No one may have had more twists and turns in Republican politics as Elise Stefanik, the congresswoman from upstate New York who now sits as the third most powerful member of the House of Representatives.
The Washington Post wrote, “Stefanik had been a top campaign adviser to Ryan (R-Wis.), but after the GOP ticket lost, she moved back to her parents’ home in northern New York. She overcame that despair by following the path set by Ryan, who, at the age of 28, moved home from Washington to run for Congress on an inspirational vision for Republican ideas.
“I was 29 at the time, and instead of complaining about the state of American politics from the sidelines, I started the process of running for Congress,” Stefanik (R-N.Y.) told a crowd of young GOP staff in March 2016. She introduced the man who had just become House speaker as “a happy warrior who understands the power of an idea, the power of the American idea.”
That version of Stefanik no longer exists.
Instead, over the past 18 months, the congresswoman has morphed into a disciple of former president Donald Trump’s vision for the Republican Party.
She has studiously made allies out of the firebrands in the House Freedom Caucus, who spent three years opposing Ryan’s work as speaker, and she now revels in engaging in ‘cancel culture’ wars on cable news and social media.”
Her moves have paid off and she’s been rising fast. Last year, with help from former President Trump, she took out Liz Cheney as Chair of House Republican Caucus, but now the thirty-eight-year-old mom may be eyeing an even bigger position: the vice presidency.
The Daily Caller explains that “Stefanik fits the profile of characteristics Trump’s team will be looking for in a VP. She’s rallied behind him in his impeachment proceedings and the New York indictment, and was the first member of GOP leadership to endorse him for president — throwing her weight behind his candidacy before Trump announced it himself. Her commitment could lead Trump to choose her on a basis of loyalty, which those close to Trump say is the most desired quality in a VP.
‘Loyalty. That’s the necessary characteristic of anyone who wants to be VP. President Trump and the movement was dragged down by disloyalty in the White House,’ a source close to Trump said.
‘She absolutely has more, let’s just call it ‘testicular fortitude’ than most men in the Republican Party. She’s got more balls than any other candidate that might be considered for vice president,’ Caputo said.
‘She’s one of the most convincing surrogates [for Trump] out of all of them. In some ways, Elise Stefanik, because of her distance from the problems of the past of Donald Trump, will be able to make a case for Donald Trump better than the candidate himself,’ he argued, noting that Stefanik’s New York representation could sway Pennsylvania voters.”
Stefanik also recently seemed to endorse The Donald against his rivals on social media.
I stand with President Trump.
— Rep. Elise Stefanik (@RepStefanik) April 4, 2023
Rumors that Trump could pick her to be his vice president have been swirling since last year. That’s when Newsmax Media CEO Chris Ruddy, a longtime friend of Trump, told CNN that “President Trump thinks very highly of Elise Stefanik … She has been talked about in circles close to him as a potential vice presidential [pick]. And there’s a feeling among a lot of people on the Republican side that they need to have a woman on the ticket this time.”
This is not the first time that a woman of the House has been floated by Trump allies as a potential running mate.
Stephen Bannon, a former Trump White House strategist, said in January that he thinks Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene could be on Trump’s ticket.
She “sees herself on the short list,” Bannon said while sitting in on a podcast. “This is no shrinking violet, she’s ambitious — she’s not shy about that, nor should she be.…She sees herself on the short list for Trump’s VP.”
When Greene “looks in the mirror, she sees a potential president smiling back,” he added.
Regarding polling, Trump currently finds himself in a fight for the nomination against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, whose allies recently launched the first campaign attacks against the former president.