There have been stories floating around DC for some time that the president, to add some excitement and drama to his campaign, will drop Mike Pence as vice-president and seek another candidate who brings more raw star power to the ticket.
Nobody is upset with Pence or thinks he is doing a bad job. But Pence himself will be the first to admit that he isn’t exactly a high voltage kind of guy. Also, with the Democrats very possibly putting a woman on their ticket, the GOP may feel the need to token up themselves.
Up until this week that scenario has been limited to DC happy hour chatter and Hill staffer speculation. But right after CPAC ended Sunday, the word went forth from more than one GOP source that this scenario was under active consideration, with Pence’s full blessing, by the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the White House.
The supposed details are that Pence would get a high profile cabinet position like Secretary of Defense. That kind of slot could burnish his credentials for a 2024 White House run. It would not be sold as a Pence demotion, but merely a lateral move.
Haley’s benefit to the ticket is glaringly obvious. She’s a very telegenic minority conservative female former governor from a deep red state. She holds up well in public and is sharp in debate. Her time at the U.N. gives her national security chops and her elevation says the GOP is thinking strategically to extend its victories for years past the Trump era.
It would also make the GOP August convention in Charlotte, NC, crackle with excitement, as the announcement would be made there.
Now of course this could be a contrived news ploy, and not at all legit, to add some spice right now to the GOP re-coronation of the president. There will probably be more message test runs like this between now and August.
However, master showman that he is, the president is bound to do something to make Charlotte interesting. As for what it is, the guesses are likely to keep on coming.