I said, just the other day, that “I suspect that former Governor (South Carolina) and US Ambassador (to the United Nations) Nikki Haley might be President-elect of the United States five years from now.” Not so fast, says the famously well-informed Financial Times. Washington is abuzz with speculation, the FT says, “that the secretary of state [Mike Pompeo] is planning a career move that could lead to a presidential run in 2024 … [and] … Speculation has mounted that the former CIA director will run for the Senate in his adopted home state of Kansas, where Republican Pat Roberts is retiring. The buzz has risen as Mr Pompeo has come under heat over the impeachment inquiry, and even Donald Trump has opened the door to the possibility.“
Mr Pompeo has an impressive resumé which includes graduating at the very to of his class in the US Military Academy at West Point, but I still think Nikki Haley will be the better choice in 2024 because she, too, has a great resumé and she remains distant from the scandals of the Trump administration, including from the evidence being released in the impeachment inquiry which might seem, to many, to tarnish Mr Pompeo, too.
The Financial Times says that “Mr Pompeo faces a conundrum: does he jump to the safety of a Republican Senate seat or stay by Mr Trump’s side until the end of the impeachment inquiry? By leaving,” the article says, “he would be following the path of Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor who was Mr Trump’s UN ambassador, who left the administration ahead of what is tipped as a shot at the presidency in 2024.” It seems to me that jumping ship early was a good move but at this late date it might signal that he is afraid of what could come out. But if he wants to add a Senate seat to his resumé then now (2020), in Kansas, is the best opportunity because the incumbent, Republican Senator Pat Roberts has announced that he is retiring.
I’m sure that Secretary Pompeo is not the last big-name Trumpian we will see testing the waters for 2024. My guess is that by 2024 most Americans will be tired of the bombast and bullying and incoherence but will still want someone who understands their fear but can address them in a more sophisticated way. The list of Trumpian potentials includes Donald Trump Jr, who has also written a book, Mike Pompeo’s West Point classmate (class of 1986) US Defence Secretary Mark Esper and it might also even include Ivanka Trump, possibly advised by her husband Jared Kushner.
The next few years are going to be interesting.