🕯️ Trump Eyes Stefanik as Potential VP in Mar-a-Lago Discussions
In the warm glow of a candlelit dinner at Mar-a-Lago, former President Donald Trump pondered a pivotal question for his potential 2024 campaign: who would be his vice-presidential running mate? Amidst this intimate setting, the name of Representative Elise Stefanik, a dynamic Republican from upstate New York, surfaced. The dinner attendees were abuzz, recalling Stefanik’s recent headline-making moment where she boldly questioned university presidents about antisemitism during a congressional hearing.
Trump, intrigued by the idea of Stefanik as his running mate, expressed his approval with a nod, describing her as “a killer.” This comment sparked a growing interest among Trump’s circle and allies, who have since been seriously considering Stefanik for the vice-presidential slot. This consideration is informed by insights from eight individuals, including those in Trump’s inner circle, Stefanik’s fundraising network, and former Trump administration officials.
Stefanik’s rise to national prominence was catalyzed by her confrontational stance against leaders from Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, and MIT. Her incisive questioning on campus antisemitism led to significant resignations and widespread criticism of these institutions. However, her appeal to Trump extends beyond this incident. Her unwavering loyalty, a trait Trump highly values in a running mate, coupled with her ability to dominate news cycles on critical issues, makes her an attractive choice.
Steve Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist, and architect of his 2016 campaign, places Stefanik at the forefront of potential vice-presidential candidates. “Stefanik is at the top,” he remarked. This sentiment is echoed by a Republican campaign operative who emphasized the importance of loyalty, especially in the wake of Trump’s disappointment with Mike Pence.
Stefanik’s political journey has seen her evolve from a moderate Republican, who once worked on Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign, to one of Trump’s staunchest allies in Congress. “She’s come a long way, and now she’s really, really with us,” Trump noted in a spring 2022 lunch, acknowledging her deepened alignment with his agenda.
When approached for comment, Stefanik remained focused on her congressional role, declining to speculate on a potential vice-presidential candidacy. “I’m not going to get into any of my conversations with President Trump. I’m honored to call him a friend. I’m proud to be the first member of Congress to have endorsed his re-election, and he had a huge win in Iowa. So we’re very excited about that,” she told NBC News.