The sorest loser in US political history last week hinted at aiming for the GOP nomination in his first major speech since voters booted him from the Oval Office, suggesting “a Republican president will make a triumphant return to the White House”, adding: “I wonder who will that be?”
While Trump faces a number of possible lawsuit-shaped barriers to a 2024 bid – despite the best efforts of Republican senators who voted to acquit him of inciting an insurrection at the US Capitol – talk has already turned to his potential running mate.
Given one of Trump’s final literary flourishes before being banned from Twitter was to gift his former VP with an epithet of “Traitor Mike Pence”, shouted by his supporters as they openly talked of executing him on 6 January, it may come as no great surprise to hear that Trump is reportedly considering finding a new partner-in-crime, so to speak.
With that in mind, indy100 has come up with a few *very credible* guesses as to who Trump could choose to fill Pence’s shoes in this *very credible* presidential bid.
The “MyPillow Guy”
With Trump’s political future going forward now based in an alternate reality where the 2020 election was stolen from him using mass voter fraud, it makes sense that he’d seek out those who helped him to peddle this “big lie”.
Few have proven such willingness to put their interests on the line in defence of this narrative as Mike Lindell. The CEO of Trump-endorsed MyPillow.com is being sued for $1.3 billion by Dominion Voting Systems, a voting machine manufacturer which alleges that Lindell falsely accused it of rigging the election as a marketing tactic to sell pillows – a charge Lindell rejects, citing $65m in losses already.
Lindell reportedly has some firsthand experience in advising Trump and was spotted bringing notes that mentioned “martial law if necessary” to a White House meeting during Trump’s final weeks in office.
Back when Trump lay in the White House sprawled astride the Twitterverse, it seemed that barely a week went by without the former tweeter-in-chief praising the intellect and insight of Lou Dobbs – a Fox commentator and author of a book titled, The Trump Century: How Our President Changed the Course of History Forever.
Much like the former president, Dobbs would seem to have some newfound time on his hands – his Lou Dobbs Tonight programme was cancelled the day after it emerged that he was named in a $2.7bn defamation suit from voting machine maker Smartmatic alleging he was part of a “disinformation campaign” against the company.
Not that we’re trying to suggest Dobbs – or, please note, any of these suggestions – could be an actual contender, but Trump has publicly declared an interest in Dobbs’ next steps, saying in a statement: “Lou Dobbs is and was great ... He had a large and loyal following that will be watching closely for his next move, and that following includes me.”
You heard it here first.
Marjorie Taylor Greene
Or if Trump prefers someone with congressional experience, newly elected House Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene seems in many ways to be the natural progression of his legacy.
Just as it once seemed unthinkable that a reality TV star could enter the White House on a ticket of building a wall along the Mexican border and blocking visas to those from Muslim-majority countries, it seemed similarly unrealistic that someone who had touted conspiracy theories about world leaders being part of a cannibalistic cabal of paedophiles would shortly afterwards be elected to Congress.
But four years on from the first of these unthinkable scenarios coming to pass and here we find ourselves fully down the rabbit hole. Who’s to say where it ends.
One of Trump’s juniors
While we’re on the subject of Trump’s legacy, perhaps we should include his actual children – which feels at risk of being a little too on the nose, given the uncomfortable levels of power and access they were given during his time in the White House.
Which of Trump’s spawn may emerge victorious as the chosen one remains up for grabs. While Donald Jr and Eric may yet manage to break the political speed and sound barrier and return as laser-eyed prophets of some new form of intergalactic politics as they each seek to be their father’s most radical defender, Ivanka’s appetite for power is rumoured to have diminished in the wake of the Capitol insurrection, having previously survived some of her father’s least savoury moments.
But, if this tweet immortalising Trump’s now-infamous interaction with a boy who wanted to mow the White House lawn is anything to go by, their efforts may have been for nothing.
Barry Scott, of Cillit Bang fame
Not only do Trump and the fictional hero of the TV adverts for cleaning product Cillit Bang share an apparent love for bleach but Barry Scott was shouting at his fans to remove unwanted guests with a “bang” long before Trump did it at his rallies.
However, it appears unlikely the man behind the legend, Neil Burgess, would be interested – having delighted the internet by stepping in last year to warn people – somewhat contrary to the mid-pandemic advice of the then-US president – against using Cillit Bang “as a cure for exotic viruses, mysterious rashes or athletes foot”, adding: “And never use it to bleach the orifice that some people like to speak out of.”
As the only other authoritarian-minded leader who famously sought to drain a fictional swamp, Shrek’s similarly short-tempered and small-fisted nemesis might just be a perfect fit for Team Trump.
While the Tiger King himself is likely still sore after Trump failed to gift him a presidential pardon for keeping millions entertained at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the pair could be a match made in heaven.
Both have demonstrated not just a skill for radically outlandish PR tactics, but have also been accused of demonstrating scant regard for the rule of law while in pursuit of power and harbouring a somewhat harmful approach to conserving wildlife – albeit in Trump’s case on a global scale.
Even Trump Jr seems to think the pair are a good fit.
Trump Jr was keen to show himself as a fan of Dr Seuss this week as he raged against the author being cancelled this week (spoiler: he wasn’t).
While he posted a picture of his family’s copy of The Cat in the Hat – with his awkward hand placement obscuring whether he possibly or possibly did not own a bilingual Spanish edition – it was another Dr Seuss classic that Trump Sr once brought to mind.
In a memorable presidential episode of which the Grinch would be proud, Trump risked gifting one seven-year-old a slice of Christmas realism as he asked her whether she “still” believed in Santa Claus, adding: “At seven, it’s marginal, right?”
A crime-fighting plumber
As with most authoritarian-minded leaders, Trump was keen to portray himself as tough on crime – so tough, in fact, that he infamously had police clear peaceful protesters with rubber bullets and tear gas so that he could pose for a photo.
But while Trump on several occasions attacked cities and countries as “infested” with crime, it was on the subject of faulty appliances that he really hit his stride – raging on multiple occasions that energy-saving bulbs made him look orange, and launching into lengthy tirades about dishwashers, fridges, toilets and showers.
With this combination of priorities in mind, this crime-fighting plumber might be just the hero Trump needs.
The late Ted Heath
This late British prime minister infamously retreated into what was dubbed the “longest sulk in history” after losing the Tory leadership contest to Margaret Thatcher in 1975, refusing to work with her or forgive her until he retired from politics a quarter of a century later.
This, surely, is a mood Trump can get behind.
Editor's choice - Homelander
For those that haven't seen the cult Amazon series The Boys then Homelander is best described as a psychopathic version of Superman, determined to maintain his positive image above all else, no matter if that means hurting innocent people along the way. He is basically Trump as a superhero; a narcissist who plays up patriotism through manipulation, ultimately trying to keep a grip on the little power he has. He also has a completely terrible haircut, not dissimilar to Trump's. Homelander would be the perfect running mate for Trump as aside from looking similar and having the same politics, Trump could just use Homelander to intimidate his opponents with his heat vision and super strength.