I’m truly torn.
On the one hand, even though I do enjoy reading and talking politics, I am someone who loathes the perpetual campaign cycle. I hate that the next campaign starts the day after the last one ended.
On the other hand, I will truly be a happy camper when we leave the era of Donald Trump behind. Those who are supportive of the president don’t have to be mad at me for that. I’m not saying that the Democrat in 2016 or the Democrat in 2020 was or would be preferable. I just mean that I don’t believe Trumpism is conservatism, and I fear the lasting fissure within the conservative movement Trump is continuing to split wider with each day that passes.
So, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that even though I know it’s absurdly too early to even broach this subject, I can’t help but look down the road a bit to 2024 and ponder what choices the Republican Party will offer its electorate in the race for the White House. If this is my fantasy, as of right now, I want there to only be five candidates in the race. Here are the ones I want, in the current order of my preference.
5. Vice President Mike Pence
There was a time that Mike Pence was at the top of my White House wish list. When he helped lead the Republican Party Study Committee in the House and appeared poised for a serious run at Speaker of the House, I was aboard the Pence train. His seeming conversion to Trumpism has soured me a bit, but I still believe him to be a man of high integrity, and now there’s no question he boasts the experience.
4. Governor Ron DeSantis
Important state, has a seemingly dynamic personality, and has demonstrated in recent days the willingness and propensity to go aggressively on offense against the mainstream media and their narratives. Maybe that’s one really great thing that will come from the Trump chapter in Republican Party history. They will learn how to punch back at a hostile press that has no interest in covering them fairly.
3. Governor Greg Abbott
I love Greg Abbott. I’ve heard presidential historians say that had FDR been alive today there is no way the American people would elect a president in a wheel chair. I think that sells the American people way too short. I think if someone as capable, conservative, and charismatic as Greg Abbott ran, I, along with countless others would be eager to vote for him. Abbott’s sterling record in Texas is even more impressive than his predecessor Rick Perry. The added bonus is that unlike Perry, Abbott is articulate.
2. Ambassador Nikki Haley
Of course America is ready for a woman president. It just has to be the right woman. And based on her handling of the clown car of corruption over at the UN, I think it could be Haley. Strong conservative credentials (understanding that no one is perfect), and the all-important ability to articulate her ideas in an understandable and convincing way. I think she’s a winner.
1. Senator Tim Scott
I love this guy. Have for a long time. If you haven’t heard of him or you wonder why I’m such a fan, he recently demonstrated it in an appearance on The View. Calm, reasoned, conservative, articulate, polite, but also bold and unafraid to stand his ground. I could be wrong, but I think Scott’s stock will be rising in the months to come – and I think Republicans and Americans will be better off for it.
So how close will I get to having my wish come true? Well interestingly enough, a Survey Monkey poll asked Republicans who they would be willing to vote for in 2024 (see, I told you these campaigns start ridiculously early). All five of my picks made the top ten responses:
Scott was 10th (7%), DeSantis was 9th (8%), Abbott was 7th (13%), Haley was 3rd (26%), and Pence was 1st (40%).
You might think that excited me, but you’d be wrong. Why? Because 2nd and 4th on that list, respectively? Donald Trump, Jr. and Ivanka Trump. Oh no. Please God, no.