Opinion | Kellyanne Conway: Who Should Be Trump’s No. 2?
The “pick a woman” theory also runs counter to the fact that politics is not about biology, or even chemistry, but about math and science. Indeed, Mr. Trump beat Mrs. Clinton in 2016, snatching from her the all but certain title “first female president of the United States” while a majority of voters were women. While some Republicans worry about a gender gap in November and understandably think a female vice president could help attract more women voters, I don’t disagree, but also see it differently for two reasons: Mr. Biden has his own problem with male voters, and a woman is more likely to vote for someone who shares her values and vision than her gender. As sure as the sun rises in the east, any woman Mr. Trump chooses will be denigrated as “not enough of/not a real/not a relatable” woman.
To be sure, there are plenty of qualified, compelling women for Mr. Trump to consider. There are accomplished young, elected officials who happen to be mothers of young children, like Senator Katie Britt of Alabama (age 42), Representative Elise Stefanik of New York (39) and Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders of Arkansas (41). And experienced female elected officials/grandmothers, like Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa, Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota. Each of these women would have no problem facing Vice President Harris in a debate.
The push in some quarters for Mr. Trump to pick Nikki Haley rests on the false belief that she can somehow attract moderates and independents that he can’t. But the same moderate Republicans who left Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida over his decision to sign the Heartbeat Protection Act into law, the same coalition Ms. Haley is now relying on to stay in the race for another month, may be surprised to learn that she recently affirmed that she, too, would have signed a six-week heartbeat bill into law as governor of South Carolina. Nor has Mr. DeSantis shown he could attract voters Mr. Trump couldn’t: The governor’s spectacular fall from 2022-23, failure to win a single county in Iowa’s 99, and difficulty connecting with voters leaves one wondering what he would add to a Trump ticket.
Taking all of this into consideration, if I were advising Mr. Trump, I would suggest he choose a person of color as his running mate, depending on vetting of all possibilities and satisfaction of procedural issues like dual residency in Florida. Not for identity politics a la the Democrats, but as an equal helping to lead an America First movement that includes more union workers, independents, first-time voters, veterans, Hispanics, Asian Americans and African Americans.
Mr. Biden is seeing losses in core constituencies of the tenuous coalition he scaffolded together in 2020 as Mr. Trump clocks impressive numbers among African American and especially Hispanic voters — particularly men — in many head-to-head polls against Mr. Biden. As with women voters in 2016, Mr. Trump need not win a majority of minority voters to be elected president so much as eat into Mr. Biden’s margins. Any list would include Mr. Rubio, Mr. Scott, Representative Byron Donalds of Florida (a TV firebrand) and perhaps Representative Wesley Hunt of Texas. Dr. Ben Carson, a former neurosurgeon and Trump cabinet member, is currently a Trumpworld insider favorite. Vivek Ramaswamy, the energetic businessman filled with policy prescriptions who suspended his campaign to endorse Mr. Trump, is a favorite among some in Mr. Trump’s ear and on social media.