Word on the campaign trail is that Asa Hutchinson, former governor of Arkansas, is running for the Republican nomination for president. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is also thinking of getting in the race.
However, neither one is realistically running for president. Like Pete Buttigieg and Ben Carson before them, they’re running for HHS Secretary, maybe HUD or Transportation, in the next administration. They hope a Republican one starts in 2025.
From there they could increase their national exposure and then survey their options. Hutchinson is 72. So this could be a last fling at running. Suarez is young. If DeSantis gets the Resolute Desk he could run for Florida governor. If not, he has time to wait.
As for those who have been in Cabinet positions before the presidency, it’s a tough road to 1600 Pennsylvania. You’ve got to go back to Herbert Hoover in 1928, he was Secretary of Commerce, to find a candidate who went directly from the Cabinet to the White House. Only five have done it. Three more had served in Cabinet slots in their past. The most interesting of these this time is the possible candidacy of Mike Pompeo.
A former Congressman, Director of CIA, and Secretary of State, Pompeo graduated first in his class at West Point. A guy I served with in the Army knew him as well. He has nothing but good things to say about the former SecState.
Mike Pompeo served in Trump’s Cabinet loyally and, in a sure sign of presidential aspirations, has lost weight as of late. He’s not running for a Cabinet slot, as he’s done that. It’s do or die for him if he runs, which should make for some burning bridges moments.
As for the two mentioned above, Hutchinson, who announced his run on yesterday’s “This Week,” said he was getting in the race because “I believe that I am the right candidate for our country and its future.” He added, in a shot at Trump: “I’m convinced that people want leaders that appeal to the best of America and not simply appeal to our worst instincts.” In another shot, “I don’t think you have to be blustery. I think you can be honest and authentic, and that’s what I want to be able to offer,” he said. He wants Trump to get out of the race because of the indictment. Fat chance.
Suarez is making sounds like a candidate, “Look, I’m seriously considering a run. It’s something I discussed with my family. My family is on board,” the two-term mayor said in a recent interview on FNC.
Both men are interesting, with Hutchinson in a Hogan-like anti-Trump role and Suarez playing the new kid on the national block part. Look for one or the other in the next Republican administration. If there is one in 2025.