top of page

The Right Resistance: If a resume is the only consideration, Pompeo is perfect for Trump’s veep

If you asked a hundred people the same question regarding today’s American politics, you’d probably get a hundred different responses.

Or at least it would seem so, especially if the topic was, “Who should Donald Trump choose to run with this year?” Everyone has their own opinion and the variables and scenarios are equally diverse in each case. 2024 is shaping up to be a political year unlike any others and the all-but certain Republican nominee is also in stand-alone position as being practically free from standard restraints or obstacles most presidential candidates confront when sizing-up what could be his administration’s most important decision before votes are even cast (except for primary ballots, of course).


Adding to this cycle’s unusual mix of factors is that Trump has already been president, already had a vice president and he himself has been vetted in just about every manner conceivable. Could Trump choose whoever he wants? Would it matter? What person represents the best outcome?


In an opinion piece titled “Mike Pompeo is obvious and best choice for Trump’s running mate”, the always astute observer Michael McKenna wrote at The Washington Times recently:


“Everyone seems to have an opinion about whom former President Donald Trump should select as his running mate. Some are ridiculous, such as Vivek Ramaswamy or Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Some are inspired but pose their own challenges, like former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.


“The easiest and best answer is obvious: former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.


“Mr. Pompeo would immediately provide the campaign with a frisson of energy and composure and add a sense of steadiness of purpose and calmness of mind to a candidate who does not always project those qualities. Moreover, the former CIA director is strong and clear precisely where the campaign needs strength and clarity: foreign policy, national security and the ability to articulate the case against China, Iran and other adversaries. Mr. Pompeo brings the added benefit of having served in uniform.”


There’s little doubt that Mike Pompeo would be a fine fit for many an opening in the (hopefully) upcoming Trump administration and would also be an invaluable asset to the new president, just as he was to the “old’ Trump 45 in the populist conservative outsider’s first go-round.


Therefore, it’s only natural that Pompeo makes the short-list of those poring over the potential running mates for Trump, along with several of those mentioned in McKenna’s opening paragraph. Having too many good possibilities is a beneficial thing, almost the reverse of Joe Biden’s 2020 situation where the Democrat all-but certain nominee painted himself in a corner by first promising a woman veep candidate and then narrowing the field irreversibly by suggesting said female would be a minority who eventually was crowned.


Trump has no such self-imposed limitations having been coy enough about his thought process to keep everyone guessing but also sufficiently open to considering just about anyone who isn’t named Nikki Haley… or Mike Pence. “Birdbrain” Nikki burned her possible bridges to the vice presidency long ago and hasn’t done anything more recently to imply that she wants back in Trump’s good graces as far as the Old Executive Office Building is concerned.


Pompeo is an intriguing aspirant, because on paper, he makes sense in just about every vetting category. McKenna additionally reported on the former Trump Secretary of State’s background: “[Pompeo] also brings the sort of personal accomplishments — first in his class at West Point, Harvard Law School, small businessman, prominent lawyer, congressman, Cabinet secretary — that still define success in the United States.”


You may recall Pompeo was rumored to be planning a presidential campaign of his own in the months leading up to the unofficial launch of the horserace. I don’t remember the reasons he cited for opting to stay out, but whatever they were, Mike was wise – and correct. Pompeo’s resume-based pitch wouldn’t have gotten far in the 2024 scrum for the same reason Ron DeSantis’s, Pence’s, Tim Scott’s, Haley’s and the other competitors didn’t succeed.


That being Donald Trump. Trump is a giant among political munchkins as far as 2024 Republicans are concerned. Personally, I think if Ron DeSantis didn’t catch fire this year, no one else would have. And Nikki Haley is a pretender establishment candidate who would still be begging corporations for a dollar if she hadn’t ended up the last woman standing against the frontrunner.


Pompeo was prudent to stay apart from it. But is there reason enough to choose him?


When vetting the possible candidates for a party nominee’s running mate, there’s no set-in-stone criteria for who that person should be other than the constitutional prerequisites to assume the office if something should happen to the president during his or her term. The vice president should be at least 35 years old, etc. and, for eligibility purposes, not be from the same state as the top nominee.


But the actual candidate for president invariably explains that he or she is searching for someone who could assume the presidency at, literally, a moment’s notice and be ready to continue the commander in chief’s duties without skipping a beat, so to speak. In other words, the vice president, in a perfect world, would be an ideological carbon copy of the person who voters selected to be president.


Modern thinking, however, has it that candidates for vice president must somehow add political value to the two-person ticket, meaning the number two should be from a swing state (“He helps carry the crucial state of [insert contested state here]) or a demographic designation (“She will make the nominee look more palatable to young female voters, the kind of backing the nominee will need”), or future consideration (“She’s going to be the favorite for the next election, so it’ll be like on-the-job training”), or unity (“He’s from the establishment wing of the party, so choosing him brings the elites on board”).


Blind surface considerations are how Kamala Harris was foisted upon the American people simply because she’s technically a female human (with pronouns of “she” and “her”) and, more importantly, Harris was born to parents who hail from a part of the earth where the people have dark skin. A fun mental exercise would be to imagine that the child of a man and woman from South Africa or Zimbabwe (or other African nation with a sizable European-descended white population) was chosen because he or she is “African-American”.


For example, If Elon Musk was actually born on U.S. soil (he was born in South Africa and emigrated to Canada at age 18), would he qualify as “African-American” because of his parents’ origin? Talk about a stupid distinction. Likewise, there are lots of dark-skinned Frenchmen or Brits – if you don’t believe it, look at some of their soccer or Olympic teams.


At any rate, in the old days at least, presidential nominees chose possible vice presidents based on their personal compatibility and political value. And, if you go back to the founding of the United States, vice presidents were the second-place finishers in presidential elections. That’s how it was possible to have a president and vice president from different parties (Federalist John Adams with Democrat/Republican Thomas Jefferson in 1796).


Imagine that – the Founding Fathers believed that parties should have nothing to do with it. That’s why there’s no mention of parties in the Constitution itself. It’s hard to believe now, but there could be a Donald Trump presidency with Joe Biden as vice president if the rules hadn’t changed. Does that mean senile Joe would be an improvement over cackling Kamala?


Nowadays, it seems as though vice presidents are added solely because of extra-political considerations – at least on the Republican side. John McCain chose Alaska’s Sarah Palin because she was one, a woman – which helped balance the “first black major party nominee” clamor surrounding Barack Obama for the Democrats – and because she would help bring conservatives, who were wary of John McCain’s lukewarm dedication to the cause of liberty, into the tent.


For those who recall the 2008 campaign, Palin consistently drew large and enthusiastic crowds, at least comparable in size to McCain’s – and much more boisterous. Gov. Sarah’s authenticity and youth made the old and stale McCain look dated. Was it a perfect match? Who can say, but there’s no way that America was going to reject Obama after eight years of Republican establishment incompetence under George W. Bush.


McCain’s loss was baked into the American political pie regardless of his running mate choice, primarily because the former Vietnam prisoner of war didn’t have anything to offer voters except for his unique personal story and penchant for conservative issue betrayals.


While a veep choice is definitely important for adding or detracting from a presidential candidate’s appeal, in 2024, the running mate question probably wouldn’t alter the outcome any. Yes, Trump is getting up there in years and yes, the three-time Republican White House seeker has a ton of baggage. But who, in today’s political stalemate, would switch their vote on Trump (for or against) based on who stands next to him on stage at this year’s Republican convention?


I’d argue that Trump could only hurt himself by choosing the wrong person. Pompeo could be the man for all the reasons McKenna listed in his piece. But does Pompeo make Trump more appealing? He’s not well known outside of Republican politics. He’s been an insider and could be linked to the establishment, though not as a suck-up type leader.


Pompeo is also somewhat dry and non-controversial, has been around a good long time and is unlikely to generate much negative news coverage. If he would do it, why not bring Mr. Pompeo to the White House as Trump’s Chief of Staff? Time will tell who Trump eventually selects, and here’s thinking whomever it ends up being, he or she will be the right choice.

  • Joe Biden economy

  • inflation

  • Biden cognitive decline

  • gas prices,

  • Nancy Pelosi

  • Biden senile

  • January 6 Committee

  • Liz Cheney

  • Build Back Better

  • Joe Manchin

  • RINOs

  • Marjorie Taylor Green

  • Kevin McCarthy

  • Mitch McConnell

  • 2022 elections

  • Donald Trump

  • 2024 presidential election

94 views1 comment

1 Comment

I like the idea of Mike Pompeo being Vice President. While Donald Trump seems to be well, there is always a possibility that something will happen to him. Mike is a highly qualified person who could step in and take charge at a moments notice. That's the most important function for a Vice President. It's about time for us to look for a competent person rather than one who "appeals" to a certain demographic or constituency. We've had enough duds in the past.

bottom of page