The Pros And Cons Of Donald Trump’s Potential Vice Presidential Picks

Master Sgt. Chad McMeen, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
American Liberty News
- July 12, 2024
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FRIDAY – NATO allies call China a ‘decisive enabler' of Russia's war in Ukraine. This, in their most serious rebuke yet against Beijing. NATO allies also expressed concerns over Beijing's nuclear arsenal and its capabilities in space.

FINALLY, NATO ALLIES ARE SEEING THE  CHINA THREAT!

At NATO summit, a question of what the alliance wants from the Pacific. For the third straight year, a group of countries with ties to the alliance, called the Indo-Pacific Four, have sent officials to attend the summit.

With the Republican National Convention less than a month away, speculation is more intense than ever about who might choose as his running mate. Although Trump is doing well in battleground states, the right running mate can help secure key swing states or regions where he will likely need a boost.

Choosing someone with a slightly different political stance or demeanor can broaden the appeal of the ticket. And despite Trump's well-known loathing of the swamp, experience and expertise still count for something. Selecting a running mate with strong credentials, experience in government, or expertise in specific policy areas can bolster the overall credibility of the ticket and reassure voters about the administration's capability to govern effectively.

Voters consider the running mate as a potential future president. The choice can influence perceptions of the potential administration's continuity and stability, especially given concerns about the state of the country.

With that in mind, here are the pros and cons for each of the top four contenders, according to the latest betting odds:

Senator (R-S.C.)

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Pros

Diverse Appeal: As the Senate's only Black Republican, Scott could help broaden the ticket's appeal to minority voters, even as Biden hemorrhages support from this group. He could further help counter the narrative that the Republican Party lacks diversity and inclusivity. Scott's influence might also extend to other swing states with significant Black populations.

Pragmatic Image: Not unlike Barack Obama in 2008, Scott is often viewed as a more moderate and pragmatic politician (though unlike Obama, he's undeniably conservative), which might appeal to centrist and independent voters who are looking for a less polarizing alternates to President Biden. Scott's background in business and his support for pro-business policies align well with Trump's economic agenda, potentially attracting voters who prioritize economic growth and job creation over social issues.

Positive Message: Known for his optimistic and hopeful message, Scott could contrast with more divisive rhetoric, which Trump dabbles in, potentially attracting voters who are tired of political negativity even as the economy languishes.

Personal Story: Scott's personal story of overcoming poverty while living with a single mother who worked double shifts to meet ends meet is inspirational to millions. His narrative of success through hard work and determination could resonate widely, adding a compelling human element to the campaign.

Cons

Limited National Recognition: Despite being a U.S. Senator, Scott may not have as high a national profile as other potential running mates, like . This could limit his initial impact on the ticket until voters become more familiar with him.

Economic Focus: Scott's strong focus on economic issues, while beneficial, might overshadow other important areas such as immigration, foreign policy, or health care, where Trump's campaign might need a broader range of expertise.

Balancing Act: As a senator known for his optimism and positive messaging, Scott might struggle to balance his style with Trump's often effective combative campaign tactics. This could lead to mixed messaging and potential conflicts in campaign strategy.

Regional Limitations: While Scott's Southern background could be an asset in the Solid South, it might not provide as much of an advantage in other crucial regions or swing states where Trump needs to build support.

Senator (R-Ohio)

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Pros

Appeal to Working-Class Voters: Vance's background and personal story resonate strongly with working-class voters. His bestselling memoir, “Hillbilly Elegy,” highlights his rise from a troubled, impoverished background to success, which could help attract voters who feel left behind by the political establishment and coastal elites.

Midwestern Influence: Vance is from Ohio. While it's no longer a swing state, his presence on the ticket could bolster support in other Midwestern states (Michigan, Wisconsin and even Minnesota) that are pivotal in the all-important race to 270 electoral votes.

Populist Credentials: Vance's populist rhetoric and focus on issues like economic inequality and the opioid crisis align well with Trump's base. This could help energize and mobilize populist and anti-establishment voters, many of whom haven't turned out as needed in recent special elections. (RELATED: Republican Underperformance In Ohio Special Election Shocks Pundits: A Troubling Sign For The GOP?)

Media Savvy: Vance's media presence and communication skills, honed through his book and subsequent public speaking, make him an effective spokesperson. He can articulate the campaign's message clearly and compellingly.

Cons

Controversial Statements: Vance has made various controversial statements and taken strong stances on issues that could alienate the narrow sliver of persuadable voters both sides are fighting over. His comments on sensitive topics could be used against the ticket in attack ads. For example, in 2024 he encouraged Trump, if reelected, to “fire every single midlevel bureaucrat, every civil servant in the administrative state, replace them with our people. And when the courts stop you, stand before the country, and say quoting – Andrew Jackson – 'the chief justice has made his ruling. Now let him enforce it.'”

Perceived Opportunism: Some voters and political analysts have criticized Vance for his perceived opportunism, including his shift from being a fierce critic of Trump to a supporter. According to an alleged 2016 text message screenshot shared by a former roommate, Vance went so far as to wonder if Trump was “America's Hitler.” This shift could raise questions about his authenticity and consistency.

Policy Inexperience: Despite his strong opinions on various issues, Vance's lack of a detailed legislative record means there is less evidence of his effectiveness in policy implementation, which could be a point of criticism.

Divisive Figure: Like many political figures, Vance is polarizing. His strong views on certain social and economic issues might not appeal to the broader electorate, potentially limiting the ticket's overall appeal. In his first Senate run, Vance underperformed Trump's 2016 and 2020 campaigns in Ohio by 1.5%.

Gov. (R-N.D.)

U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. David H Lipp, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Pros

Executive Experience: As a sitting governor, Burgum has executive experience running a state, which adds credibility to the ticket. The experience of being a governor could reassure voters about the administration's capability to govern effectively.

Economic Expertise: Burgum has a strong background in business and technology, having founded and led a successful software company. In 1983, Burgum invested in and became the leader of Great Plains Software, a small accounting software company based in Fargo, North Dakota. Less than 20 years later, Microsoft acquired Great Plains Software for $1.1 billion. Afterward, Burgum joined the technology giant as a senior vice president. His business acumen aligns well with Trump's focus on economic growth and job creation.

Sensible Image: Known for his pragmatic approach to governance, Burgum could appeal to moderate and independent voters who may be looking for a balanced and less polarizing alternative to Biden's incompetence.

Clean Image: Burgum has maintained a scandal-free political career, which can help present a cleaner image for the ticket, especially important for attracting undecided voters.

Cons

Limited National Recognition: As the governor of North Dakota, a state with less than 800,000 people, Burgum lacks the national recognition that other potential running mates might have. This could limit his initial impact on the ticket.

Small-State Influence: North Dakota has only three electoral votes, which limits the strategic electoral advantage he might bring compared to a running mate from a larger, more politically influential state.

Moderate Stances: Burgum's pragmatic and relatively moderate approach to governance might not sit well with Trump's more enthusiastic supporters. This could create friction within the base and, in a worse-case scenario, dampen turnout among some of Trump's most ardent supporters.

Limited Foreign Policy Experience: Burgum's political career has largely focused on state-level issues, and he lacks significant experience in foreign policy. This could be a drawback for voters who prioritize national security and international relations.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Pros

Florida Influence: As a senator from Florida, a right-leaning battleground state with third-highest number of electoral votes, Rubio could not only help secure Florida for the ticket but ensure Sen. Rick Scott's reelection. The average lead for Scott in his 2024 Senate race is around 9.9 percentage points, based on multiple polls. However, the margin varies, with some polls showing Scott's lead as narrow as 3 points.

Latino Appeal: Rubio, being of Cuban descent, could further boost Trump's relatively strong appeal with Latino voters, a growing and influential demographic in swing states, especially Arizona and Nevada.

Foreign Policy Experience: Rubio has significant experience in foreign policy, serving on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. This expertise could enhance the ticket's credentials on national security and international affairs.

Legislative Experience: With a long tenure in the Senate and previous experience in the Florida House of Representatives, Rubio brings substantial legislative experience, which can appeal to voters who value political experience and governance capabilities.

Cons

Establishment Ties: Rubio is often seen as part of the Republican establishment, which could conflict with Trump's drain-the-swamp image.

Policy Differences: There are some policy areas where Rubio's views diverge from Trump's, potentially leading to mixed messages or internal conflicts.

Electoral Record: Rubio's 2016 presidential campaign was not particularly strong, raising questions about his electoral appeal beyond Florida. His campaign won Minnesota, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, nowhere near enough to impact the contests' overall outcome.

Senate Focus: Rubio might be perceived as more focused on his Senate duties and national security issues, which could be seen as a distraction from the broader campaign goals.

Trump's final decision will no doubt hinge on which candidate he believes can best complement his campaign, enhance his appeal with key groups and help secure the crucial swing states needed for victory.

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