[guest post by Dana]
We’ve talked about what 2024 might look like if Donald Trump runs for president. At this point in time, the former president remains popular with Republican voters, according to November polling data:
However, the survey found that a majority of Republicans favored the former president making a run for a second term. Sixty percent of Republicans surveyed said they felt he should run while 40 percent of Republicans surveyed said they did not want to see him on the ballot. In turn, 73 percent of independents who responded to the survey said they felt he should not run, and 26 percent said they wanted to see Trump on the ticket.
A new report discusses Trump’s strategy in looking for in a running mate. Rather than increasing his base and focusing on what might pull in moderate Republicans and Democrats, or Independents, the former president has his own unique litmus test of vice-presidential worthiness:
According to conversations with a dozen Trump advisers and close associates, the former president doesn’t feel bound by geographic or ideological considerations — or any standard political rules at all.
Those familiar with his thinking say his selection will be determined by two factors that rate highest in Trump’s estimation: unquestioned loyalty and an embrace of the former president’s baseless claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
To be clear: The former president of the United States is looking for a running mate whose ultimate loyalty will be to him, not the U.S. Constitution. And said running mate must also be a true believer or at least be someone who is willing to lie and with eyes wide open, agree with the Big Lie that the 2020 election was rigged and stolen. Expectedly, integrity, foundational beliefs, and a functioning moral compass are not near the top of the qualification list. Clearly, Trump is laying the groundwork in case of an election loss. He wants to make sure that his running mate understands that, in case the unthinkable happens, they are expected to reject the results even though a vice-president does not have the necessary authority to make that decision. (I think that Trump views the 12th Amendment as little more than an unwelcome irritant, which in turn evidences how little he understands or values the Constitution.)
One of Trump’s campaign pollsters summed up the Trump and the Republican party thusly:
A lot of times, a presidential candidate will pick a running mate to balance out wings of the party. But with Trump, that’s not the issue. He is the party, basically. It’s so united behind him. So his choice, if he runs, will come down to what he wants. It would be a much more personal decision this time.
And according to Trump, there is no shortage of wanna-be veeps who are visiting him at Mar-a-Lago, and auditioning for the role:
“They’re all begging me. They all come here,” Trump boasted to one adviser…
Insiders say that the former president has whittled down the categories from which he is likely to draw a running mate:
Those familiar with Trump’s thinking say his prospective vice president selection would likely draw from three general lanes of candidates: women, conservatives of color or a trusted adviser — or a “consigliere,” as one adviser described it.
So, in light of Patterico’s post this morning, the Republican Party must be reformed (or a new third party be formed), otherwise, it will remain on its downward trajectory and will continue to be known as the ReTrumplican Party.