Iowa Senator Joni Ernst does one obvious thing as Donald Trump's running mate: she's a woman. Trump, despite claiming to "love women" and counting many women among his supporters, faces frequent charges that he doesn't show proper respect for women. Choosing a woman as his VP candidate may be seen as political gamesmanship, but it also makes it harder to call Trump dismissive of half the population.
As a freshman Senator, Ernst has perhaps some experience liabilities -- but then again so does Trump. And experience in politics may be overrated, when it comes to what the electorate really wants. Here are the 10 qualities that Senator Joni Ernst would bring to a Trump candidacy:
- She's a woman.
- Ernst is an Iraq war veteran (Clinton, we'll be reminded a lot, voted "for the war" -- even if her vote wasn't quite that).
- Ernst is a flame thrower -- her effective Senate campaign promised to make politicians "squeal."
- Ernst rides a Harley-Davidson, symbolizing independence. Potent imagery for a Palin-like surge.
- She's young. Born in 1970, Ernst stretches Trump's appeal generationally.
- Ernst is a noted glass ceiling puncher. Ernst is Iowa's first female Senator and first female veteran from any state to serve in the Senate.
- Ernst brings discipline. Rose to Lieutenant Colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard, retiring in 2015 after her Senate job began.
- Ernst is lifetime smart. She didn't just get curious about the world recently. Ernst was valedictorian of her high school class. She has a master's degree.
- Ernst is a mother of three.
- Ernst is not rich. Coupled with having three daughters the fact gives Ernst credibility on middle class issues and concerns about future jobs and opportunities.