Trump and Ramaswamy?

Trump and Ramaswamy?

Shortly after the third Republican presidential debate, Donald Trump announced that he was considering asking Tucker Carlson to be his Vice President. Having watched Tucker for many years and come to respect him, my first thought was that he might be a good choice. My next thought was that Trump was more likely having fun with the owners at Fox, saying between the lines—”Anyone they dump must be qualified for high office.”

Trump’s line about Carlson made me curious about who might be Trump’s running mate. Then I heard Newsmax host Rob Schmitt’s commentary on Vivek Ramaswamy’s performance in the NBC debate, followed by his interview with Ramaswamy. Schmitt praised him both for taking Ronna McDaniel to task for doing an abominable job as Republican chairwoman for several years, and for chastising the NBC hosts for their unrelenting liberal bias over the years.

During the interview, Schmitt commented that Ramaswamy’s two-fisted style reminded him of Trump. Ramaswamy responded that unlike the others on the debate stage, he has no problem acknowledging that Trump was an outstanding president. Schmitt immediately asked, “If you feel that way, why are you running against him for the presidency?” Ramaswamy replied, just as quickly, “Trump set the bar high, but I want to take it higher.” He then added that his age group hasn’t had a real representative and it’s time they had one.

That exchange got me thinking. Why not Vivek Ramaswamy for Vice-President? He is clearly highly intelligent. Also, despite his rapid speaking style, his remarks on issues are consistently so precise, well-framed, and penetrating that it is clear they have been preceded by careful thought. Furthermore, his record of achievement proves that he is not just an excellent thinker but an exceptional doer.

Ramaswamy’s background is as impressive as his speaking style. He was born in 1985, the son of immigrants from India. He was valedictorian of his class at Jesuit Xavier high school in Cincinnati, and a nationally ranked tennis player. He earned a biology degree from Harvard summa cum laude, and a law degree from Yale, where he was a member of a Jewish intellectual discussion society. He founded a number of companies, mainly in the pharmaceutical industry, has written three books, and has an estimated net worth of $950 million. As for his positions on issues, he opposes affirmative action and what he calls “the climate cult,” takes a moderate position on abortion, and favors raising the voting age to 25, ending birthright citizenship, limiting government employees to an eight-year term, and abolishing five major government agencies.

There are plenty of other qualified people Trump could choose for VP, including the following ones I believe he will not choose. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who with a few more years as Governor of Arkansas will be an outstanding choice for VP, or perhaps even President, but 2024 seems too soon. Another is former Hawaii Congresswoman and Democrat presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, a lieutenant colonel in the Army National Guard and a Fox News commentator on governmental and cultural affairs. Since leaving the Democrat party in 2022, she has taken a number of conservative views that are compatible with Trump’s views. However, choosing her for VP would anger many Republican party members and cause dissension, something that Trump surely doesn’t need. Kim Reynolds is the first woman governor of Iowa, has an outstanding record, and has also endorsed Trump, but she is 64 and Trump might want a younger funning mate to balance his age of 78. Ron DeSantis has the intelligence, richness of experience, and character that more than qualify him for the vice-presidency; but Trump’s (disgraceful) mocking and demeaning of him has probably made it difficult for Trump to make the offer and for DeSantis to accept it if offered.

Two others have better chances of being chosen. Kristi Noem was the first woman governor in South Dakota’s history. Trump supported her candidacy for that office, her record as governor has been outstanding, and she recently endorsed Trump in the forthcoming presidential race. Nikki Haley was the first woman governor of South Carolina, served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and is at this writing still a candidate for President. All three women share Trump’s philosophy of government.

With such excellent choices (among others) available, why do I believe Ramaswamy may well have an edge for the position of VP? One reason is that his age, 37, would offset Trump’s age, 78. Ramaswamy could serve one term as VP and two as President and still be only 49. (After Biden, age will be more important than usual to voters.) Another reason is that Ramaswamy’s aggressive style is similar to Trump’s (but with much less rudeness), so there would in effect be two Trumps on the campaign trail. A third reason, and perhaps the strongest one, is that Ramaswamy’s record has proved him an excellent learner and thus the kind of young protege who would virtually guarantee that Trump’s legacy lives on after his second term as President. As far as I can tell, no other candidate offers that assurance.

It seems clear that Ramaswamy has the right personality, confidence in himself balanced with respect for his elder, to handle working with Trump. The question is whether Trump can muster the humility necessary to share the limelight with someone like himself. If he can, then the country will be in for a rousing campaign and, if they win the election, a powerful effort to restore America’s greatness.

Copyright © 2023 by Vincent Ryan Ruggiero. All rights reserved.

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Vincent Ryan Ruggiero