It’s still pretty early, but I reckon there are a couple things you can prolly count on about the 2024 elections.
#1 If Donald Trump wants the republican nomination for president, he will have it.
#2 Donald Trump will never pick Mike Pence as his running mate again.
Assuming those two things are correct then Mr. Trump will be searching for a new VP.
It’s clear he needs someone with the right education, preferably a midwesterner (after all it worked last time), credibility with social conservatives, the right life experiences, strong on protecting the border, and obviously someone who is proven big vote getter.
As many around the country are pointing out, that man is right here in the Show Me State.
No, it’s not Josh Hawley, obviously its our Governor Mike Parson.
Let’s look at the case for the ol’Sheriff.
He is not an Ivy Leaguer. God knows the last thing anyone wants is another uppidy elitist from some smell your own farts Ivy League east coast college in gubment. We’ve had plenty of those and how are things going for your family?
Governor Parson has the exact kind of education in the school of real life that folks love. His education is the perfect mix for what real, working people are looking for.
No scandals. He has been in public life for thirty years, with the last five running the Great State of Missouri completely scandal free. Think about that for a minute. In an age of near constant scandal of those in public life, and a media who are now paid by click with every incentive to create a scandal whether its there or not, Mike Parson is someone who has served Polk County and the State of Missouri without a hint of scandal for longer than many people reading this have been alive.
He shares President Trump’s passion for infrastructure. One of the missed opportunities of the first Trump administration was the partisanship that prevented an infrastructure package like the one that was passed last year. Governor Parson shares that passion and has delivered on it here in Missouri.
Sure every so often you hear someone whining about his work to build Missouri’s infrastructure. Typically someone who has never created a job in their life tweeting about saving receipts while driving on one of the highways being maintained with money the Governor fought for. Regardless both men share a passion for building infrastructure to create new jobs.
He has a background in law enforcement. You can watch all the CNN you want, but the fact is this country loves its cops. Donald Trump knows it, Mike Parson knows it, and anyone who gets outside of a very small very woke bubble knows it. Well Mike Parson doesn’t just share Trump’s love of cops…he is one.
Governor Parson replaces Governor Pence’s role as moral ambassador. Look one thing Donald Trump just ain’t is a really moral guy. That was one of the strengths that Mike Pence brought to the ticket. Well who better than the man from Bolivar, the most pro-life Governor in the history of Missouri, who has been married longer than I’ve been alive to take on that critical role Mike Pence played for the ticket in ’24?
He has proven that he can take over if needed. No Governor since Governor Gamble inherited a more challenging situation than Governor Parson did when he assumed the office in mid 2018.
The former Governor quit on the job amid scandal and sleaze, and Governor Parson put a fractured state government back together, then a fractured state republican party, and passed every single unifying test with flying colors. There is a West Wing episode where Leo McGary says the top qualification to be VP is can whether the person can step in and do the job, well he has the credential on his resume that he actually has stepped in, and has done the job.
He shares President Trump’s passion to defending our border. Governor Parson answered President Trump’s call for troops to defend our southern border, and today he has spoke out about folks illegally exploiting illegal immigrants in the construction industry. This year the General Assembly answered his call and provided money to help Missouri do its part and step up the state’s efforts to enforce immigration laws here in Missouri.
His covid response was the best in the nation. I tend to believe that without covid President Trump would have been re-elected. President Trump was quite critical of many Governor’s covid responses, but no Governor, including DeSantis dealt with the pandemic with more success than Governor Parson.
His local control strategy was remarkably successful. He reminded many of John Dutton as the extremists on both sides broke on the wall of common sense that was Mike Parson during the biggest crisis in two decades.
He is a veteran. In many ways he is a better selection than Governor Pence was in 2016, and one of those ways is that Governor Parson is an Army veteran. That matters to many republicans, and Governor Parson has earned a resume credit that many others have not with his service to our country.
He can deal with a hostile media. If you’re going to be anywhere near President Trump you’re going to have to have a thick skin and be prepared to handle a media who hates everything you do at all times regardless of the facts. Governor Parson had his honeymoon of a few weeks, but since then he dealt with much of the same. Hell, some liberal special interest groups even started their own liberal…eerrrr “independent”…website to attack him daily. He hasn’t seemed to give a damn.
He is a prolific election winner. Whether you agree with any of the above points or not (FYI if you don’t you’re wrong) you cannot deny the simple fact that Mike Parson is a tremendous vote getter.
Whether it was winning his first election as Sheriff, easy elections to the state house and later the state senate, a huge Lt. Governor win over the son of a former Governor, or a landslide record setting election as Governor he has been a hugely popular vote getter every time he has put his name on the ballot.
In the end isn’t that really why someone picks a VP anyway?
Now I have no idea whether or not he would even be interested, but if President Trump called I suspect he would ultimately be persuaded to serve his country again.
Now whether or not he could convince Teresa would be another story.
Speaking of Presidents be sure to watch This Week in Missouri Politics Sunday from Busch Stadium when our guest will be the President of the St. Louis Cardinals Bill DeWitt III.
Scott Faughn is the publisher of The Missouri Times, owner of the Clayton Times in Clayton; SEMO Times in Poplar Bluff; and host of the only statewide political television show, This Week in Missouri Politics.