18 minutes | May 2, 2022

The changing face of J.D. Vance

This Tuesday, Ohioans will vote in the primary ahead of this fall’s midterm elections. Today on “Post Reports,” we’re talking about the transformation of one candidate from never-Trumper to Trump’s pick for Ohio’s open Senate seat. 

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Back in 2016, commentator and venture capitalist J.D. Vance was known for his memoir “Hillbilly Elegy, about the ravages of poverty and drug use in his Ohio town. He made the rounds on talk shows like “Charlie Rose” and NPR’s “Fresh Air” explaining the conditions and mindset that had led so many people to support then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. But he himself decried Trump’s rise.

Fast forward to today. Vance is now the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for Ohio’s empty Senate seat. He’s a staunch member of a splinter group of the Republican Party called national conservatism, that advocates for tighter borders and cracking down on big business. He’s grown a beard. And he’s embraced Trump and his values, earning him the former president’s endorsement.

Magazine writer Simon van Zuylen-Wood followed Vance for weeks to try to understand his transformation and what his candidacy says about the state of the Republican Party. Today on “Post Reports,” we take you inside Vance’s campaign.

If you’re curious to learn more about the Ohio primary, read The Trailer from The Post’s Dave Weigel.

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