Polling shows that Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis have emerged as the top contenders for the 2024 Republican nomination for president, even though DeSantis has yet to formally enter the race. But other long-shot candidates have already jumped in, and more are expected to in the coming weeks.
Outside of Trump and DeSantis, the other contenders’ chances are slim. But both the Democratic and Republican primary losers frequently partner with the winner. As a result, it’s probable that many of these Republicans, who have little chance of winning the primary, are nevertheless vying for vice president or other positions. This was commonplace in the 2020 Democrat presidential primary when then-Sen. Kamala Harris became vice president of the United States and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg became United States Secretary of Transportation. Could we see something similar happen with candidates in the 2024 Republican Primary?
A Trump/DeSantis ticket will never materialize. Trump and DeSantis will battle viciously if DeSantis runs, which will possibly leave both men rivals for life. Due to their domineering personalities, the two men also cannot coexist in the White House.
Former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy have both registered their candidacies. Haley has hawkish foreign policy beliefs and supports American funding for Ukraine. When Nikki Haley was UN Ambassador, she often pushed for U.S. military intervention in disputes with Iran, Syria, North Korea, and other countries. Secretary of State might be Haley’s best option given her interests. Haley could also try to position herself to be like Sarah Palin and be at the top of the ticket as vice president. Haley would be more in line with DeSantis, and not Trump based on previous history.
I cannot gauge Ramaswamy’s intentions for what he wants to get out of running in the 2024 primary. He is harder to read than others, though a cabinet post could be in the cards. Former Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Tim Scott, and Governor of New Hampshire Chris Sununu all seem to be gearing up for a presidential bid. While Sununu’s experience as a senator and governor is valuable, his marketability on a presidential ticket is insufficient, due to low name recognition. I doubt Pence would take the office of vice president under any other candidate if he ran for president.
Scott, on the other hand, would be a great pick for vice president if Donald Trump were to choose someone. Senators make excellent vice presidents because of their abilities to advance the president’s legislative agenda based on their own connections and legislative experiences. In most cases, who better to preside over the Senate than a former senator? Scott was a member of the House of Representatives before he was elected a senator in 2013, and thoroughly understands the complicated legislative process. He was instrumental in getting opportunity zones signed into law in 2017 and worked successfully with the Trump administration. The $29 billion infusion that the “opportunity zone” tax incentive brought in benefited low-income communities all around the country.
In contrast to the current vice president, who was chosen for the job because President Biden promised to choose a black woman, Scott’s selection to run on the ticket as the vice president will be based on his merits, not his skin color, which is in keeping with conservative principles. Scott will undoubtedly get the chance to run for president in 2028, but he shouldn’t diminish himself now. If Tim Scott wants to make history in 2024, he should join forces with Donald Trump.
Rasheed Walters is an entrepreneur, political commentator and historian who resides in Boston. Follow him on Twitter @rasheednwalters.
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