On to the spectacle that is the Trump campaign; the Veepstakes are over. It’s Indiana Governor Mike Pence. Excerpt:
U.S. presidential hopeful Donald Trump on Saturday presented his vice presidential running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, as the man who can unify a fractured Republican party and help him bridge the gap created by the candidate’s outsider status.
In a wide-ranging speech in which he touted his own “landslide” victory in the Republican primaries, Trump cast Pence as a perfect complement for the White House: a veteran of government, a man with a Midwestern sensibility and strong Republican credentials as a job creator and budget balancer.
“Indiana Governor Mike Pence was my first choice, I’ve admired the work he’s done, especially in the state of Indiana,” Trump said at an event in New York City.
“And one of the reasons is party unity, so many people have said, party unity. Because I’m an outsider,” he added in explaining his decision.
Trump and Pence made their debut just two days before the beginning of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, where delegates from around the country will convene to officially nominate the pair as their party’s ticket for the Nov. 8 election.
It’s an interesting choice; not the one I would have made, but interesting (I’d have rather seen a young libertarian like Rand Paul.)
Pros: Pence brings a solid economic track record from his one term in Indiana, added to a solid hold-the-line record from twelve years in the House of Representatives. He is a Tea Party favorite, and that wing of the GOP still has a lot of pull.
Cons: It’s an odd combination with the outspoken and charismatic Trump; Pence is, by comparison, staid and (at least in his acceptance speech Saturday) comes off as rather dull. Perhaps The Donald thought that Pence would bring some gravitas to the ticket, but the staid Pence against a young Democrat firebrand in the one Veep debate may not end well.
Mixed bags: He is a staunch social-issues conservative. That will help the ticket with some remaining evangelicals who are skeptical of the serial-monogamist Trump, but will alienate a number of younger voters to whom the traditional social conservative stances on abortion and gay rights are a turn off.
As I said, it’s an interesting choice. It remains, I think, The Donald’s race to lose. Her Imperial Majesty’s poll numbers are slowly dropping, and we aren’t even into the nasty season yet. It’s going to be an interesting autumn.