When I look at who the Republicans should run for President in 2024, I think South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem is the best candidate for that position. She is know for never imposing any covid restrictions in her state, despite massive political pressure to do so. Yes, the state struggled with its numbers last October-November, and ended up among the top 10 states for covid mortality per capita, so it's not a full success. Yet even during its worst moments, it never came anywhere near the per capita death toll that had taken place in northeastern states like New York and New Jersey, which did lockdowns, and followed Dr. Fauci's advice more closely. Speaking of Dr. Fauci, she was one of the first to correctly say what needed to be said, which is that he is "wrong a lot." The fact that she stood tall in a moment of crisis will be an asset to her.
In terms of politics, the verdict is in: Republican-led states, by and large, outperformed Democratic states not only in covid responses and protecting their citizens from the virus, but also in protecting their state's economies, educational systems, and overall mental health. This is going to become evident in the coming years, as the colateral damage of lockdowns is going to become more obvious. If the Republicans are successful in branding the Democrats as the party of lockdowns and vaccine passports, I can easily see Republicans making gains in the House, the Senate, governors races, and state houses. Furthermore, since the Justice Democrats have been shown to be gutless, political opportunists merely riding the wave of the Sanders campaign to launch their political career (even Justice Democrats co-founder Kyle Kulinski admitted this) and failing to advance Medicare for All during a pandemic, their support base is not going to turn out for them. Who better to capitalize on this momentum that Kristi Noem?
I also had a look at some of her other speeches and interviews, which you can check out. She has a convincing backstory about humble beginnings in a small state, and has a very down-to-earth personna. (Of course, there's probably a great deal of corporate money and PR work behind that, but in politics perception is everything.) It ties into the traditional American ideal of rising up to greatness. She also has that "life's tough, but we're tougher" mentality that many people will gravitate towards. She's very adept at deflecting criticism as being from "liberal coastal elites" who are out of touch with average, everyday Americans. I'm also convinced that she would easily mop the floor with Kamala Harris in a debate, as Harris comes off as so phony, empty, and rehearsed.
It would certainly be interesting to watch and see if this happens.