Reality-TV star/producer Donald Trump has decided against going with the guy who put Ivanka’s father-in-law in the hoosegow to be his running mate, and also ixnaying a storyline in which he becomes part of a “two-pirate ticket” with the guy who led the push to impeach Hillary Clinton’s husband.
Instead, Trump this morning tweeted confirmation he’d picked Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, conservative Paul Ryan pal, to the chagrin of those hoping Trump would continue his nuts-to-GOP-establishment march toward the White House.
“For the very first time, Donald Trump is going with what his advisers are telling him he need to do, and not with his gut,” marveled CNN’s chief political correspondent Dana Bash this morning,
Donald Trump Tweets Mike Pence As Veep Pick After Canceling News Conference In Wake Of Attack In France
But, Trump being Trump, the announcement was not without Celebrity Apprentice-worthy drama. After taking the advice of others, including his adult children, word was leaked that Trump had called Pence yesterday afternoon and made the offer. After which followed about 12 hours in which it was not clear Trump would go through with it. On Fox News last night, for instance, Trump insisted he had not yet made up his mind, though Trump’s handlers had flown Pence to Manhattan and was sitting in a hotel room waiting for what was scheduled to be this morning’s news conference at which Trump would unveil his pick.
(Today’s scheduled 11 AM ET newser was canceled yesterday afternoon after 84 people, including 10 children, were killed in Nice by a man driving an 18-ton truck. Foregoing the pomp and circumstance of a news conference, Trump instead tweeted news of his choice at the designated time).
Trump’s son in law, Jared Kushner, reportedly was among those advocating against Veep hopeful Chris Christie. As U.S. attorney for New Jersey, Christie prosecuted Kushner’s dad, Charles, who was convicted of tax evasion and making illegal campaign contributions, as various press reported. Newt Gingrich also campaigned aggressively, if unsuccessfully, for the gig, on that two-pirate ticket platform.
Yesterday’s news of Trump’s Pence pick caused conservative cable-news pundits to breathe sighs of relief. Pence is a Tea Party conservative who will assure conservatives it’s “safe” to vote for Trump, assured CNN contributor S.E. Cupp, for instance. She described Pence as “certainly one of the most conservative, sober-minded, thoughtful, careful, compassionate, serious people that the Republican Party has,” calling him “a good pick.”
On the bright side, however, Cupp added, “Does anyone believe Donald Trump is going to let the Vice President move him in a different direction? I doubt it.” She suggested conservatives ask themselves, “Would you marry a jerk just because his older brother is cool? Mike Pence does not make Donald Trump a more stable candidate.”
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