“I don’t want to be anybody’s vice president,” declared Nikki Haley, making her stance crystal clear.
In AMHERST, New Hampshire, Nikki Haley has definitively stated that the role of vice president is not in her plans. This firm declaration came during a conversation with diners at MaryAnn’s in Amherst, as overheard by a POLITICO reporter on Friday. Haley’s explicit disavowal of any vice-presidential ambitions marks a significant moment in her political trajectory.
Previously, Haley, who served as the U.N. ambassador under Donald Trump, had not categorically denied the possibility of being Trump’s running mate. This ambiguity had caused unease among some anti-Trump voters in New Hampshire, who are contemplating supporting her in the upcoming primary. Despite intensifying her criticisms of Trump, Haley’s earlier responses to questions about the vice presidency — stating she doesn’t “play for second” — had left some voters dissatisfied.
However, Haley’s recent interaction in the diner with Dan O’Donnell, a real estate agent from Hollis, showcased a more definitive stance. When O’Donnell inquired if she was considering the vice-presidential position, given her trailing Trump by about 14 points in New Hampshire polls, Haley responded with a hint of irritation: “I’ve said from the very beginning: I don’t play for second. I don’t want to be anybody’s vice president. That is off the table.” This response indicates a sharper, more unequivocal rejection of the vice-presidential role than previously articulated.
Analyzing Trump’s Potential VP Picks: The Good, The Bad, and The Unlikely
Kari Lake: A MAGA favorite and media-savvy, Kari Lake lost her only public office race and has since been embroiled in controversy for refusing to concede and making baseless claims about her victory. Her alignment with Trump’s election denialism and lack of political experience, coupled with a high self-regard and potential unpredictability, make her a risky choice for VP.
Tucker Carlson: An electrifying and intellectually stimulating figure, Carlson could generate immense media buzz, reminiscent of Sarah Palin. However, his political alignment with Trump offers no new advantages, and his independent nature might clash with Trump’s leadership. A Carlson pick could lead to a tumultuous campaign or a strained vice-presidential relationship.
J.D. Vance: As a recent convert from Trump critic to supporter, Vance’s commitment to economic populism aligns well with MAGA ideals. He could be an ideological ally within the administration, similar to Pence’s role for social conservatives. However, his limited national experience and lack of political clout in the campaign are potential drawbacks.
Kristi Noem: A dedicated Trump loyalist and South Dakota’s governor, Noem’s Western image and MAGA alignment are appealing. However, her political impact, especially among suburban women, is questionable. Allegations of a personal scandal could also affect her viability.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders: Known for her role as Trump’s White House press secretary, Sanders’ communication skills and personal story are compelling. She could appeal to suburban women, but questions about her readiness for national office and presidential responsibilities remain.
Elise Stefanik: Gaining attention for her stance on antisemitism, Stefanik is openly ambitious for the VP role. Her recent media performances show loyalty to Trump, but her lack of executive experience and untested national appeal are concerns.
Kim Reynolds: The Iowa governor’s Midwestern appeal and conservative record make her a strong VP candidate. However, her endorsement of Ron DeSantis likely rules her out of Trump’s consideration.
In summary, Trump’s VP choice faces a balancing act between loyalty, appeal, and readiness for office, with each potential candidate bringing their own strengths and vulnerabilities to the table.