Strong Contender Emerges to Be Trump's VP Pick

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem enters the conversation
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2023 11:19 AM CDT
Kristi Noem Was 'Flaming Out.' Now, a Play for Trump's VP
Then-President Donald Trump appears with Gov. Kristi Noem in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on Sept. 7, 2018.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Former President Trump is headed to South Dakota for a GOP fundraiser on Friday, and sources say that Gov. Kristi Noem is expected to offer her endorsement then for Trump's reelection run— a move that "most other Republican governors have been reluctant to make so far," per CNN. It's also a move that Noem supporters believe might serve as a "vice presidential tryout" of sorts, notes the AP, with "an image of the pair that Noem's allies hope looks like a presidential ticket" as she stands alongside Trump at the "Monumental Leaders Rally" in Rapid City.

It would be somewhat of a shift for Noem, whose own name had once been thrown into the ring as a possible presidential contender, and who after the midterms had told the New York Times that she didn't see Trump as the Republican Party's "best chance" for 2024. And Politico notes that Noem's star had, until recently, seemed to be "flaming out"—but that it now "appears to have been rekindled." "She's played her cards right," says GOP strategist Dave Carney. "She's articulate. She has a lot of energy, and she might make an attractive ticket for the president." "I think Donald Trump has a 50-50 shot of getting elected at this point, so why not hitch your wagon to him if you can?" another political observer notes to the AP.

Noem's interest in a VP role is definitely there. "Of course, I would consider it," she recently told Fox News' Sean Hannity, per CNN. And on Thursday, she reiterated as much to Newsmax. "I would in a heartbeat," she said, per the Hill. "Trump needs a strong partner if he's going to take back the White House. And he's going to need somebody who knows what it's like to run a business, to be an employee, earn a paycheck. But also having a wife, mom, and grandma isn't bad, either."

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Noem, who once offered Trump a 4-foot-tall replica of Mount Rushmore with his own face included, isn't the only name that's popped up as a possible Trump running mate. Others who've been mentioned include Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Florida Rep. Byron Donalds, New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, and failed Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake. (More Kristi Noem stories.)

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