Speculation continues to swirl over whom former President Donald Trump will pick for his running mate, and a new report suggests that his wife Melania is lobbying for one of the most well-known figures in conservative media who has been a consistent promoter of the president.
Axios reports that Melania Trump is strongly encouraging her husband to consider Tucker Carlson for the role of his top aide, arguing that the former Fox News host would add a “powerful onstage extension” to President Trump’s camera-ready bravado. The addition of Carlson may also ramp up Melania’s appearances on the campaign trail of which she has only made several so far this year.
Selecting Carlson would require President Trump to wade through a pool of applicants who have all been steadfast and loyal throughout his four criminal prosecutions and fifth civil trial, defending him in the media and offering support and counsel behind the scenes.
Those under consideration also include U.S. Senator J.D. Vance (R-OH), Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Arizona Senate candidate Kari Lake, and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem. Two others who have also made the shortlist are Congressman Byron Donalds (R-FL), appearing with Trump on the campaign trail; and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) who has used her position to support pro-Trump policies and colleagues in Congress.
Asked last month about the possibility of a Trump-Carlson ticket, President Trump responded, “I like Tucker a lot. … He’s got great common sense.”
Despite the many benefits, some close to the 45th President also worry about potential drawbacks from such a move. Carlson is among the most popular figures in conservative media, and aides to Trump worry about the possibility that his running mate could outshine him at events and on television. There is also the potential for Carlson to go off-script, a penchant that put him on the outs with Fox News after he was targeted for dismissal during the network’s settlement negotiations with Dominion Voting Systems.
A decision on a vice presidential pick may take some time given the many other prominent roles that Trump world has yet to settle on. Stephen Miller, the president’s top aide on immigration during his first term, could be offered the role of U.S. Attorney General or, if not that, a slot in the president’s Cabinet. Steve Bannon may make a return as well as someone whom Carlson has been pushing to serve as Trump’s chief of staff in a second term. Jared Kushner, who has so far kept arm’s length from his father-in-law’s campaign, may well return as Secretary of State given his heavy involvement in the Middle East and the region’s ongoing turmoil.