Could this be true?
Former President Trump is scheduled to take center stage at a rally in South Dakota this Friday, sharing the platform with the state’s Republican Governor, Kristi Noem. This development has stirred speculation that Trump may be considering Noem as a potential running mate for a future presidential campaign.
According to The Hill, Noem has been a staunch ally of the former president for an extended period, even removing herself from consideration for the GOP nomination due to Trump’s dominant presence in the party. However, in a surprising twist, Noem expressed her willingness last month to entertain the idea of becoming Trump’s running mate if he secures the nomination, adding an intriguing dimension to his upcoming visit to the reliably conservative state.
Jon Schaff, a political science professor at Northern State University in South Dakota, pointed out the curiosity surrounding Trump’s visit and suggested that it might indicate his favorable view of Kristi Noem as a potential vice presidential candidate.
The Monumental Leaders Rally in Rapid City, South Dakota, scheduled for Friday evening, is expected to witness Noem endorsing the former president, as reported by multiple media outlets.
Noem’s emergence as a rising star within the GOP, coupled with her growing national recognition, has positioned her as a contender for the role of Trump’s running mate. Her strategic advertising campaigns, including humorous portrayals of herself as a plumber and dentist on Fox News, have further bolstered her profile within the party.
Republican strategist Ford O’Connell emphasized Noem’s significance, stating that she can effectively convey the party’s message, possesses an impressive record as a chief executive, and aligns perfectly with the party’s image.
Noem’s unwavering loyalty to Trump has set her apart from other GOP rising stars. Brian Seitchik, a Republican strategist and Trump campaign veteran, highlighted the importance of loyalty to the former president in the party’s current landscape.
Despite speculation about a potential presidential run, Noem firmly ruled out her candidacy for the GOP nomination, citing Trump’s dominance as a compelling reason. She underscored her ability to win elections and praised Trump for allowing her to govern effectively during his presidency.
However, the idea of a Trump-Noem ticket faces challenges due to South Dakota’s solidly Republican status, which doesn’t contribute significantly to winning swing states. With only three Electoral College votes and a late primary date, South Dakota’s impact on the Republican primary process is limited.
Nevertheless, South Dakota played a notable role in Trump’s 2020 campaign, with a major rally at Mount Rushmore alongside Kristi Noem. Observers deemed it a successful event, even amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Noem gifted Trump a statue featuring his likeness alongside former Presidents Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, and Theodore Roosevelt during that event. Still, the ultimate success of the Republican nominee’s ticket hinges on its ability to appeal to purple battleground states, such as Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.
While Noem, like Vice President Harris, would bring gender diversity to the ticket, she faces the challenge of belonging to a party that has struggled to attract a majority of female voters. The GOP’s loss of support among suburban female voters, a critical swing demographic, over the past few election cycles further complicates matters.