Marion McKeone: JD Vance’s tilt at political glory is a straw in the wind for Trump’s 2024 run

The author, whose rural memoir Hillbilly Elegy topped the bestseller charts, has set his sights on becoming Ohio’s next senator. But his chances of success rest largely on how much power and cachet Donald Trump’s endorsement still holds

JD Vance: the bestselling author is aiming to succeed veteran Republican Ron Portman in the US Senate. Picture: Bloomberg

The path of true love never runs straight. And nowhere more so than in American politics. Just six years ago, JD Vance, who shot to national prominence when his up-by-his-bootstraps memoir Hillbilly Elegy became a bestseller, was an unabashed never-Trumper.

During his 2016 book tour, he assiduously courted mainstream media outlets and universities as the twin engines that fuelled his book sales. In interviews and speeches, he variously described Donald Trump as an “idiot”, “noxious” ...