The supporting cast for the tragi/comedy extravaganza known as Trump’s Third Run is getting assembled. Or, at least casting decisions are being made. Who will take the role of vice president, which Mike Pence left in disgrace? And he didn’t leave in disgrace because he did anything wrong. That’s the paradox. The man is disgraced in MAGA circles because he did what was right and certified the 2020 election, and didn’t jump on the conspiracy theory bandwagon like Trump wanted him to. That’s the problem.

At CPAC today a straw poll was run amongst people whose names have been bandied about as Donald Trump’s vice president. Coming in at a tie, with 15% each, were Kristi Noem and Vivek Ramaswamy. I don’t see Trump giving the showboat Ramaswamy the job although if there would be one pyrotechnically, unimaginably awful choice for VP, it would be Ramaswamy. Even the fact that he’s being considered demonstrates the show biz level rot of Trump and MAGA. And who came in beneath these two winners? Everybody from Tulsi Gabbard to Tucker Carlson. The Hill:

In Saturday’s straw poll, former Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard came in second at 9 percent, followed by House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) at 8 percent.

Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) notched 7 percent, Arizona Senate candidate Kari Lake received 6 percent, while former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) each got 5 percent.

Conservative pundit Tucker Carlson, independent presidential candidate Robert K. Kennedy Jr., Sen. JD Vance (R-Ohio) and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley each got less than 5 percent.

If Trump wants to stay grounded in the real world at all, I would say he would pick Elise Stefanik or Tim Scott. Stefanik wouldn’t be a bad vice president. She would in effect play Dick Cheney to Trump’s Dubya. Trump could then roll into the Oval Office at 11:30 a.m., every hair in place, and post on Truth Social (assuming it’s there) until 1:00 p.m. and then have lunch until 2:30 p.m. and then watch Fox News and other cable shows until he decided to take a nap. Or, on a really heavy day he could go do something ceremonial or make a speech.

Tim Scott has debased himself as much as Stefanik but I don’t see him as being able to play the Cheney role — or even the Mike Pence role. Pence was the obsequious, sycophantic mouse to Trump and he was able to do that and not much more because there were people of some skill and credibility backing up Trump. Trump had people like John Kelly, Bill Barr, John Bolton, people who have all since denounced Trump and his election denying ways.

Barr in particular actually lost it for a few moments when he was testifying before Congress and openly guffawed at the mention of the movie 2,000 mules. The laugher was completely spontaneous and no amount of verbal mockery could have had the put down level effect of Barr breaking into sincere, unprovoked laughter as he did. Dinesh D’Souza was livid later on and lashed out at Barr on right-wing media.

Point being, there were people of some substance in Trump’s cabinet and a second administration of his would go one of two ways: either the people who denounced him would run right back to him in full force to get their jobs back, or, Trump will be left with the dregs. Stephen Miller will have an office in the West Wing, of that there is no doubt. Steve Bannon will probably be there, too, especially since Jared has said that he won’t be. But Jared would in fact return if Trump got reelected.

We can speculate all night on the larger picture, but for the moment, let’s just look at the straw poll for VP. Stefanik is unquestionably dismayed that she ranked as low as she did. How is that to be interpreted? More importantly, how will Trump interpret it? Maybe he’ll be swayed by the straw poll and decide that Noem’s the way to go.

That would kill Stefanik. She has debased herself and declared herself Ultra MAGA in order to get in Trump’s good graces. What if it’s all for naught? Or, on the other hand, Stefanik should perhaps look at this as a blessing. When Trump goes down in flames, somebody else will go down with him. Although she may be looking at Pence’s example. Even though he eventually went down in flames, he did last a lot longer in politics than he would have if Trump had picked Chris Christie that fateful day in 2016. But that was not to be, because Christie sent Jared’s father to the House Of Many Doors and so the evangelical vanilla Spock was chosen instead.

Politics makes for some very strange bedfellows.


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  1. Being TFG’s veep choice should be the last thing any ambitious politico should want. He may and probably will be the red team’s nominee, but he will lose the general bigly. As Simon Rosenberg, of Hopium Chronicles, is fond of saying, “I’d rather be us than them.” We still need to do the work, but if we do, Biden-Harris win.

  2. I think it was last week I commented a big strike against Stefanik was what to Trump would be insufficient loyalty. Say what you might ask? Clearly she’s done so it seemed everything Trump would expect a toady to do. Debased herself in fact. The one thing she did or did not do depending on how you look at it is take the final step of going “all in” to prove total and complete loyalty to Trump’s and only Trump’s interests and needs. She gave herself a safety net by running for re-election to her House seat. Unless I missed it she will be on the primary ballot to retain her seat, just in case a) Trump doesn’t pick her as VP or b) Trump loses in November. She can Iunless I’m mistaken about the rules in NY state) both run for her House Seat and run as VP in the same election.

    From where I sit, to Trump that would seem exactly like what it is – hedging her bets. Ergo she’s not 100 percent committed to Trump and wants to make sure her own ass is covered “just in case.” I can’t see Trump forgiving that. He’ll use her and cast her aside like he’s done to countless others. Anyway, that’s what I mean by insufficient loyalty to Trump. Plus being a woman Trump would expect her to be “hot” looking. I’ve always had a think for women with black hair and fair skin so if she hadn’t turned ugly on the inside I’d probably find her attractive, even if she’s put on some weight in recent years. (for the record I’m downright fat. But I wasn’t always and have often found women larger than her quite beautiful). But we’re talking about Trump here. He wants another Mike Pence. A totally subservient, quiet whitebread white guy. Sorry folkls, Scott and Ramaswamy have no chance with Trump nor does Byron Donald. I have no idea who it will be at this point but I realized last week why Stefanik wouldn’t be on Trump’s list of possibilities.

    She represents a solidly GOP district. In the last hundred years I think only one Democrat has been elected from the general area that’s been that District. (I looked it up a while back) It was 2009 I think when a Democrat won a special election but he chose not to run for re-election so that seat went back to the GOP. In the past two general elections Stefanik won by (if memory serves) about twenty percent. She had in both 2020 and 2022 supported Trump to included voting with the insurrection caucus after the Jan. 6 riot. But since 2022 she really turned MAGA.

    IF Democrats recruited a kick ass candidate to run against her and if Trump implodes which is more than a little possible she could find herself voted out in November. Which she would richly deserve. I don’t know much about that part of NY. I spent almost a week at some crappy place in the “Finger Lakes” region which I think might be in that general area, or much like her district. The hotel was, frankly damned near a dump but that’s where the conference was and most of the guest were from NYC. It’s a long story but what matters is that other than seeing the natural beauty I didn’t have a chance to get a feel for people that lived in the area.

    But again, a combination of the right Democrat and Trump shitting the election bed and starving down ballot candidates of cash and organizational resources if he gets control of the RNC might make Stefanik vulnerable. Keep an eye out.

  3. dingleberry probably thinks gabbard will bring him the Hawaiian vote never mind they loathe her for being a turn-coat and electoral college-wise, Hawaii might as well be WY or MT.

    If he is truly thinking about a female veep he is likely thinking it’ll save his ass after his part in the dobbs decision-he put 1/2 of the justices on the s.c. to were part of the corrupt cabal that took away bodily autonomy from American women. That is not playing out well across the nation and if democrats play this right, they ought to be able to make any candidate with an (R) by its name pay. I don’t think having an anti-choice candidate as veep will help one iota. Looking at his primary performances I’d say his s.c. decisions, among other things, bit him in the ass hard.


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