In a recent profile for The Atlantic magazine, journalist Elaine Godfrey declares that “Trumpism has found its first leading lady.” The piece charts Kari Lake’s course from a popular Arizonan television anchor to becoming a major figure in America’s political landscape. Yet it also poses the question as to whether this charismatic 53-year-old could in fact be the one to break the glass ceiling and become America’s first female president.
Lake’s primary focus right now is her campaign for the governor’s mansion. She has styled herself as a hardline supporter of Donald Trump who will kowtow to nobody in her pursuit of the MAGA agenda. This includes declaring the border crisis an “invasion,” ending the progressive curriculum being taught at elementary schools, and taking unprecedented action to guarantee the state’s electoral integrity in the wake of 2020. Her sharp-talking, firebrand approach has won the hearts and minds of many rank-and-file Republicans, some of whom are already talking up the possibility of a presidential run.
Despite being a major hit with the Republican base, it is difficult to see how Lake could advance any presidential ambitions if she does not win her election next month. Although Biden won Arizona in the 2020 election in highly contentious circumstances, the governor’s office has been controlled by Republicans for several decades. Polling data currently indicates the two candidates are practically neck and neck, with Lake holding a slight advantage. Defeat to incumbent Secretary of State Katie Hobbs would be a big disappointment for the GOP, particularly given the strength of their national polling and the lingering resentment around the last election.
Yet only a fool would underestimate Lake’s appeal. The Atlantic notes that her “political trajectory seems set to stretch well beyond the November election.” Even if she loses, she has “unlocked glittering possibilities, including book deals and prime-time pro-Trump TV slots. She may even be rewarded with a spot alongside Trump on the 2024 presidential ticket.”
Another woman often touted as a future Republican president is Nikki Haley, the former Governor of North Carolina and most recently Donald Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations. However, her decision to try and maintain distance between herself and the former president since the events of January 6th has alienated many of her former supporters. Another possibility is Kristi Noem, the governor of South Dakota. However, some of her positions on employer vaccine mandates and transgender athletes in female sports have faced criticism from conservative commentators.
Lake, meanwhile, is a highly skilled politician who embodies the mindset and worldview of Trump’s Republican Party. Should she become governor of Arizona, she may become as nationally recognized as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is also considered a presidential frontrunner. The pair could eventually come together on a joint ticket, be that in 2024 or 2028. Whatever happens next month, it is clear Kari Lake’s career in politics is only just beginning.
Ben Kew is English Editor of El American. He studied politics and modern languages at the University of Bristol where he developed a passion for the Americas and anti-communist movements. He previously worked as a national security correspondent for Breitbart News. He has also written for The Spectator, Spiked, PanAm Post, and The Independent
Ben Kew es editor en inglés de El American. Estudió política y lenguas modernas en la Universidad de Bristol, donde desarrolló una pasión por las Américas y los movimientos anticomunistas. Anteriormente trabajó como corresponsal de seguridad nacional para Breitbart News. También ha escrito para The Spectator, Spiked, PanAm Post y The Independent.