OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former President Donald Trump officially declared his candidacy for the 2024 GOP nomination in mid-November but has not done much since then in terms of campaigning.
But that’s changing now, and in a big way: The former president is not only on the trail again, but he is bringing with him the same vitality and can-do attitude he had during his 2016 run, according to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).
“I spoke with President @realDonaldTrump today in between his two big events in New Hampshire and South Carolina. He sounds amazing!” she wrote on the former president’s Truth Social platform.
“He is fired up! He loves this country!! He is going to win!!! And the GREAT PEOPLE ARE WITH HIM! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN,” she added in a post with several U.S. flag emojis.
Meanwhile, according to CNN, Trump said he is “more committed” to winning back the White House than ever, adding:
Appearing in New Hampshire before a second stop in South Carolina, Trump said he was “more angry” about the direction of the country and vowed to return to the first-in-the-nation primary state “many, many more times” as he looks to replicate his first-place finish in the Granite State in 2016.
“This is it,” Trump told members of the New Hampshire GOP at their annual meeting in Salem. “We’re starting right here as a candidate for president.”
On the way to South Carolina, Trump told reporters aboard his plane that Nikki Haley – the state’s former governor who served as his ambassador to the United Nations – called him in recent days to inform him that she is considering launching a 2024 presidential bid.
“I talked to her for a little while, I said, ‘Look, you know, go by your heart if you want to run,’” Trump said. “She’s publicly said that ‘I would never run against my president, he was a great president.’” CNN noted that Trump also told Haley she “should do it.”
CNN noted further that in 2021, Haley said she would not challenge Trump if he ran in 2024, so it’s not clear what has changed.
As for Greene, her name continues to surface as a top choice to become Trump’s running mate.
“War Room” podcast host Steve Bannon said in an interview last week with NBC News: “This is no shrinking violet, she’s ambitious — she’s not shy about that, nor should she be. … She sees herself on the shortlist for Trump’s VP.”
When Greene “looks in the mirror, she sees a potential president smiling back,” Bannon noted further.
NEWS: MTG wants to be Trump VP
“She sees herself on the short list,” Steve Bannon told NBC.
A second source who has advised her said her “whole vision” is to get on the ticket.
This explains the *why* of her oft-chronicled recent rebrand efforts.
— Jonathan Allen (@jonallendc) January 25, 2023
NBC News added:
A second source who has advised Greene said her “whole vision is to be vice president.” The source, who has ties to Trump but spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations, said he also believes Greene would be on Trump’s short list.
That goal is at the heart of Greene’s recent efforts to rebrand herself as a politician who can stand astride the divide between the party’s hard-liners and its establishment wing, the sources told NBC News.
“She’s both strategic and disciplined — she made a power move, knowing it would run up hard against her most ardent crew,” Bannon added. “She was prepared to take the intense heat/hatred short-term for the long-term goal of being a player.”
NBC News noted further: “Her push for McCarthy alienated some of her allies in the House Freedom Caucus and like-minded conservative activists, but that was a calculated risk, according to Bannon. Trump has not publicly given any indication that he is seriously considering a vice-presidential pick at this early point in the process, and aides did not respond to NBC News’ inquiries about Greene’s chances of ending up on a Trump ticket.”
This isn’t the first time Greene’s name has been mentioned as a potential Trump running mate.
In October, New York Times Magazine writer Robert Draper appeared on MSNBC, saying that the firebrand Georgia Republican has told him that she may be on the ticket with Trump next year.
“To be fair, it’s very likely that Trump has had this conversation with half a dozen other people too,” he told host Ali Velshi, adding that Greene, however, may have something other GOP women don’t.
“What Greene possesses that Trump so craves is loyalty. She has always been there for Trump. She has always had his back and after his experience with his last running mate, Mike Pence, it’s clear that he’s going to prize loyalty above all else, so I wouldn’t count it out,” he said.