April 15, 2024

We’ve read this book before. A presidential candidate rules out the possibility of accepting an offer to run as vice president after failing to win the nomination, only to later do a 180 and accept the offer from his or her party’s nominee. Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy continues to make that claim.

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Unlike some presidential candidates of the past, the question is if the near-billionaire entrepreneur would actually stand firm on his claim. I’m inclined to believe he would — for various reasons, some of which we’ll get to a bit later. 

During an appearance on Fox News, host Neil Cavuto pressed the popular, yet long-shot, candidate if he would accept the two-slot in 2024 he he fails to win the nomination. Ramaswamy didn’t waver. 

The fact is, Neil, many of these people didn’t know who I was six months ago. … Donald Trump and I share something in common in that neither of us does well in a number-two position. I’m built to actually lead the organizations that I’ve built, and I think that when I’m looking at the federal government, my contribution, Neil, my greatest contribution, and one of my goals being to reunite this country. I’m going to be in the best position to get that done if I’m doing it from the top job.

Ramaswamy’s observation that he and Donald Trump are hardwired against playing second banana in anything was valid.

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Ramaswamy continued, saying he’s been “very clear,” while also suggesting the vice presidency carries little or no power to effect change.

That’s where my focus is — I’ve been very clear I’m not interested in a different position in the government. Frankly, I’d drive change through the private sector rather than becoming a number-two or a number-three in the federal government.

Ineffectual Kamala Harris was unavailable for comment. 

After Cavuto again pressed him if he’d actually turn down the “heartbeat away from the presidency” job, young Vivek again stood firm.

I am, Neil, and the reason why is this. If this were about my quest for personal power, sure, that makes sense. But that’s not what this is about. This is about reviving our missing national identity [and] reaching the next generation of Americans who are badly disaffected from [sic] politics — a crisis of national pride. 

It is my job to make sure that my two sons and their generation are once again proud to be citizens of this nation. Neil, I think we’re already doing that in the campaign. We’re bringing young people along in droves. I wanted to be in the best position to do that as the next president. 

Ramaswamy went on to focus on his children’s generation and his desire to effect change. 

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To be sure, the 38-year-old has made several missteps along the campaign trail, including his ill-advised comments about “evaluating pardons for members of the Biden family in the interest of moving the nation forward,” if he becomes president, assuming of course that members of the Biden family would be in positions to be pardoned, and his controversial comments about ending U.S. aid to Israel.

That said, Ramaswamy hasn’t been the Lone Ranger of presidential candidates making controversial comments without first thinking through the ramifications — unintended consequences, as it were — before making comments or pledges with zero to no gain, if not losing support for making them.

The Bottom Line

While Vivek Ramaswamy would undoubtedly be a boost in an effort by the Republican Party to appeal to younger generations of voters, as he said, I don’t believe — as he also said — he’s second-banana material. Not only for the reasons he stated but for one he didn’t: 

Vivek Ramaswamy is undeniably smart — likely smarter than many, if not most, of the candidates who might offer him the veep slot if he or she were to win the nomination. 

Not only would the two-spot be a tough place to be, but the possibility also exists that if Ramaswamy did accepa vice presidential offer, he might also destroy any future plans to seek the GOP nomination.

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In other words, smart people tend to not only think about the present; they also consider the future, and how current decisions can adversely affect their future. If I happened to be a 38-year near billionaire with most of my life before me, I’d make the exact same call. 

The question is: Will Ramaswamy ultimately change his mind? I don’t think he will — which would be to his credit.

I could be wrong, of course, but my track record in the presidential predictions departments hasn’t been bad. 2024 matters, my fellow constitutional conservatives. Let’s not screw it up.

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