On Monday, “Democrats for Trump” founder Andrew Stein wrote a column in the Wall Street Journal urging President Donald Trump to dismiss Vice President Mike Pence from his re-election ticket and instead choose former South Carolina governor and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley as his running mate.
“I mean no disrespect for Mr. Pence, who’s loyally served the president and the nation,” wrote Stein. “But he’s given Mr. Trump the help he can.” Haley, in his reckoning, “may win over some moderate, suburban women.”
It is unclear whether Haley would actually accomplish this. While she was notable as one of the few women of color in the Trump White House, she has gone to bat for the president’s hard-right agenda on the international stage and is every bit the culture war crusader that Pence is.
Nonetheless, Haley might at least be politically useful for holding together the GOP caucus for one reason: she is one of the only ex-administration officials who is both popular in the broader GOP universe and still on good speaking terms with the president.
Casting off Pence would be a drastic move, as no incumbent president has swapped out their running mate in a re-election campaign since 1944. However, the fact that the idea is being tossed around signifies how even Trump’s backers recognize his campaign needs an overhaul to stand any chance of repeating their narrow victory in 2016.