Trump-Pence

The New York Times reports that Trump has named Mike Pence as his running mate, “Donald J. Trump named Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana as his running mate on Friday, adding to the Republican ticket a traditional conservative who boasts strong credentials with the Christian right, and bringing an end to a vice-presidential selection process that seemed at risk of spinning out of control. Mr. Trump had said on Thursday night that he intended to delay the unveiling of his running mate out of respect for the attack in Nice, France. The moment, he said on television, was not right. On Friday, he proceeded with the announcement anyway”.

The piece mentions that “Instead of a showy rollout in a Manhattan hotel, as his campaign had planned, Mr. Trump named Mr. Pence to the Republican ticket by way of Twitter. He said they would hold their first joint event on Saturday morning. By choosing Mr. Pence as his partner, Mr. Trump has opted to bow to political convention and also to gamble on a comparatively untested choice. Mr. Pence cuts a far more generic political profile than Mr. Trump. He is viewed as a sturdy and dependable politician by Republicans in Indiana and Washington, and chided Mr. Trump for his proposal to bar Muslims from entering the United States, calling it “offensive and unconstitutional” in a Twitter post in December. Before the Friday announcement, congressional leaders including the House speaker Paul D. Ryan and Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, told reporters they would approve of the choice of Mr. Pence”.

Not supursingly the report mentions that “At the same time, Mr. Pence has a record of hard-line views on cultural issues that Mr. Trump has tended to play down in the presidential race. In Mr. Pence, Mr. Trump now has a running mate who has advocated for defunding Planned Parenthood and restricting abortion rights, and who signed a so-called religious freedom law that critics said would lead to discrimination against gay men and lesbians. Hillary Clinton’s campaign attacked Mr. Pence on Friday as “the most extreme pick in a generation,” citing his views on abortion, gay rights, immigration and the minimum wage. John Podesta, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman, said Mr. Trump had reinforced “some of his most disturbing beliefs by choosing an incredibly divisive and unpopular running mate known for supporting discriminatory politics and failed economic policies.” Both campaigns will scramble to define Mr. Pence over the next week. He is little known on the national scene, and a CBS News poll conducted before his selection found that nearly nine in 10 Americans did not have an opinion of him”.

It mentions “Trump and Mr. Pence, who have no personal friendship that predates the campaign, engaged in a whirlwind courtship over the last week, holding a rally together in Indiana and meeting several times in private. But Mr. Trump agonized over his final decision. Late Thursday, Mr. Trump wavered over his selection of Mr. Pence, people briefed on the discussions said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe Mr. Trump’s private venting. He expressed fury to campaign aides over news media reports that his advisers were informing political allies of the Indiana governor’s selection, and bristled at the idea that he was locked into the choice. In a phone call with members of the campaign leadership, Mr. Trump questioned whether Mr. Pence really was the right choice, and Paul Manafort, the campaign chairman, reiterated the case for choosing Mr. Pence, according to a person briefed on the call”.

It goes on to make the point that “The newly forged ticket will face a grueling test in the coming days, as two very different political performers get accustomed to each other as teammates. The Trump campaign said both men will appear together at the Hilton Midtown on Saturday, and the campaign previously committed to a joint interview on “60 Minutes” on CBS. The chemistry between the two politicians, in the coming days, could determine just how extensively they will campaign together during the summer and fall. According to Republicans briefed on the Trump campaign’s deliberations, Mr. Pence could conceivably travel the country in large part on his own, shoring up support for Mr. Trump in conservative areas and Republican-leaning states, like North Carolina and Arizona, where Mr. Trump appears vulnerable. Within Mr. Trump’s inner circle, Mr. Pence is seen as a reliable sidekick for the presumptive Republican nominee, unlikely to cause trouble for the ticket or upstage Mr. Trump in any way”.

 Interestingly it notes “But the relationship between Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence remains a work in progress, and they could well form a closer bond over the course of the campaign. Throughout the 2016 campaign, Mr. Trump has preferred to work more or less as a solo act. Even on Thursday evening, with his vice-presidential announcement delayed and images of bloodshed playing across national television, Mr. Trump proceeded with his own political schedule: He addressed a fund-raising event in California and gave multiple television interviews, calling in one for a formal declaration of war by Congress against the Islamic State. Mr. Manafort, the campaign chairman, said on Fox News on Friday morning that the presumptive Republican nominee had responded emotionally to the violence in France in deciding to delay a formal event with his running mate. Yet with Mr. Pence as the favored candidate, Mr. Trump could not afford a long delay in announcing his decision. The Indiana governorship is on the ballot in November, and state law required Mr. Pence to file paperwork by noon on Friday in order to withdraw from the race and be replaced on the ballot by another Republican”.
It concludes “Without a public affirmation of his partnership with Mr. Trump, Mr. Pence could have been placed in an uncomfortable position — forced either to end his bid for re-election without an irreversible commitment from Mr. Trump, or to abandon his quest for the vice presidency due to an accident of scheduling. Mr. Trump appeared to hesitate over his decision throughout the week, flying to Indiana for an extended visit with Mr. Pence, and then summoning several other potential running mates to meet with him in Indianapolis after his private aircraft broke down. Advisers to Mr. Trump indicated to Republicans in Washington on Wednesday night that they planned to make an announcement with Mr. Pence, but on Thursday both Mr. Trump and his press officers stressed that he could still change his mind. Mr. Trump said Thursday evening on Fox that he had not made a “final, final decision.” And when his final announcement came on Friday, Mr. Trump caught at least one other vice-presidential finalist by surprise. Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House, said in an email a few minutes before 11 a.m. that he had yet to hear directly from the Trump campaign about its decision”.

Crucially it reports that “Even as Mr. Pence endured as the clear favourite of Mr. Trump’s advisers, both Mr. Gingrich and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey lingered as alternative possibilities — tempting options for a presidential candidate drawn more to feistiness and loyalty than to workmanlike political diligence. Choosing Mr. Christie or Mr. Gingrich would have armed Mr. Trump with a proven political brawler on the ticket, as well as a longer-tenured personal friend as his running mate. Trump advisers argued that both men were too volatile and too risky for an already freewheeling campaign”.

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