around, he’ll need to select another running mate should he become the party’s standard bearer next year.
And this time, the choice will be even more crucial.
“This time Trump’s calculus will be much different than it was during his last two campaigns,” New York Magazine’s Intelligencer column noted this week. “Unlike in 2016, he can pretty much choose whoever he wants (within reason). Assuming the primary continues on its current trajectory, he will owe his nomination to no particular party faction; that means there’s no significant bloc of intraparty opposition that he must appease the way conservative evangelicals needed to be placated with Mike Pence.”
“Trump also has to think about his legacy. Since he’s limited to two terms, his veep will be the prohibitive front-runner in 2028 if Republicans win,” the column continued. “Even if they don’t take back the White House, the vice presidential choice is Trump’s best opportunity to designate a successor not only as party leader but as the chieftain of the MAGA movement.”
The former president has made several comments about potential running mates, but he has yet to make a hard-and-fast determination. Still, there has been a great deal of speculation that he will choose a woman, and, according to the political handicapping website FiveThirtyEight, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is high on his list.
“On the surface, she is very similar to Sarah Palin because she is relatively young, doesn’t shy away from talking about her family, and talks about hunting and other outdoorsy recreation to buck some of the feminine stereotypes that plague women in politics. Palin didn’t end up being a good choice for John McCain. But I agree Noem is someone Trump would pick,” the website noted.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) is also apparently weighing her options as she considers her next political career move.
According to the Daily Caller, Greene is said to be contemplating whether to become former President Donald Trump’s 2024 running mate or make a bid for the U.S. Senate in 2026.
The outlet also said she has yet to decide whether to run against Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) or perhaps take a Cabinet position within a new Trump administration.
She said it would be “an honor” to be Trump’s veep choice, adding she’d consider being his running mate “very, very heavily.”
“I haven’t made up my mind whether I will do that or not,” Greene said, according to the paper. “I have a lot of things to think about. Am I going to be a part of President Trump’s Cabinet if he wins? Is it possible that I’ll be VP?”
Greene additionally criticized Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who has fueled speculation about a potential Senate bid in 2026, over his response to the fourth indictment of Trump, which stemmed from charges filed by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.
Alternately, Florida Republican Rep. Byron Donalds gave a strong hint earlier this month that he wouldn’t mind being former Trump’s running mate.
“Concerning being potentially on the ticket. That’s really up to the president,” Donalds told Fox News host Maria Bartiromo. “I have no control over that.
“The only thing I’ll say is I just want to do whatever I can to get our country on track. That’s what I’ve always been committed to. So no matter what the role is, it’s about getting our country back on track,” he added.
Trump recently indicated that he does not see much potential for a running mate among the current crop of Republican candidates contending for the 2024 nomination.