Join the fight and contribute to our war chest

Ditch the ads for $5 per month or $49 per year

By all accounts, President Trump’s search for a running mate is entering the home stretch.

Most reports have Trump down to a small stable of likely picks, and on Tuesday, Bloomberg released a report that, if true, narrows the field even more:

Donald Trump has ruled out Vivek Ramaswamy as his running mate and is instead eyeing the entrepreneur for a Cabinet job, according to people familiar with the matter, as the Republican presidential nominee sizes up a possible administration.

Trump personally told Ramaswamy he won’t be his vice presidential pick, according to people briefed on the discussion, but is considering him for posts including Homeland Security secretary.


Trump is known to change his mind about personnel and policy, but for now, he isn’t satisfied with his roster of vice presidential possibilities. Stefanik, the No. 3 House Republican, is seen as lacking a national profile, fundraising base, or ability to deliver her home of New York state, a long-held pipe dream for Trump, a Queens native. But she’s likely to have a Cabinet role, people close to Trump said.

Trump has complained that Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, one of his former White House press secretaries, waited too long to endorse him. Senator Katie Britt of Alabama botched her odds because of her widely-panned response to Biden’s State of the Union, and was already viewed skeptically by Trump hardliners as an ally of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

And just like that, four of the 12 leading contenders that Axios profiled just two weeks ago are out—for now, anyway.

Many expect Trump to choose a woman, a black, or a Hispanic to be his running mate, operating on the thesis that Trump just needs more diversity points to get over the hump next fall.

We will, of course, support President Trump, no matter his choice. We want Trump to win in 2024, and we want his political revolution to win in the annals of history. Making the right call for vice president is crucial to both of those desires. And in Revolver’s view, simply picking a “diverse” candidate is not the way to go. Instead, the answer is clear: Among the names still being considered for the role of Donald Trump’s running mate, Sen. J.D. Vance leads the pack.

With any vice presidential choice, there are two primary factors to consider. First, does the choice boost the presidential ticket’s chances of winning? Second, would the choice be desirable as an actual U.S. president, acting as the successor to the president who came before?

Many of the popular vice presidential choices fulfill neither of these criteria (who votes Trump because Kristi Noem is on the ticket?). Some fulfill one. Vance fulfills both.

How? Allow us to explain.

Vance Emphasizes Trump’s Strengths

To begin, let’s take a step back to 2016. While everyone is obviously fed up with Mike Pence today, back in 2016, he was a brilliant strategic choice by Trump for a running mate. As a total political neophyte, Trump needed an experienced colleague to reassure voters that while he was bringing change, he wasn’t bringing sheer chaos. Pence, a former representative and sitting governor, provided that. Trump also needed a running mate who would reassure the Republican base that they weren’t being tricked into backing a “fake Republican.” Finally, and most importantly, Trump also needed a running mate who filled those two roles but who also wouldn’t melt down and abandon the ticket over a fake scandal like the Access Hollywood tape. Pence capably filled that role; in 2016, he was the right man for the spot. In fact, in the landscape of 2016, Pence was one of the only choices who could get Trump over the hump to victory.

But 2024 is a very different race at a very different time, and that calls for a very different kind of vice presidential pick. In 2016, the VP choice needed to bolster a potential vulnerability. In 2024, Trump should choose a running mate who emphasizes his strengths. 

What are those strengths?

  • Trump has overwhelming anti-establishment credibility. He is hated by the right people.
  • Trump has a reflexive hatred of America’s “political bullshit.” He doesn’t fall for or repeat D.C.-concocted scams like “Ukraine is central to American security” or “Illegal immigrants do the jobs Americans won’t do.” This gives Trump an unbeatable reputation as a tells-it-like-it-is straight talker.
  • Unapologetic America-first nationalism. Doesn’t pretend the rest of the world’s people are just like Americans, except when they’re better.
  • Trump has an intuitive ability to speak to the concerns and priorities of the “forgotten man” in middle America.
  • Trump was obviously better at the job than the sitting incumbent.

It’s possible that Trump will spend weeks of peak campaign season in a courtroom in Florida, New York, Fulton County, or Washington, D.C. It’s even possible that, after a politically motivated conviction, an equally politically motivated judge orders Trump imprisoned pending his appeal. It is entirely within the realm of possibility that Donald Trump will spend a portion of next fall or even Election Night itself behind bars. Far more than in 2016 or 2020, President Trump should have a partner who can speak powerfully to the same core issues that made him such a dynamic political force from the moment he descended the Trump Tower escalator in 2015.

Who does that the best? Clearly, Vance.

At this point, nobody is developing a first impression of Donald Trump. The whole world knows what he is about and what he isn’t. Instead, what Trump ought to do is maximize the level of excitement for his candidacy: convert the lukewarm into the passionate, and the passionate into votes in ballot boxes. Instead of looking for geographic “balance” or college admissions-style “diversity” points, Trump should be looking to maximize what has always been his greatest political asset: the narrative of his candidacy. Donald Trump, smasher of idols. Donald Trump, humiliator of the Washington elites. Donald Trump, savior of Middle America, and the Forgotten Man. Donald Trump, the man in a red tie and a red hat, will make America great again.

And no politician on the national stage embodies the political narrative of the Trump revolution more than Ohio’s junior senator. From the beginning, fate has linked their destinies and their personal stories. Trump turned the decline, dysfunction, and hopeful revitalization of middle America and its people into the biggest issue in the country. Meanwhile, Vance’s memoir Hillbilly Elegy, about growing up with a pill-addicted mother in a fading Ohio town, was, from the moment of its release, understood not merely as a memoir but as the key to grasping Trump’s unexpected and tremendous political appeal. The themes of Hillbilly Elegy helped thousands of people grasp what had happened to their country and why so many were ready to roll the dice on a reality TV show businessman to fix it. Ironically, at the time of the book’s release, Vance wasn’t yet a Trump supporter, but the overlap of his life with Trump’s message was so powerful that the two have been linked together ever since. And when Vance pivoted from memoirist to politician, he didn’t just become a supporter of President Trump. He became Trump’s most visionary, most articulate, and best supporter.

Vance’s role as a Trump super-supporter is so strong that news outlets can’t help gushing about it at length. In fact, Politico just did so, with a staggering 9,000-word article that tries to frame J.D. Vance as an “ominous” ultra-MAGAite but actually just makes him look awesome.


In certain conservative circles, Vance has emerged as the standard-bearer of the “New Right,” a loose movement of young, edgy and elite conservatives trying to take the ideological revolution that began under Trump — including his overt embrace of nationalism, his hard-line stance on immigration, his vocal opposition of U.S. involvement in foreign conflicts like Ukraine and his overt skepticism toward certain liberal democratic principles — in an even more radical direction. Unlike Trump’s more conventional Republican followers, Vance’s New Right cohort see Trump as merely the first step in a broader populist-nationalist revolution that is already reshaping the American right — and, if they get their way, that will soon reshape America as a whole.

Just like Trump, Vance has a fearless streak. He’s unafraid of being denounced as too extreme, too “racist,” or even too cringe. He vocally opposed U.S. involvement in Ukraine when it was a position held by virtually no one except himself, Donald Trump, Tucker Carlson, and, of course, Revolver. He runs funny ads asking if voters think they’re racist. And best of all, he shares articles from naughty right-wing websites about how American airports are appalling hellholes.

Vance Is Loyal

Vance’s entire political career, from the beginning, has been as a supporter of Trump and an avatar of Trumpism. Most high-profile Republicans are simply not that way. They were first elected ten, twenty, or *shudder* forty-nine years ago.They entered politics as members of a Republican Party that had different standout issues, different rhetoric, a different political style, and different priorities. There’s a reason that practically zero elected Republicans supported Trump in 2015, and in 2016, a huge share of them only begrudgingly supported “the Republican nominee.”

It’s not that Vance deserves to be “rewarded” for loyalty. That’s irrelevant, and nobody is ever “owed” a vice presidential slot.

But Washington has spent nearly a decade earnestly normalizing the idea of using the 25th Amendment to yank a president from office. Beltway insiders repeatedly floated the idea during Trump’s first term, and the trauma of being “governed” by Joe Biden’s shambling husk has caused plenty of Republicans to imagine a Cabinet coup.

So let’s just scuttle the idea from the start. Don’t simply “trust” that a Republican who has been in office since 2010 or 2000 or even earlier will have authentically evolved away from Bush-era “conservatism” towards alignment with Trump. Give Donald Trump a true believer and a fellow traveler.

Vance Is a Winner

Like Trump, Vance leapt right into politics without doing much to build up experience at lower levels. The Ohio Senate job is the first office he ever ran for. The competition for it was intense, with six viable candidates at one point or another. Just like the 2016 presidential primary, it was a bitter, multi-sided race. In the first poll with Vance as a candidate, he polled at 2% support. Mitch McConnell did everything he could to stop him. The Club for Growth spent millions of dollars trying to derail his rise. Yet they all failed, and with a boost from Trump himself, Vance climbed his way from minor candidate, to contender, to nominee, to U.S. Senator.

In politics, there is no substitute for victory, and Vance has shown he has a natural talent for winning those victories.

Vance Understands the Most Critical Issues

Two years ago, when he was still just a primary candidate for the Senate, Vance did an interview with Revolver. We asked him what he would consider the #1 issue to resolve if he were Senate Majority Leader. His response has aged like a fine Chardonnay:

I personally think the southern border crisis is a historic catastrophe, so I’d focus my efforts there. And there is a jarring contrast between that crisis and the one in Ukraine: for four years, Congressional Democrats (and Republicans) refused to give Donald Trump $4bn for a border wall; they gave Joe Biden $14bn for aide to Ukraine in a week.

Fresh Off Debate Victory, America First Senate Candidate J.D. Vance Talks With Revolver About His Plans to Take Back the Country

Vance also elaborated on his Ukraine position in a way that showed it wasn’t just a one-off and that he had a serious understanding of what makes a “Trumpian” foreign policy work:

The most important thing is to separate moralizing from strategic interest. The media always accused Trump of being a “Putin stooge” or being “pro-Russia” for saying that he had a good relationship with Putin. It’s just such a preposterous argument. To be an effective negotiator, you need to accept that the other party has distinct interests. … [I]f you walk in to a foreign policy dispute obsessing over who the ”bad guy” is, you’ll make stupid decisions. Trump is maybe the first American president of my lifetime who understood this.

Most right-wing media sells Trump short on foreign policy. You hear all the time that Putin would have never invaded Ukraine because “Trump was strong.” That is true, but Trump was also smart! He didn’t antagonize every world leader. He accepted that other countries — even those led by evil men — have strategic goals that we need to acknowledge. Remember how every media outlet attacked Trump for being evil because he said something polite about a rival’s leader? Trump’s response was always: “it’s actually important to be able to talk to people.” This is just so obvious, yet 99 percent of the establishment ignored it.

A lot of things flow from this. For example, because very few people in the current establishment think strategically — but they can moralize all day long — we should inherently mistrust them and give them as little power as possible. We should avoid military conflict if possible, because the mediocrities in that same establishment are driven more by emotional considerations than the interest of their country.

This is more than just a matter of Vance being able to give a good interview answer. Can you imagine a politician who can deftly talk about the Ukraine war and America’s geopolitical interests like that getting to face Kamala Harris in a vice presidential debate?

How about in a White House? More so than any politician in American history, Donald Trump has to worry about frauds and saboteurs beneath him diverting and ruining his presidential agenda. Trump is only one very busy man and will need enforcers in his administration to ensure MAGA is carried out. From 2017 through 2020, Mike Pence didn’t provide that. Vance can, and that’s a recipe for a vastly more effective Trump White House.

Vance Has Savvy on Republicans’ Toughest Issue

It would be easy for us to simply tout Vance as a firebreathing MAGA winger who will be the most based candidate at all times. Plenty of our readers would like it. But actually, that isn’t what Vance is, and it shouldn’t be.

Politics is, ultimately, a popularity contest and a means of hashing out disagreements. Some politicians recognize that, and some find it easier to never compromise and also never win a national election. The challenge is getting candidates who know the difference between compromising on policy and compromising on values.

Vance has capably navigated one of the thorniest issues for Republicans in the past two election cycles: abortion. Ever since the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade, a “Dobbs effect” has cost Republicans votes in many of the same states they are looking to win next November. Strict abortion laws have repeatedly gone before the public in up-or-down votes, and they have repeatedly lost. Trump himself is reportedly worried that having a veep pick who calls for a national abortion ban would turn away swing voters, and he’s right to worry.

There are a lot of Republicans who, bluntly, pander to the pro-life movement by making big promises that are also a complete political fantasy. Remember back in September 2022, when Lindsey Graham introduced a 15-week abortion ban into the Senate? It was the height of self-serving political idiocy. The ban was never going to pass, but it garnered a mountain of media coverage, especially from the most shrill corners of the left. By mobilizing the opposition, Graham’s bill made pro-abortion votes at the state level more likely to pass and pro-abortion Democrats more likely to win. The only winners were abortionists, Democrats, and Lindsey Graham, who bolstered his “true conservative” credentials well ahead of a 2026 primary challenge.

Vance, on the other hand, is an actual serious thinker on the issue. After Ohio voters tossed out a post-Dobbs pro-life law, Vance responded with what was hard to say but had to be said:

For pro lifers, last night was a gut punch. No sugar coating it.

Giving up on the unborn is not an option. It’s politically dumb and morally repugnant. Instead, we need to understand why we lost this battle so we can win the war.

I was very involved in the “no” campaign for issue 1, so let me share a few insights.

First, we got creamed among voters who disliked both Issue 1 and also Ohio’s current law (heartbeat bill). We saw this consistently in polling and in conversations. “I don’t like Issue 1, but I’d rather have that extreme than the other extreme.” This is a political fact, not my opinion.

Second, we have to recognize how much voters mistrust us (meaning elected Republicans) on this issue. Having an unplanned pregnancy is scary. Best case, you’re looking at social scorn and thousands of dollars of unexpected medical bills. We need people to see us as the pro-life party, not just the anti-abortion party.

Third, as Donald Trump has said, “you’ve got to have the exceptions.” I am as pro life as anyone, and I want to save as many babies as possible. This is not about moral legitimacy but political reality. I’ve seen dozens of good polls on the abortion question in the last few months, many of them done in Ohio. Give people a choice between abortion restrictions very early in pregnancy with exceptions, or the pro choice position, and the pro life view has a fighting chance. Give people a heartbeat bill with no exceptions and it loses 65-35. (The reason we didn’t lose 65-35 last night is that some people who hate “no exceptions” restrictions will still refuse to vote for things like Issue 1).

Fourth, we’ve spent so much time winning a legal argument on abortion that we’ve fallen behind on the moral argument. I talked to so many decent people who voted yes on Issue 1, and their reasons varied. Some described themselves as “pro life” but hated the lack of a rape exception in Ohio law. Some were worried that Ohio law would prevent them from addressing an ectopic pregnancy, or a late term miscarriage. Some didn’t understand the “viability” standard in Issue 1, and thought that of course you should be able to abort a “non-viable” pregnancy as that would be a danger to the mother. You can criticize the propaganda effort on the other side for lying to people about these issues or confusing the populace, but it suggests we have to do a much better job of persuasion. And I’m not just talking about 30 second TV commercials–I’m talking about sustained, years long efforts to show the heart of the pro life movement.

Fifth, money. We got outspent big time on Issue 1, and across the country. Republicans are almost always outspent by Democrats. Relatedly, Democrats are better at turning out in off year elections. The national party should be focused on two, and only two issues: how to juice turnout in off year elections and how to close the finance gap with Democrats.

A lot of people put their heart and soul into this campaign. The local right to life organizations in Ohio, The Center for Christian Virtue, SBA, Governor Dewine, and so many others. I tip my hat to them.

A lot of people are celebrating right now, and I don’t care about that. I do care about the fact that because we lost, many innocent children will never have a chance to live their dreams.

There is something sociopathic about a political movement that tells young women (and men) that it is liberating to murder their own children. So let’s keep fighting for our country’s children, and let’s find a way to win.

Vance threads the needle: The pro-life movement is a key part of the Republican coalition and should be supported, but the political strength for sweeping bans in purple states or at the national level is not there. Loudly promising them hurts the cause rather than helping it. For the time being, pro-life campaigners have to focus on long-term persuasion and preserving gains already made before they are wiped out by a voter backlash.



Donald Trump has already achieved more in one lifetime than anyone else living: billionaire businessman, TV superstar, most famous man on earth, U.S. president. Trump is one of the few men of whom it can genuinely be asked: What else does he even have left to achieve?

But there is one thing left, and it’s something that Vance is central to. Donald Trump has already been a hugely successful U.S. president. Should he win another term, he will be successful again.

But the greatest rulers in history aren’t just judged on their own accomplishments but also those of their heirs. Two thousand years ago, Julius Caesar was the Donald Trump of his day: hated by the elites, loved by the masses, enormously energetic, and a political revolutionary who helped make Rome great again. But the most brilliant thing of all that Caesar did was name his teenaged grand-nephew Octavian his heir. Despite his youth, Caesar recognized Octavian’s brilliance. Octavian took Caesar’s political revolution to its completion, establishing an empire that lasted more than a thousand years. Thanks to that, even today, “Caesar” is remembered as perhaps the most influential man in human history other than Christ and Muhammad.

Now, let’s look back at that Politico profile of Vance:

[Vance] presented a sweeping and strikingly systematic account of the outlook that has shaped his tenure in office, premised upon a vision of the current moment in American history that is darker and more cataclysmic than anything he has described in public. He was candid about his desire to fundamentally transform the Republican Party, and he sketched the outlines of an agenda that would, in effect, amount to a radical restructuring of the American economy, U.S. foreign policy and even its constitutional order. He spoke about this project not in terms of election cycles but decades.

“It’s a long-term project,” Vance told me during one of our sit-downs in his Capitol Hill office. “The country wasn’t screwed in a 10-year period, and it’s not going to get unscrewed in a 10-year period.”

By picking Vance—by picking the second-youngest senator, a brilliant man who understands the MAGA impulse at its core and has a full career to bring it to fruition—Donald Trump doesn’t just have to make a play for a second term. He makes a play for immortality. As the 4th century was the Age of Constantine or the 9th was the Age of Charlemagne, Trump can make the 21st into the Age of the Donald.

So let’s mount up, and ride off towards greatness.