According to a new report out by Vanity Fair (of all places), Donald Trump will replace Mike Pence on the 2020 Republican Vice Presidential ticket.
And who, exactly, will replace him? That would be Nikki Haley.
From Vanity Fair:
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…On Monday, Trump hosted a 2020 strategy meeting with a group of advisers. Among the topics discussed was whether Mike Pence should remain on the ticket, given the hurricane-force political headwinds Trump will face, as demonstrated by the midterms, a source briefed on the session told me. “They’re beginning to think about whether Mike Pence should be running again,” the source said, adding that the advisers presented Trump with new polling that shows Pence doesn’t expand Trump’s coalition. “He doesn’t detract from it, but he doesn’t add anything either,” the source said. Last month, The New York Times reported that Trump had been privately asking advisers if Pence could be trusted, and that outside advisers have been pushing Nikki Haley to replace Pence. One veteran of Trump’s 2016 campaign who’s still advising Trump told me the president hasn’t been focused enough on 2020. “What he needs to do is consider his team for 2020 and make sure it’s in place,” the adviser said. “He has to have people on his team that are loyal to his agenda.”
Trump’s doubts about Pence are surprising given Pence’s frequent public encomiums and professions of loyalty. “Trump waxes and wanes on everyone,” a prominent Republican close to the White House explained. Part of what’s driving the debate over Pence’s political value is Trump’s stalled search for a chief of staff to replace John Kelly. According to a source, Kelly has recently been telling Trump that Pence doesn’t help him politically. The theory is that Kelly is unhappy that Pence’s 36-year-old chief of staff, Nick Ayers, has been openly campaigning for Kelly’s job. “Kelly has started to get more political and he’s whispering to Trump that Trump needs a running mate who can help him more politically,” the source said. (The White House did not respond to a request for comment.) …
There’s more, from The Daily Wire:
Rumors have swirled about Haley possibly replacing Pence since the former stepped down from her position as United Nations ambassador to focus on “other projects” and on her family. With just a few short months to go before the 2020 campaign kicks off in earnest, such a break seemed perfectly timed to give Haley a chance to relax and regroup, publish a book, ready her family for an intense campaign, and then re-emerge with the goodwill she’s collected from Republicans during her time handling international foes on a global stage.
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But there’s a catch: presidents don’t typically jettison loyal vice presidents, even if they’re no longer a draw on the ticket. Pence was deliberately selected in 2016 to help shore up Trump’s wavering support from Evangelicals and other religiously motivated voters — particularly those voters who wanted to believe Trump was the best to represent their interests, but were struggling with Trump’s less-than-stellar personal life. Mike Pence gave them that comfort.
But going into 2020, the landscape for Trump has changed. Although GOPers are more bullish on the president now than they were in 2016, political moderates, suburban moms, and single-issue voters have been creeping out of the President’s circle. A pick like Nikki Haley might work to bring some of those voters back into the fold (and she’d likely neutralize any female presidential or vice presidential candidate on the Democratic side — almost a guarantee at this point). …
What do you think of these reports? Should Trump stick with Pence? Or will it be Trump/Haley in 2020?
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