Donald Trump’s Big Vice President Pick Could Shock Everyone

South Dakota’s Kristi Noem emerges in Trump veepstakes: Following her endorsement of the former president, the South Dakota governor is once again being talked about as a vice presidential possibility for Donald Trump. 

Who Will Donald Trump Pick for Vice President 

There’s been a great deal of speculation about who former President Donald Trump might choose as his running mate, should he win the Republican nomination. Mike Pence, it would appear, is out, following his break with Trump. 

Many expect Trump to choose a woman as vice president, with Ambassador Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign widely seen as a push to become Trump’s running mate. 

Meanwhile, it was reported earlier this month that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake are in a “death race” to be considered as Trump’s running mate, but both are considered long shots, and a report over the weekend stated that Trump is likely to endorse Lake for Arizona’s Senate seat. The New York Times had reported that Trump had told Masters he wasn’t zealous enough, compared to Lake, in calling the 2020 election stolen. 

Now recently, another name has resurfaced in the Trump veepstakes– South Dakota Gov. Kris Noem, who endorsed Trump over the weekend

Noem, who despite some speculation did not run for president in this year’s cycle, said in a recent interview that “of course” she would be interested in the vice presidential slot should Trump consider her. The New York Times noted that she is just the 8th of the 26 Republican governors to endorse Trump in the race, although two (Ron DeSantis and Doug Burgum) are running for president themselves. 

ABC News wrote about the endorsement rally. 

“It is my honor to present to you the man in the arena,” Noem said at the rally. “He is a man of significance. He is the leader, the fighter, that our country needs. He has my full and complete endorsement for President of the United States of America. I will do everything in my power to help him win to save this great country.”

Meanwhile, Iowa Capital Dispatch reported that three Republican elected officials from South Dakota — U.S. Sens. John Thune and Mike Rounds, and Rep. Dusty Johnson — were not at the event and have not endorsed Trump, leading to boos from the crowd when Noem appeared to reference them. 

Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s 2016 campaign manager who has been ejected from Trumpworld multiple times for various misdeeds, has been advising Noem and was present at the speech. 

Per Politico, Noem has a “direct line” to Trump through Lewandowski. 

“Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s first campaign manager who has had an on-again, off-again role in advising Noem, will be on the plane to Rapid City with Trump on Friday at the former president’s request,” Politico reported prior to the endorsement. “Noem fired Lewandowski from a consulting role after accusations he made unwanted sexual advances toward a woman at a charity event in 2021. He cut a deal with Las Vegas prosecutors after he was charged with misdemeanor battery, in which he did not have to admit guilt.”

Politico also pointed out that unlike DeSantis, who “made a bet that Trump could be defeated,” Noem decided both not to run herself, and to continue backing the former president. 

“It’s clear that she’s positioning herself to get to be selected as vice president or, in the alternative, if something happens where President Trump starts to falter or doesn’t receive the nomination, to run for president to pick up the MAGA flag and carry the banner,” one anonymous South Dakota-based Noem donor, told Politico. 

“Everybody assumes she’s running,” the donor said of Noem. “It’s very obvious. Not a week goes by where she’s not on Fox News. It’s a national strategy.”

One political strategist told Politico that one downside for Trump picking Noem is that South Dakota, a solidly red state, only carries three electoral votes. 

Author Expertise and Experience

Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Stephen has authored thousands of articles over the years that focus on politics, technology, and the economy for over a decade. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter) at @StephenSilver, and subscribe to his Substack newsletter.

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