Is Vivek Ramaswamy truly running for President of the United States? Or does he run simply to increase his political profile and hopefully earn a cabinet post if Republicans were to take back the White House?
During the first Republican debate that took place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the Indian American business billionaire unapologetically praised Donald Trump on stage and claimed that he was the greatest U.S. president of the twenty-first century. This statement raise eyebrows for many voters. For MAGA voters, Ramaswamy is an ally of Donald Trump, if not a loyalist of the former president. For the moderate Republicans, Ramaswamy is trying to be in Trump’s good grace so that he could potentially be appointed to a cabinet post if Trump were to be the next President of the United States.
At the end of the day, Donald Trump and Vivek Ramaswamy are both presidential candidates for the Republican nomination, which means that they are political opponents for the sake of these primaries at the very least. And political candidates—especially Donald Trump and Vivek Ramaswamy, who are both very competitive individuals—who are competing for the same outcome cannot praise each other until the competition is over. For example, during the Republican primaries of the 1980s, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush went at each other’s throats. George H.W. Bush even called Reagan’s economic agenda “voodoo economics.” But once Reagan won the nomination, he selected George H.W. Bush as his running mate for the general election.
In a recent interview on Blaze TV, the former president indicated that he would consider Vivek Ramaswamy for the Vice President position. He stated:
“Well, I think he’s great. Look, anybody that said I’m the best president in a generation…I have to like a guy like that. He’s a smart guy, he’s young, he’s got a lot of talent, and he is a very, very intelligent person. He’s got good energy, and he could be in some form of something. I tell ya, I think he’d be very good. I think he’s really distinguished himself.”
Donald Trump, however, did not explicitly say that he would necessarily choose Ramaswamy as his running mate. All he did was describing the potential of Ramaswamy. This political move could be significantly beneficial for Donald Trump, especially once if he wins the Republican nomination because Ramaswamy is of American of Indian descent. He reflects the epitome of the American Dream; an individual who became successful in the face of adversity. More importantly, this could dissuade Trump’s critics who have labeled him as a racist since he decided to seek the presidency in 2015. For the Republican Party, it will show that GOP isn’t the party of old White privileged people, but the party of everyone and anyone who believes in conservative values regardless of skin color or gender.
Does Ramaswamy truly believe that he can win the Republican nomination? He knows very well that he does not stand a chance against Donald Trump. Moreover, his views are very similar to those of Donald Trump’s, if not supplementary.
Ramaswamy is playing the long game here. 2024 seems to be the stepping stone to building his political career. By obtaining a cabinet position in the Trump administration, if the latter is elected once again, would strengthen his political profile and consolidate his legitimacy for 2028.