According to a deep dive into a mini-firestorm created by Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) who appeared to be lobbying for Vice President Mike Pence's spot on the 2020 Republican ticket when she met with the president during the July 4th weekend, the New York Times is reporting that at least one senior adviser to the president has advocated for dumping the veep for a woman to shake up the floundering campaign.
The report notes that Noem rolled out the red carpet for Trump during his visit to Mt. Rushmore for the holiday festivities, presenting him with a four-foot replica of Mount Rushmore that included Trump's face on it. She then gave him a rousing introduction before his speech, telling the crowd the president "braves the dangers of the arena,” while also praising his stewardship of the country since his 2016 election.
That, in turn, started rumors that she was interested in taking Pence's spot on the ticket, particularly in light of the fact that former Vice President Joe Biden has promised to select a woman as his running mate.
According to the Times, Noem was forced to make an unheralded trip to Washington to meet with Pence and assure him she wasn't after his job -- with the Times reporting that she was not invited to meet Trump while she was in town.
However, the Times reports that the Noem rumor led to at least one advisor to the president suggesting dumping Pence might be a shrewd move to shake up the campaign.
According to the Times, "One official close to the vice president said that Ms. Noem did not discuss her Air Force One flight with Mr. Pence but used the conversation to say she wanted to help the campaign however she could. The official suggested that the vice president’s team has an opportunity for her in mind: helping Mr. Pence prepare to debate whichever woman Mr. Biden selects as his running mate," before adding, "Yet one senior Trump adviser has recently lamented to others that Mr. Trump could have boosted his re-election campaign had he replaced Mr. Pence with a woman, according to people familiar with the conversations. One potential candidate mentioned was Nikki Haley, the former United Nations ambassador who is close to the president’s daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner."
The report adds, "That these kinds of speculative conversations about a different running mate have taken place at all, though, illustrates the depth of frustration in Mr. Trump’s inner circle over his political fortunes," adding, "... officials in the administration, including some close to Mr. Pence, said they believed that Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump were angling to replace him with Ms. Haley."
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