The last time Donald Trump picked a running mate, he made a conventional choice in Mike Pence — a relatively safe decision with traditional presidential ticket-balancing in mind.
But as Trump gears up for a 2024 bid to recapture the White House, the nascent thinking at Mar-a-Lago surrounding his potential vice president is considerably different. According to conversations with a dozen Trump advisers and close associates, the former president doesn’t feel bound by geographic or ideological considerations — or any standard political rules at all.
Those familiar with his thinking say his selection will be determined by two factors that rate highest in Trump’s estimation: unquestioned loyalty and an embrace of the former president’s baseless claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
“A lot of times, a presidential candidate will pick a running mate to balance out wings of the party. But with Trump, that’s not the issue. He is the party, basically. It’s so united behind him,” said John McLaughlin, one of Trump’s campaign pollsters. “So his choice, if he runs, will come down to what he wants. It would be a much more personal decision this time.”
Trump hasn’t made his 2024