Lion of the Blogosphere

My thoughts on Trump’s pick of Mike Pence

The NY Times reports that Trump is going to pick Mike Pence as his running mate. This has been reported by all other major news sources.

So what do I know about Mike Pence?

For starters, I commend Trump on avoiding the gimmicky vice presidential pick that so many other Republicans have made in the past. Pence does not appear to be a Dan Quayle or a Sarah Palin. I even thought that Paul Ryan was a gimmicky pick; like Quayle he was young and allegedly good looking. I have always said that voters want experience in a Vice President and not youth or excitement. Pence is properly old (57), boring, and experienced.

Mike Pence graduated from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and then practiced as a private attorney. So he’s at least smart enough to pass the bar exam, putting him far ahead of Sarah Palin in the IQ department. But I should remind you that one doesn’t need to be a genius to pass the bar exam. I don’t know much else about his educational accomplishments. I hope it doesn’t turn out that he graduated at the bottom of his class and failed the bar exam the first time. On the other hand, I think that Donald Trump, who is used to being around smart people, wouldn’t pick a dummy. Notice how he distanced himself from Sarah Palin after the Iowa caucus.

Pence is a conventional conservative who is said to be associated with the Tea Party. Trump has decided that he needs to secure the party base. Normally presidential candidates don’t need to do that, but as I’ve explained in previous posts, this year is different. A conventional conservative like Pence will placate the #NeverTrump conservative traitors who have been sabotaging Trump’s chances of winning, and hopefully they will now stop doing that.

Although Pence is a conventional conservative and not a Trumpist, remember that it’s far more important for Trump to win the election than for him to pick a Vice President who matches his political philosophy. Vice Presidents don’t do anything besides attend funerals and other events that aren’t important enough for the President to attend himself. I am cautiously optimistic about Pence. Based only on his Wikipedia profile (which will probably expand greatly over the next few days), he seems like the best vice presidential pick by a Republican nominee since Bush picked Cheney sixteen years ago.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

July 14, 2016 at 1:11 pm

Posted in Politics

21 Responses

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  1. I suppose I’m a bit underwhelmed but what do I know? I’m glad it wasn’t Newt or Christie. I’m glad Trump didn’t go AA and instead went with mature hetero white Christian male. Good civilizational optics there. Pence seems solid on trade. Could prove surprisingly good on immigration (fingers crossed). Ann Coulter is very unhappy with the pick though.

    Andrew E.

    July 14, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    • As for trade, Pence and Trump have got some things to work out.

      Even Hillary Clinton has flip-flopped on TPP though, so I expect Pence will follow.

      On the whole Pence seems like a Midwestern wuss who has too much deference for establishment cant. If that’s what Trump’s team feels they need to win over the squishes, fine, but I think it would have been smarter to pick somebody who doesn’t break into a sweat when Trump goes off script. Pence has been uninspiring to downright MSM puppet during previous clashes between Trump and the press, when other people on the list stood up for him, and that has to really get Ann’s goat.

      Richard

      July 14, 2016 at 2:32 pm

      • Pence has been big for vocational training in Indiana which is a good thing and unusual. Most pols just mouth platitudes about more and better college education for everyone.

        TPP never passes in any form under Trump. Pence will happily toe the line on that and all trade deals with Trump as Prez. If course there’s always the risk that the globalists decide its worth Lee Harvey Oswalding Trump to get in someone more friendly to the nation rapers.

        Andrew E.

        July 14, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    • Ann Coulter is very unhappy with the pick though.

      Yep, Ann and Mickey Kaus are not in a good mood right now.

      https://twitter.com/anncoulter

      I hope Trump is just yanking the media around and wont announce the real pick until later.

      Pence is just a dog bone to both the GOPe and Tea Party types.

      Rifleman

      July 14, 2016 at 4:39 pm

      • What choice did Trump have? Literally the only high profile Populist Nationalist Republicans are Jeff Sessions and Pat Buchanan. There was virtually no one to pick from who matches Trump’s positions. Hopefully after Trump’s Presidency that will change, but for now, the pickings are slim.

        Mike Street Station

        July 15, 2016 at 1:48 pm

  2. Pence is going to be a horrible surrogate. He will constantly be forced to offer halfhearted defenses of Trump while keeping one eye towards preserving his political viability with GOPe if the ticket loses. The other main choices had nothing to lose career-wise, and if they didn’t agree with Trump, were at least skilled at filibustering and reframing journos’ questions. No evidence that Pence can do that.

    Fiddlesticks

    July 14, 2016 at 1:33 pm

  3. I think Pence is a good choice. But he isn’t going to bring the #NeverTrump people around. Nothing will and we don’t want them. Trump is already winning without them. #NeverTrump people are subhuman scum who must be completely exterminated.

    There are *some* decent liberals, there are NO decent TruCons.

    Otis the Sweaty

    July 14, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    • If you keep your promises, help your neighbors, avoid harming innocent people, speak honestly, and see beauty around you, you’re a decent person.

      Garr

      July 14, 2016 at 2:46 pm

  4. You’re dead on here, Lion. Though I would have preferred Jeff Sessions, Pence seems like a fine choice. A lot of people will criticize this as a “boring and safe” choice, but “boring and safe” is exactly what Trump needs in a VP pick. Trump himself is the excitement – he doesn’t need even more excitement in his VP, he needs calm and safe as a balance. “Exciting and risky” VPs are failing VPs, like Sarah Palin and Paul Ryan. Meanwhile, “boring” old hands like Cheney and Biden brought success to their tickets.

    maj

    July 14, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    • Sessions will be Trump’s enforcer in the Senate. Christie for AG. Kobach for something else – Ann Coulter can figure that one out. This is like watching the Borgias take over a respectable town. LOL. (Can anyone identify that quote?)

      Pence is a damned good choice. I know that Rod Dreher will be squealing because Pence folded on gay marriage, but that’s just not important now.

      gothamette

      July 14, 2016 at 3:47 pm

  5. Is he popular in his home state? Will he get some Ohio voters due to his location?

    K.l. Asher

    July 14, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    • Eastern Indiana and Western Ohio north of I-70 and south of I-90 are practically indistinguishable socially, economically, and culturally. I’m thinking this pick had that in mind. The Midwest is going to be a big deal this cycle.

      the prince of polka

      July 14, 2016 at 3:29 pm

  6. “I even thought that Paul Ryan was a gimmicky pick; like Quayle he was young and allegedly good looking.”

    Damn. Right in Ryan’s ego there.

    Jesse

    July 14, 2016 at 2:41 pm

  7. I’m hoping the leak is just more Trump theater.

    Renault

    July 14, 2016 at 2:46 pm

  8. Everything I read about the ultra-socially conservative Catholic, taxphobic Pence I read on Wikipedia was depressing.

    Mark Caplan

    July 14, 2016 at 3:02 pm

  9. …he seems like the best vice presidential pick by a Republican nominee since Bush picked Cheney sixteen years ago.

    Cheney, one of the worst VPs in US history.

    I’m not happy about it but at least it isn’t Newt.

    I’m still holding out that the media is wrong and the pick will be Scott Brown.

    Glad it isn’t Jeff Session, he needs to stay in the Senate with real power.

    Rifleman

    July 14, 2016 at 3:07 pm

  10. “I commend Trump on avoiding the gimmicky vice presidential pick that so many other Republicans have made in the past.”

    Completely agree with this and most of the other comments.

    “remember that it’s far more important for Trump to win the election than for him to pick a Vice President who matches his political philosophy. Vice Presidents don’t do anything besides attend funerals and other events that aren’t important enough for the President to attend himself.”

    In addition to attending funerals, the Vice President becomes President if anything happens to the elected President, something that has happened with a fifth of all US presidents. One President (Garfield) was assassinated to make his Veep the President, at least that is what his assassin said, and people have suspicions with another assassination and one attempted assassination.

    On the other hand, its been shown that a Vice President will add at the most a half dozen votes to the ticket, and none outside of his or her immediate family, though its true a bad selection can destroy a campaign.

    For Trump, the critical considerations were to find someone up to taking over the top job if necessary, someone who could be plausible to the public as someone who could take over the top job, and someone at least decent on Trump’s positions on invade the world/ invite the world/ in hoc with the world. It would also be good if the selection helped mend fences with Republicans.

    On these criteria, Pence is quite good, and it would have been impossible to find someone that has matched all the criteria. As governor of a mid-sized state and former Congressman, he is obviously capable of taking over the top job. He is visibly good on all the hot button tax and cultural issues Republicans care about. He also is aligned well with Trump on invite the world, and immigration is Trump’s signature issue. Unfortunately, he is a neo-con on invade the world, but unfortunately Trump just wasn’t going to get that with a Republican Veep pick, unless he went with one of the Pauls (not so good on the other issues), or Congressman Jimmy Duncan (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Duncan_(U.S._politician)), who should have been considered but sitting Congressmen are usually viewed as marginal Veep selections.

    Ed

    July 14, 2016 at 3:26 pm

  11. I don’t like the pick and probably won’t vote in this election because of it.

    Dave

    July 14, 2016 at 4:01 pm

  12. Ann Coulter no like this choice. . .

    fakeemail

    July 14, 2016 at 4:03 pm

  13. We know his LSAT score:

    [Pence] tried to enter the Indiana University School of Law, but scored far too low on the admission test. So he spent the next two years traveling to what seemed like every town in the state as an admissions representative for Hanover–gaining a great education about Indiana, he said.

    The next whirl at the LSAT placed him in the 84th percentile, and Pence graduated in 1986 with a solid B average. It was tough.

    “No one I know likes law school. It was a bad experience. I wouldn’t wish it on a dog I didn’t like,” he laughed.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2016/07/14/mike-pence-no-one-i-know-likes-law-school/

    Hepp

    July 14, 2016 at 4:53 pm

  14. mike pence looks incredibly weird, like he is wrapped in plastic or something. his hair looks like a ken doll’s hair.

    james n.s.w

    July 14, 2016 at 11:59 pm


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