On Monday, President Donald Trump held a strategy meeting with top advisers to discuss the 2020 election and Trump’s prospects of being re-elected. One of the main items on the agenda was whether or not Vice President Mike Pence should be dumped from the ticket.
As Gabriel Sherman reports for Vanity Fair, many senior officials close to the president think Pence “doesn’t add anything” significant that can help Trump in what promises to be a contentious election:
“‘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.”
If Pence is indeed removed from the ticket, who might replace him? The odds-on favorite appears to be Trump’s former UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley:
“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.'”
The debate over whether Pence should remain as Veep is more than a bit unusual given the sycophantic nature of Pence’s devotion to Trump. But Chief of Staff John Kelly has reportedly warned the president that Pence doesn’t help expand the electoral map, especially in the light of the fact that Trump won states such as Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin by the narrowest of margins in 2016 and has an approval rating that hovers near 38 percent. Those numbers alone suggest the president may need to make drastic changes if he wants to win a second term:
“‘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.
Of course, considering that Trump could facing impeachment once the report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller is released, who runs as VP may wind up being a moot point in the long run.
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