Kari Lake's recent moves in the political arena have sparked widespread speculation.
Despite running for a U.S. Senate seat in Arizona, her unusual nationwide campaigning has fueled rumors about her aspirations for a higher office.
Lake announced her Senate campaign on October 10, 2022. Following her loss in the Arizona governor's race to Katie Hobbs, she embarked on a nationwide tour, making appearances in Florida, Nevada, Texas, and Colorado. This is an unusual move for a candidate seeking a Senate seat, typically a state-focused role.
Since announcing her Senate bid, Lake has been seen in states far from Arizona, such as Florida, Nevada, Texas, and Colorado. This kind of travel is atypical for a candidate whose primary focus should be on her own state's electorate. Her actions have led some to question whether she is actually eyeing a more significant role on the national political stage, possibly as a vice-presidential candidate alongside Donald Trump, should he decide to run again in 2024.
The Lake campaign has denied the vice presidential aspirations, insisting that Lake's focus is on winning the Arizona Senate seat. A spokesperson for the campaign stated:
"[Lake] is not worried about who President Trump picks as his vice president, but she is certain it will be a great pick. She is focused on winning her Senate race in Arizona. And she looks forward to casting her vote in Arizona for President Trump and whoever he selects as VP.”
Lake's background as a local TV news anchor prior to her gubernatorial run presents a unique case of a political outsider attempting to make inroads into the high echelons of power. Her transition from media to politics mirrors a trend of personalities from outside the traditional political realm seeking office, often leveraging their public profile and communication skills.
Nevertheless, Lake continues to maintain a high profile in the Republican Party. Her comments about the unnecessary nature of a primary challenge within the party, especially in the context of Trump's potential candidacy, reveal her stance on party unity and leadership. She has been quoted as saying:
"We don’t need to have a primary. We already have an incredible candidate in President Trump... We didn’t need to have this sideshow going on.”
Inside sources close to former President Donald Trump suggest that Lake's extensive travel and activities mirror those of a presidential campaign. This perception has only been strengthened by reports that Trump is considering a female running mate for 2024, with Lake being seen as a top contender. Her loyalty to Trump, demonstrated by her effusive praise and public support, aligns well with these speculations.
However, there are those in Trump's circle who view Lake's ambitions skeptically. As reported by Vanity Fair, one person close to the Trump campaign voiced their doubts about Lake's aspirations:
"The problem with Kari is she’s just got this real ‘look at me’ thing going on, and I just don’t think she’s earned it... Clearly she’s got aspirations beyond Arizona, right, but here’s where I am: Go out and win something…. You have to win something before you go off telling everyone you’re gonna be vice president.”
The unfolding drama around Lake's Senate campaign and her potential vice presidential run has captured national attention. Lake's aggressive campaign strategy, along with her controversial statements and her close association with Trump, has made her a politician to watch. Whether or not she will win the Arizona Senate seat or become Trump's running mate remains to be seen.