Former President Donald Trump formally announced his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election in mid-November, and almost immediately there was rampant speculation about who he might pick to be his running mate for that race.
Trump has not yet named who he will pick as his running mate, but he did reveal the sort of characteristics he would look for in a prospective vice president in a recent interview, the Conservative Brief reported.
The “top qualifications” to be Trump’s VP
Last week, former President Trump called in for an interview on “Just the News, Not Noise” program on the Real America’s Voice network, and was asked by one of the co-hosts about what would be the “top qualifications” that he would look for in a prospective vice presidential pick.
“You’ve got to be smart, you’ve got to be respected, you’ve got to have a conservative voice, and you’ve got to have a common sense voice,” Trump said.
“We’re not talking about conservative, we’re talking about common sense,” he added along with “you need a wall,” an obvious reference to support for his unfinished goal of securing the nation’s southern border with new and improved barriers to illicit cross-border foot and vehicle traffic.
“Three general lanes of candidates”
Shortly after former President Trump announced his candidacy in November, Politico published a speculative article about the impending “veep tryouts” for his running mate and who might be under consideration.
Based on conversations with “a dozen Trump advisers and close associates,” the top two factors for the former president would be unquestioned loyalty to him as well as an agreement that there had been widespread fraud in the 2020 election.
Aside from that, the outlet noted a general consensus that Trump would “likely draw from three general lanes of candidates: women, conservatives of color, or a trusted adviser” — with that first lane being the most likely one that he would choose from.
Possible candidates under consideration
More recently, the Washington Examiner looked closely at that first lane, women, and named several prominent Republican women who would likely fit the bill to be the former president’s next running mate.
That shortlist included Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who previously served as Trump’s devoted White House press secretary, as well as South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a former member of Congress who is largely aligned with Trump’s America First and MAGA policy outlook.
Also on the list is Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who currently serves as chair of the House GOP Conference and was a staunch defender of Trump while he was in office, as well as failed Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, a former news anchor who has outspokenly questioned election integrity in her state and nationwide.
The Examiner further included two rather long-shot possibilities in the form of former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who recently renounced her prior association with the Democratic Party, and former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, though that seems highly unlikely given that she has also announced her own candidacy to compete against Trump in the primary.
Left unmentioned in that Examiner report, but quite possibly in contention is Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who is arguably Trump’s biggest and most outspoken supporter in Congress right now, according to an NBC News report in January.
Of course, the former president may very well surprise everyone and pick somebody not necessarily out of obscurity but who has otherwise not been part of the speculative conversation about his future running mate, and it will likely be quite some time before anybody knows for sure — including Trump himself — who his choice will be.