Thu. May 23rd, 2024

Trump’s VP pick could put a Senate appointment in the hands of a MAGA foe

By 37ci3 May9,2024

CLEVELAND – Former President Donald Trump’s two promising running mates It comes with serious political implications: Republican governors who will choose their own successors.

If Trump goes Senator Marco Rubio Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis would be in line to pick his replacement — perhaps if Rubio quits and moves elsewhere to avoid the constitutional requirement that both candidates live in the same state. If Senator JD Vance Ohio’s vice president, Governor Mike DeWine, will pick a new senator.

There are both governors the end, mixed dates With Trump, doubts have grown about whether their appointees will meet the MAGA movement’s often hard-right standards. While the succession dynamic doesn’t necessarily hurt Rubio’s or Vance’s chances of being elected, it’s the subject of speculative talk in both states.

DeSantis and Trump are heading into a fierce battle for the GOP presidential nomination. While there are signs of détente, enough trust issues remain that the idea of ​​giving DeSantis the power to make a Senate appointment is one the Trump world is approaching with caution.

“Trump doesn’t want to give DeSantis this appointment,” a Trump confidante told NBC News. “It’s something that’s under consideration.”

In Ohio, Trump actively campaigned DeWine’s endorsement against state Sen. Matt Dolan in the recent GOP Senate primary branded DeWine a biased establishment avatar and a RINO, or Republican in Name Only. Many believe Dolan, who lost the primary to Trump-endorsed Bernie Moreno, will be on DeWine’s short list after Vance.

“I don’t think Governor DeWine really cares what President Trump thinks or what he thinks,” said former Rep. Jim Renacci, who lost the 2022 primary to DeWine and now chairs the Medina County Republican Party. “He is on his last term. He does not need the blessing of the former president.”

Either way, DeSantis or DeWine’s appointment will be temporary until the next state election.

But there may be a way to limit DeSantis’ influence over the draft. A Trump confidante described a scenario in Florida, This was first reported by The Bulwark, Rubio will resign from the Senate immediately after his hearing by Trump. A resignation would be early enough to trigger a special election for the seat. DeSantis could likely appoint someone before a special election, but it would be for a limited term.

The Trump ally, who has discussed vice presidential picks directly with Trump, said Rubio “has the biggest advantage but the biggest bankroll,” saying he checks many of the boxes Trump wants to check, but that a potential pick would come with risks.

“Marco can speak Spanish very well with MAGA,” he said.

Trump and DeSantis appeared close after Trump endorsed DeSantis’ 2018 bid for governor. But their relationship very publicly imploded after DeSantis decided to run against Trump for the 2024 presidential bid. When DeSantis left the race in January, they regularly attacked each other publicly. While DeSantis immediately supported Trump, he also expressed concerns about Trump’s prioritization.identity politics” in search of a running mate.

Two recently I ate breakfast But Trump allies say there will still be considerable skepticism at the idea of ​​dedicating DeSantis to a Senate appointment.

A Senate vacancy could be a significant public gift for DeSantis. Among those he may consider for the appointment are his wife, Casey; his chief of staff, James Uthmeier; or former state House Speaker Jose Oliva asked about the potential shortlist, according to three longtime Florida Republicans. DeSantis may also choose to appoint himself to the seat, those sources said.

May be Vance in Ohio cemented himself as a top VP candidate After shepherding Trump to endorse Moreno — a decision that clinched a big win for Trump in a competitive race. Moreno will face longtime Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown this fall.

A Trump campaign staffer said the growing consensus among GOP operatives is that Vance is a “moulder,” even though the person is Trump’s top running mate, Sen. Tim Scott, R.S.C. or left the door open to choose someone who makes less noise.

Trump had an election process closely guardedThe prospects have not yet received detailed background checks, and Trump said he does not expect to make a choice until closer to the Republican National Convention in July.

Electing Scott would also put the decision on his successor in the hands of a GOP governor, but in this case an undisputed Trump ally: Henry McMaster of South Carolina. DeWine, a former senator himself, has had more friction with Trump and his base.

In the early days of the Covid pandemic, DeWine’s lockdown orders and mask mandates angered voters on the right and led to major challenges from Renacci and others. And in the final days of this year’s Senate primary, DeWine made a surprise endorsement of Dolan, whose relatively moderate policies have irked Trump.

Mahoning County Republican Leader David Helmick said he would prefer Vance to remain in the Senate because his positions on U.S. trade policy align closely with those of working-class voters in the Youngstown area.

“If Bernie Moreno somehow loses in November, I would like DeWine to appoint him to Vance’s seat,” Helmick said. “But DeWine will probably nominate Matt Dolan because he endorsed him in the first round.”

Others aren’t so sure.

Ryan Stubenrauch, a former DeWine campaign consultant and spokesman, said he believes DeWine will seek a consensus candidate palatable to both old-guard Republicans and MAGA voters. While Dolan DeWine may have preferred the options available in the early going, he would have a larger universe if Vice President Vance created the vacancy.

“I’d say there’s less than a 50% chance he picks Dolan,” Stubenrauch said. “He’s not a dummy if it happened to him. He has been involved in politics for a long time, so he understands the electorate, he understands people who don’t like him at the moment.”

Another Ohio GOP strategist, who spoke on condition of anonymity to speak candidly, agreed.

Strategist Dolan said DeWine “would like to be re-elected, and there’s no way the Trump wing of the party is going to accept that.” “There are a lot of people that both sides can agree with. That would be the most stupid thing to do. And Mike DeVine is not stupid.”

Other potential appointments noted by Ohio Republican insiders include Secretary of State Frank LaRose, who finished third behind Moreno and Dolan in the Senate primary in March; former state GOP chairwoman Jane Timken; and former state Supreme Court Justice Judi French. DeWine could also pick Lt. Gov. John Husted, Attorney General Dave Yost or Treasurer Robert Sprague in what is expected to be a crowded GOP primary for governor in 2026, two GOP sources said.

DeWine, 77, is less likely to be able to establish himself as a “vacational” senator who agreed not to run for a full term while giving Husted a chance to run for governor.

“A thousand percent not,” Stubenrauch said when asked about the likelihood of that scenario. “One hundred thousand percent no.”

Henry J. Gomez reported from Cleveland and Matt Dixon from Tallahassee, Florida.

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By 37ci3

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