So the speculation tonight is reaching a fever pitch that Donald Trump is going to go with Mike Pence, the Indiana governor, as his VP pick. They are having a joint rally tonight, but Trump isn’t announcing him. Honestly, I’ll believe it when I see, and that it isn’t happening tonight is, to me, a sign that it might not. It’s just too…Indiana for Trump. There’s not a lot of pizzazz here, is there? A VP announcement of a boring Indiana dude in suburban Indianapolis? In Westfield, home of overpriced malls? I guess it’s tacky enough, and Trump should have some good feelings for Indiana, which is where his dark path became inevitable.
Of course, Pence is still what all the smart set is speculating, and with good cause. Pence is the choice to reassure people that Trump is on the straight and narrow, and will pick someone who knows Washington, and can get things done. He’s the guy to make Trump seem like a normal candidate, who can be trusted. A few thoughts on that.
- I know that thinking Pence provides balance — in this case emotional and experiential balance — makes sense, but is that what makes anyone on the fence about Trump? Is there someone out there thinking “Well, I agree with everything Trump says about Mexicans being rapists and about how with him we’re going to start winning so much we’re gonna puke our friggin guts out, but I want someone with him who can be a solid congressional liaison.” I suppose that person exists, and that Luntz will find him, but still…
- That said, the fear is that the media will start treating Trump like a normal candidate, even though they’ve made tentative steps toward showing that he is equal parts wildly unqualified and dangerously fascistic. They’ve been looking for an excuse to make this a normal race, god knows. And if there is one thing Trump knows, it is how the media works. He knows that this would be a great way to play them.
- Still, not exciting, right?
- And not exciting in a very exact way: the base likes Pence, because he hates taxes and gays with equal fervor, but the base isn’t leaning toward Hillary. You aren’t going to sway youth or immigrants with someone who has the grim mien of Palpatine’s dad.
- Yeah, the gay thing. Pence is so anti-gay that he managed to make NASCAR anti-Indiana, and just avoided Wal-Mart’s wrath. NASCAR and Wal-Mart! They are both on the Indiana state flag!
- Yes, I know, NASCAR vs Indy Car, etc. NASCAR is very big in Indiana now. You get my point.
So yeah, overall, I don’t think Pence is a particularly good pick. The people who it will sway are, I think, virtually non-existent. It won’t help him crossover very much. I don’t know if Pence has the chops to stand up to the national spotlight, anyway. It will just highlight the incredible anti-gay coalition, including James Dobson and Michelle Bachman, he’s assembled around him. It would be a dumb pick. So please don’t actually take this as a prediction that he won’t.
So, maybe, Marsha Blackburn? That would be outstanding.