The rumor mill kicked into high gear, grinding up the political grist as former news anchor Kari Lake was spotted with Donald J. Trump at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago club. It took a matter of minutes once a photograph circulated of the two America First-style politicians to produce the latest fodder: A Trump and Lake presidential ticket. Lake, who has not yet conceded the Arizona gubernatorial race insists she was in Florida to investigate possible voter disenfranchisement and attend a luncheon hosted by the former president’s policy advisors and America First Policy Institute. So, What are the chances of Lake joining the Trump 2024 ticket?
On the heels of the much-anticipated announcement that number 45 was again running for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, the timing could not have been more perfect for speculation. But America already knows Trump. Outside of Arizona and the most recent political firestorm, Lake remains a lesser-known figure. So, what could she bring to the ticket that others cannot?
The Lake Effect
Lake has roots in the Midwest; she was born in Illinois and attended the University of Iowa. She bounced around from Iowa to New York to Arizona. She’s been a member of the Democratic Party and the GOP and defined her views as Independent for two years — much like her political ally, Trump. She actively opposed the Iraq and Afghanistan wars after 9/11 and supported John Kerry and Barack Obama. Her ability to easily explain her wavering convictions might cause some Trump supporters to scratch their heads, but Lake can communicate effectively and read a room of reporters.
Her Democratic opponent, Governor-elect Katie Hobbs, has labeled her an election denier and a MAGA Republican. And if the shoe fits, Lake wears it well. Arizona is best known for two statesmen: the late Senators Barry Goldwater and John McCain. But as Trump found out, Steele dossiers don’t deliver themselves, and he went after McCain calling the former Vietnam POW a “loser” and went further by explaining his assessment, saying, “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.” When Lake won her Party’s primary, she also went after the establishment: “We drove a stake through the heart of the McCain machine,” and without missing a beat, delivered a similar scathing rebuke, “Boy, Arizona has delivered some losers, haven’t they?”
She might be Trump in a skirt and pumps.
Trump 2024 Becomes Trump-Lake 2024?
Perhaps Donald Trump is ready to put a woman on the ticket. It wouldn’t harm the bombastic former president to have a less locker-room point of view from a savvy sister. But why would he snatch Lake up, who did not win her election just days ago? It might be fun to have a female mini-me parroting the same message but is it strategically sound? The answer is no. Tickets are meant to be a balancing act and pull a decent amount of electoral votes in the process. Trump might do better courting South Dakota’s Kristi Noem or Iowa-nice Governor Kim Reynolds. Both are smart, savvy, and powerful women in the GOP. And perhaps these potential ticket fillers are more inclined to stay true to conservative roots, unlike Lake, who went from loathing the former president to becoming his biggest fan.
Just nine days before the 2017 inaugural ceremonies for Trump, Lake posted a meme on Facebook declaring the event a “national day of mourning and protest” and asked followers how they would exercise their First Amendment right.
It’s tough to keep up with Lake’s changes in attitudes and latitudes (channeling Jimmy Buffet) as she works her way through the system. She has changed political parties several times and somehow transformed from an LGBTQ+ friend, ally, and Obama enthusiast into a MAGA firecracker. Before 2015, Lake was a Buddhist – she has recently converted to Christianity. But perhaps all of this makes sense to Donald Trump. After all, she has almost covered every political base when it comes to demographics.
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