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Kari Lake Auditions to Be Trump’s Next Pence and/or Melania

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

It has been clear for some time that Kari Lake desperately wants to be Donald Trump’s running mate. The veep talk started when Lake, a former TV news anchor, was running against Democrat Katie Hobbs in Arizona’s 2022 gubernatorial election. Weirdly, losing that race didn’t seem to take Lake out of the running for VP. She (baselessly) cast herself as a victim of election fraud, just like Trump, and her efforts appeared to be paying off.

Late last year, Lake met with Trump at Mar-a-Lago in what People presented as a bid for the No. 2 slot on the ticket. “I believe she wants to be his running mate,” a source told the magazine. “She is working the deal. She wants something bigger, fast, to compensate for her loss in Arizona.”

Then, this spring, Axios reported that Trump “is strongly considering picking a female running mate — and sees Kari Lake as a model for his vice-presidential pick, according to people who discussed the topic with him.”

But a People report out this week is raising some uncomfortable questions about the true nature of Trump’s relationship with Lake.

To be clear, the People story never explicitly says the pair’s relationship has evolved into something more than demagogue and sycophant, and Lake has been married to her husband, Jeff Halperin, since 1998. But as a longtime consumer of celebrity gossip, I know how to read between the lines in a story like this. Here’s the headline:

Kari Lake Appears at Mar-a-Lago More than Melania Trump and ‘Practically Lives’ in a Suite (Exclusive Source)

Why bring Trump’s wife into this story about his supposed potential running mate? Well, the piece goes on to explain that Trump has “found company” in Lake, who has been “spotted frequently” at Mar-a-Lago in recent months. This is in sharp contrast to Melania, who skipped both of her husband’s recent arraignments and was seen leaving Trump Tower with carts full of Louis Vuitton luggage on Trump’s 77th birthday last week. There are rumors that Melania and her son, Barron, are heading off for a lengthy European vacation while Trump battles the justice system back in the States.

And as Melania puts an ocean between herself and her husband, Lake is reportedly making herself at home at Mar-a-Lago.

“Kari Lake is there all the time,” a source tells People. “There’s a suite there that she practically lives in.”

So what am I supposed to do with all this innuendo? I guess People leaves me no choice but to reevaluate Lake’s behavior toward Trump — from her assertion that he has “BDE”:

To the time she performed household chores in preparation for Trump’s arrival at an Arizona rally:

But maybe this is just the kind of servile behavior all potential Trump running mates are expected to demonstrate. Mike Pence couldn’t stop talking about Trump’s “broad shoulders,” and I’m 99 percent certain there was nothing romantic about their ill-fated relationship.

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Kari Lake Auditions to Be Trump’s Next Pence and/or Melania