If there’s one guy on Donald Trump’s short list for vice president who really fits the bill, it’s Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. Sure, Chris Christie would be interesting. Newt Gingrich would make a debate fun. But only Pence is a perfect match. Seen as neither a strong leader or even a man who has the courage of his convictions, Pence is practically begging for the job which is both unseemly and awkward to watch.
Pence is desperate for the VP job mostly because he doesn’t even want to think about standing for reelection in November—something that is also on deadline.
Let’s review: In 2015, Pence signed a knuckle-dragger, mouth-breather’s dream of an anti-gay rights bill that was heard around the nation. Liberals and moderates screamed, Pence capitulated igning a “fix” and then incurred the wrath of social conservatives for not standing his ground. “Walk on road, hm? Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later [squish like graped].” – Mr. Miyagi. Wax-off, Pence-son
Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy knows political opportunity when he sees it. Shrouded as a “religious rights” law, Malloy took aim at Pence and his state. He signed an executive order banning state-sponsored travel to Indiana. That was enough to get Malloy some cable TV news spots in which he clobbered Pence.
For what it’s worth, Pence did fight back. When Malloy ended up signing a budget with a mammoth tax increase, Pence took out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal slapping Malloy around by trying to pouch Connecticut’s big employers.
What’s most distasteful about Pence’s Trump-sucking play for the VP spot is his penchant for hyperbole. Tuesday night, Pence said at a rally, “Trump understands the frustrations and the hopes of the American people like no other American leader in my lifetime since Ronald Reagan.” What? Really? Mr. Pence, what about the little matter of you endorsing Ted Cruz just 10 weeks ago? If Trump is Reagan reincarnate, why didn’t you endorse him?
So, if Pence is passed over for Trump’s chump, how does he explain to Hoosiers his total attention to the position for past few months. It certainly won’t hope his flagging reelection bid? Democratic nominee John Gregg is already slamming Pence for being distracted.
Unlike Pence, Trump’s other short-listed VP names—Christie, Gingrich and some retired general who used to be a Democrat (then again, so was Trump)—are not on any ballot this year. It would seem signing on with Trump is a career-ender if he doesn’t win. Christie’s and Gingrich’s career are over anyway.
Meanwhile, Trump has turned his search for a VP into a political version of “The Apprentice.” They all have tried out and now we’re in the “Ivanka Round”—meet the kids, try to impress and hope to emerge as the winner.
Then again, a new Quinnipaic Poll shows Trump now ahead in Florida and Ohio, and tied in Pennsylvania.
So what do I know?