OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former President Donald Trump has yet to announce a running mate for his 2024 campaign but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t settled on someone. Previous reporting claimed that the 45th president would likely choose a female running mate and several names have been mentioned.
But one of those names — former Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake — is such a frequent visitor to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida that she is being described as “practically living” there.
“Kari Lake is there all the time,” an unnamed source told People magazine. “There’s a suite there that she practically lives in.”
However, a spokesperson for Lake denied that there was anything to those rumors.
“Kari Lake often speaks at events all over the country in support of America First candidates and organizations; and when she does have the honor of being invited to speak at the beautiful Mar-a-Lago, she overnights at Hilton properties in Palm Beach with her loving husband of 25 years,” said a statement from a Lake adviser to People.
“No candidates have publicly announced their intent to be Trump’s VP, but the former president has indicated that ‘a lot of people’ are ‘auditioning’ behind the scenes. Trump insiders told the Caller that although there haven’t been any formal discussions to narrow down the pool, there are a set of characteristics that will likely be considered,” the Daily Caller reported earlier this spring.
Trump/Lake 2024 🇺🇸 !https://t.co/jPfAVFNmPl
— DINO (@DinoFJD) June 21, 2023
A recent Politico report stated that an unnamed Trump adviser said the 45th president is likely to choose a running mate “from three general lanes of candidates: women, conservatives of color, or a trusted adviser.”
And, according to a separate report from the Washington Examiner, four Republican women could be high on Trump’s shortlist: South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Lake.
The Washington Examiner added:
Sanders, the youngest governor in the United States and the longest-tenured press secretary in the Trump White House, flew up political draft boards after she delivered what Trump supporters agree was an “exceptionally strong” response to Biden’s State of the Union on Feb. 7.
Noem was elected as South Dakota’s first female governor in 2018 after spending more than a decade in the House of Representatives and has made a name for herself as a leading Republican lawmaker in the so-called “culture wars.”
Stefanik, the current chairwoman of the House GOP conference, was elected as a centrist Republican in 2015 but, after serving on the president’s defense team during his first impeachment, has shifted increasingly to the right. She frequently touts her strong ties to Trump and even endorsed his 2024 run days before he announced his candidacy.
Lake is perhaps the strangest potential pick and one many current and former Trump advisers hope he avoids. The former Phoenix-area news anchor lost her Trump-endorsed 2022 gubernatorial bid against Democrat Katie Hobbs, but she only further endeared herself to the former president by repeatedly claiming that widespread fraud occurred in the 2020 election.
One name not mentioned in the Washinton Examiner report is Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.
Some unconventional names have been floated as well. For instance, during a May segment on “The Five,” co-host Greg Gutfeld noted that former presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard left the Democratic Party last year and that she could be on Trump’s shortlist.
“The thing I like about Tulsi is that if she were to give you two opinions, you could not predict a third. She’s a definition of an individual. Like, I disagree with her on probably at least 30%, maybe 40% of things, but the boxes she ticks aren’t the boxes that Kamala ticks. Her boxes are achievements and ideas. That’s different than skin color and where she was born — not where she was born, but whatever her background is. So, I think that is what makes her so different. I have never seen her angry in my life. And just lastly, I think she’s going to be Trump’s VP. That’s where this is going,” Gutfeld said.