RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — “The Roy Cooper for VP Campaign is Fully Underway.” Carolina Partnership for Reform is making that argument, saying the Governor’s road trip to speak against new abortion legislation and his State of Emergency for education proves it.

“I buy that he is certainly trying to play the rhetorical game that he’s using, the only power levers he has. But no, I don’t buy it for one second that he’s running for vice president,” said Chris Cooper, a political science professor at Western Carolina University, who is of no relation to Roy Cooper.

“He may be running for something down the line — U.S. Senate, perhaps state Supreme Court, but no, Joe Biden is running with Kamala Harris. I think that much is clear,” Prof. Cooper added.

Michael Bitzer, Catawba College professor of politics and history, also chimed in on the argument that Gov. Cooper is campaigning for VP.

“You know, part of the question then becomes, well, what happens to the current sitting Vice President? Is she just, you know, shuttled off?” Bitzer said. “In terms of this dynamic, I think a lot of this is the hyperbole of, can we speculate to really cause controversy for a particular individual? And I think this is a prime case of it.”

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper speaks after touring the electric vehicle operations at Charlotte Area Transit Systems bus garage with Vice President Kamala Harris, on December 2, 2021, in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Logan Cyrus / AFP) (Photo by LOGAN CYRUS/AFP via Getty Images)

Gov. Cooper has not ruled out running for another political seat after his second term as governor. There’s been plenty of speculation about a campaign against incumbent GOP senator Thom Tillis in 2026.

However, Bitzer said that it could be a position no one is talking about.

“If the Biden administration is reelected to a second term, we usually tend to see cabinet shuffling going on. He would be a prime candidate, I think, for any cabinet-level position, and that could certainly be something that he could be focused on,” Bitzer said.

Call it political clickbait. The validity of an effort to push out Vice President Harris is easily dismissed but Prof. Cooper said the method of delivering the message can be effective.

“Look, I mean, Roy Cooper is not the kind of person that draws clicks, right? Love him or hate him, you see something on Mark Robinson, that guy’s gonna draw a click. Really. Cooper is not that kind of personality. So yes, if you are the Republican Party, your job right now is to say that your opinions are closer to the average North Carolinian than your opposition. That the opposition is doing it for selfish gain. This is their attempt to play it that way,” said Cooper.