Former President Donald Trump is barely out of the White House, let alone declaring he will actually run for a second term. Yet, the starting gun was seemingly fired this week on the race to become the former president's running mate in 2024, with advisers suggesting his best chance of reclaiming the office resides in choosing a black or female sidekick.
Trump’s spokesman was quick to deny that any such conversations are taking place at his post-presidential Mar-a-Lago residence, but the speculation will fuel a long-running conversation about how the Republican Party adapts to the country’s changing demographics and broadens its support.
“If Trump runs, whoever he picks as VP is going to have a claim on the presidential nomination in 2028,” said Robert Shapiro, professor of politics at Columbia University. “They’d be picking the next leader of the Republican Party, and it certainly makes sense from a demographic standpoint to pick a woman or a minority.”
Trump’s relationship with his first vice president reached the breaking point in January when Mike Pence refused to yield to his demands that he try overturning the election result when he presided over the congressional count of Electoral College votes, which easily went to now-President Biden.
On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported that close advisers were telling Trump to exclude Pence from a possible 2024 ticket. Instead, they raised the possibility of a black or female vice president, with two backing South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, who is popular with the Trump base.