Will President Trump switch up his ticket in 2020? The Wall Street Journal editorial page, bastion of the establishment right, certainly hopes so. A little over a week ago, it called for former ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley to replace the dutiful Mike Pence as vice president. But there’s well-placed chatter in Washington that suggests the president will take a different route. Trump does indeed feel he needs VP change, but it is not Nikki Haley he is considering. It is Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
The Trump 2020 campaign needs panache, not more cash. If Trump wants to make a switch – as both his predecessors, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, flirted with doing – why would he lean further into the establishment?
Good things happen when Trump takes Tucker Carlson's advice.
Here’s why it would make sense for the president to just go all the way— and name Carlson his running mate.
First, Tucker gets Trump. The duo have personal chemistry far exceeding the rapport that Pence or Haley enjoy. Haley bitterly opposed Trump during the 2016 primary and a former senior administration official has long informed me that her hiring during the transition was a ‘keep your enemies closer’ affair. In Carlson, Trump would get to anoint an heir apparent he actually likes.
Second, Tucker gets Trumpism, and Trumpism gets Tucker. He is eminence grise of a new intellectual right befitting the Trump era, and appeals to people who have started to become disgruntled in President Trump.
Tucker understands Trumpism better than Trump.
It’s been speculated before that Carlson might enter a 2024 race, but Trump might want to bring him into his fold sooner than that. Trump often complains of ideological clashes with his own officials. That’s partly why he already relies on a shadow cabinet, anchored by Carlson, as proved by last week’s called-off strikes on Iran.
A Vice President Carlson could lay low, moreover, and empower a new generation of Trumpist conservatives from the Naval Observatory. Trump in his first term has had to appoint Bush-era officials who have no idea what drives Trump’s movement. Carlson knows Trumpworld far better.
If Tucker jumped into the 2024 race, as has been widely discussed, excitement among the activist class would be barely containable. If he jumped into 2020, excitement would boil over.
It would definitely be a good move to energize Trump's base, which is mostly quite frustrated with Trump's constant caving and total failure to secure the border.
That said, I would prefer President Tucker Carlson and Vice President Donald Trump. Trump fought like hell during the campaign but as president he has let Jared Kushner, Ivanka, Mike Pompeo and John Bolton have way too much influence and he let the Republican establishment set his agenda.
He ran as a transformation figure but then submitted to the status quo on far too many issues. As Steve Bannon said, "embrac[ing] the establishment" was "the original sin of the administration."
During Trump's recent interview with Tucker, Tucker was on point talking about war with Iran and Big Tech censorship and Trump's responses were very weak.
On ending our wars in the Middle East, he said he reversed his decision to pull out of Afghanistan after a general who looked like he was "out of central casting" repeated the cliche that he'd "rather attack them over there than have them hit us over here" -- even though we've flooded the country with "them" and brought them "here" over the past decade in the name of prog-globalism.
Here's the exact quote:
TRUMP: You have to watch because they do -- you know, okay, I'll give you a tough one. If you were in my position and a great looking central casting and we have great generals, a great central casting general walks up to your office, I say, "We're getting out." "Yes, sir. We'll get out. Yes, sir."
I'll say, "What do you think of that?" "Sir, I'd rather attack them over there, then attack them in our land." In other words, them coming here. That's always a very tough decision, you know, with what happened with the World Trade Center, et cetera et cetera.
When they say that, you know, no matter how you feel, and you and I feel pretty much very similar. But when you're standing there, and you have some really talented military people saying, "I'd rather attack them over there than have them hit us over here and fight them on our land." It's something you always have to think about.
His answer to Big Tech censorship was even worse. He doesn't seem to understand that Big Tech reengineered the entire internet after he won and is waging total war on everyone who helped him win (he doesn't use the internet other than Twitter). He also wouldn't say whether he's going to do anything about it (in the past after Paul Joseph Watson and a bunch of other supporters were banned he only said he would "monitor" the situation):
CARLSON: Google, by some measures, the most powerful company in the world -- all information flows through it -- they're against you. They don't want you reelected. Can you get reelected if Google is against you?
TRUMP: So you know, I've been hearing that about Google and Facebook and Twitter.
CARLSON: Yes, that's right.
TRUMP: Okay. I won. They were totally against me. I won. Hillary --
CARLSON: They didn't think you were going to win.
TRUMP: Well, they fought me very hard. I mean, I heard that and they're fighting me hard right now, which is incredible because I think the Democrats want to shut them up and frankly, so do a lot of the republicans want to shut them up.
If you look at Twitter, I have millions and millions of people on Twitter and it's -- you know, it's a very good arm for me. It's great social media. But they don't treat me right.
And I know for a fact, I mean, a lot of people try and follow me and it's very hard. I have so many people coming up that they say, "Sir, it's so hard. They make it hard to follow." What they're doing is wrong and possibly illegal. And a lot of things are being looked at right now.
But you're right, Google is very powerful, but I won. And a poll just came out today I'm at 54 or 55, and they do say you can add 10 to whatever poll I have, okay? And I never get good press. I mean, I haven't had a good story. I used to get the best press in the world. You remember the old days when I was an entrepreneur, I used to get great press. Now, I get -- because of what I stand for and represent and nobody has ever had, I think 93 percent -- it came out the other day, 93 percent, and I'm talking about stories that should be good, they make them bad or should be great, they make them like neutral. And yet I won, and I'll win again.
So when they say it's the most powerful, it may be, but they were against me. Facebook was against me. They were all against me. Twitter was against me. Twitter -- I've been very good for Twitter. I don't think Twitter would be the same without what I do on Twitter.
But they just have this crazy disposition. They have this philosophy, and yet, the Democrats are very much opposed to them in so many ways. It's sort of an amazing thing.
CARLSON: So you just said that what the tech companies are doing maybe illegal, is there a role for the Justice Department in finding out?
TRUMP: Well, they could be and I don't want to even say whether or not they're doing something, but I will tell you, there are a lot of people that want us to and there are a lot of people -- all you have to do is pick up a newspaper and read it or see it or watch Fox or watch some other network. There are a lot of people that want us to take action against Facebook and against Twitter and frankly, against Amazon.
TRUMP: Amazon also. A lot of people want us to take action.
CARLSON: Are you going to?
TRUMP: I can't say that, Tucker. That I can't say.
Regardless of whether he picks Tucker to be his VP, he needs to keep listening to his advice as he's the only mainstream figure with his finger on the pulse of America.