Monday, July 11, 2016

Trump/Pence?

On Sunday the Washington Times was reporting that Mike Pence had a 95 percent chance of being named as Donald Trump's running mate. Trump has said it is likely tht he would name his running mate this week, and he has scheduled a rally in Indianapolis for Tuesday. But Trump is nothing if not unpredictable.

Why would Pence give up the governorship to join a ticket that polling guru Nate Silver has given a 20 to 25 percent chance to win in November? National Review's Elainia Johnson writes that Pence confidants portray him as "a battered governor who believes a spot on the national ticket could simultaneously lift him out of a tough reelection campaign in Indiana and make him a top prospect for the Republican nomination in 2020 or 2024." If Trump should win, Pence could be the sitting vice president in 2024 (if Trump doesn't get bored with the job before that).

In the likely event that Trump loses, writes Slate's Jim Newell, Republicans will cast Hillary Clinton as a disastrous president, enabling Pence to play the "loyalty card." Newell writes,
"Here’s where Pence would have a unique advantage over Cruz, Rubio, or any other 2020 prospect who didn’t give everything they had to elect Donald Trump. Any time during the 2020 campaign that they mention something terrible Clinton has done—which will be just about every other word—Pence can jump in and say: Yeah, and what did you do to prevent this? I quit my job to stop Hillary Clinton from getting elected president, while you just looked out for yourself."

And, of course, Pence joining the trump ticket would turn the Indiana governor's race upside down and perhaps strengthen John Gregg's position, especially if Evan Bayh is on the ticket too. We'll find out soon enough!