While it may be fun for some to armchair quarterback who may be the second in command—to a leader who failed in his duties, leaving nearly half a million Americans dead from COVID-19, after being wholly unprepared for a pandemic, and leading a coup d’état in his final days—ultimately, who he picks and why seem frivolous.
It’s now highly unlikely, according to multiple sources, that Trump would pick Mike Pence after the veep refused to overturn the 2020 election results.
Trump made his intentions for Pence clear on Jan. 4 when during a rally in Georgia, he infamously said: “I have to tell you I hope that our great vice president comes through for us. He’s a great guy. Of course, if he doesn’t come through, I won’t like him quite as much.”
In true Trump ungracious and misogynist fashion, on Jan. 6, just before Pence was set to certify the states’ Electoral College votes, according to The Hill, the former president allegedly told Pence: “You can either go down in history as a patriot, or you can go down in history as a pu—y.”
Trump never denied saying this to Pence, in fact, he sat down with Jonathan Karl on Mar. 18 for an interview for Karl’s book. When asked about his comments to Pence, Trump said he wouldn’t “dispute” them.
During the rally on the morning of Jan. 6 Trump told a raucous crowd in D.C.: “Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us, and if he doesn’t, that will be a sad day for our country.” The rest is history. Biden was sworn into office on Jan. 20 as the 46th U.S. president and “Democracy has prevailed,” as Biden said that day.
So, who cares that Trump feels emboldened enough to wield the power of holding the Vice President carrot up for political boot lickers such as Gov. Ron DeSantis, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, the first Black senator from the South since the Reconstruction era, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
While Trump goes along pretending like he’s a guest on a reality TV show that there are auditions for vice-president, while also demanding loyalty from all the competitors and the cognitive dissonance that allows them to deny that President Joe Biden won in 2020, Biden’s administration moves steadily along adulting undoing Trump’s messes, and making his mark via the Build Back Better bill and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).
It’s understandable that Trump would rather focus on anything other than the immense legal troubles he’s facing these days.
There’s the investigation of the Trump Organization by Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. Vance leaves at the end of the year, meaning that, according to The Guardian, indictments may be imminent.
“I can assure you that Donald Trump is guilty of his own crimes. Was I involved in much of the inflation and deflation of his assets? The answer to that is yes,” Cohen said.
Or there’s the issue of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals demanding that Trump turn over documents from Jan. 6 to the House. Or the ongoing lying low game being played by former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows over continuing to defy a subpoena to turn over documents or appear for a deposition in front of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Maybe the most plausible running mate is John F. Kennedy Jr., who, according to the QAnon-nutters and devout Trump supporters, faked his death and will return to the American political scene to play the role of second fiddle to Trump.
The MAGA conspiracists went down to Dealey Plaza on Nov. 2 assuming that something big was going to be revealed. It wasn’t. And they’re still waiting.
Reporter Steven Monacelli and VICE reporter David Gilbert have been following the QAnon crew in Dallas and found that they’ve been led by an antisemitic QAnon activist, Michael Brian Protzman, to the grassy knoll in downtown Dallas for a reappearance of one of the deceased Kennedys. And while nothing happened to support the wild conservative Christian eschatological theories on JFK and JFK Jr. anointing Trump the “king of kings,” their belief in Protzman has not wavered.
Trump hasn’t announced his official bid for office. He’s playing his odds and waiting until after the 2022 midterms.
Cohen told The Guardian he doesn’t believe Trump will run again in 2024. The former president’s fundraising game is way too fruitful a “grift” to give up.