Scoop: Kari Lake among 4 women Trump's considering for VP pick
Former President Trump is strongly considering picking a female running mate — and sees Kari Lake as a model for his vice presidential pick, according to people who discussed the topic with him.
Why it matters: Trump is already gaming out the general election in November 2024 — and knows he has a massive weakness with the white suburban women he would need to beat President Biden.
Lake, a former TV anchor who lost her race for Arizona governor in November, meets Trump's most important qualification for a No. 2:
- She has shown she's willing to defend him vociferously, no matter the issue or controversy.
- But Trump friends say Lake carries a big downside: He wants no risk that his running mate could outshine him. Lake would be assumed to be angling for president from the day she entered the White House. She made a political trip to Iowa last month.
- And, of course, losing her winnable governor's race (which she challenged) hurts her mojo.
Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung said: "Anyone who thinks they know what President Trump is going to do is seriously misinformed and trying to curry favor with 'potential' V.P. candidates."
- "President Trump will choose his running mate on his own time, and those who are playing the media game are doing so at their own peril."
Between the lines: The characteristics Trump is most looking for are, ironically, quite like former Vice President Mike Pence, with whom he's no longer on speaking terms.
- Trump wants someone who is unfailingly loyal — and bland enough that they don't steal any spotlight.
Some close to Trump think Nikki Haley — former South Carolina governor and his ambassador to the U.N. — might be the best fit.
- She's his best-known declared opponent for the GOP nomination. He calculates she doesn't take a single vote from him.
Another strong fit might be Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who was Trump's White House press secretary.
- Trump recently asked her for an endorsement in the presidential race and she demurred, as the N.Y. Times' Maggie Haberman reported.
- But Sanders left an opening to embrace Trump if he looks like a winner.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem also is frequently mentioned by Trump confidants as having strong veep potential.