A revisiting, then, to expound and clarify.
Sessions would have been the best ‘top tier’ pick by a mile, no one else came remotely close. He was probably asked but declined, either so he could serve as Trump’s congressional point man or due to some sword of Damocles hanging over him.
Sessions out? Okay, then Kobach. Or Arpaio. Or Pat Buchanan. Or Virgil Goode. Or Chuck Baldwin. Or James Webb. Or Scott Brown.
I could keep pounding out preferable names and my fingers would fall off before I’d get to Christie, Pence, or Gingrich. But those three and Sessions were the only ones under serious consideration over the last couple of weeks. Pence, in fact, was only initially contacted a few weeks ago, presumably after Sessions declined:
With Sessions out, my contention is that Pence is probably the least bad of the three, and I laid out why here.
That said, there is nothing Pence brings that Sessions doesn’t other than youth and better bone structure. While we can trust him as much as we can trust anyone else in congress, cucks trust him, too. Ann Coulter’s observation that this pick was a mistake–or at the very least, suboptimal–resonates with me.
Parenthetically, let’s distinguish between cucks and #NeverTrump. The latter is a joke, a handful of self-important chiefs without any indians. The former, however, are a non-negligible electoral force. These are dorky church dads and silly soccer moms who have always voted Republican but don’t like Trump. Ned Flanders is the archetype. They won’t vote for Hillary or even third-party, but some number won’t vote at all. I live in Kansas. The circles I swim in are thick with these people. They’re everywhere.
I was mocked for pointing this out:
But we’re going to see Hillary pick a white running mate instead of wasting the VP spot on blacks, who will vote Democrat more overwhelmingly than tradcons will vote Republican. Too many won’t vote at all, though, and it’s going to tell in states like North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
Gingrich has neither crossover appeal nor tradcon appeal. As a presidential candidate he’s a proven loser and Trump wasn’t going to pick someone who’d run unsuccessfully before. Parsing Trump’s rhetoric over the last several months made that clear. It’s why I could confidently put hundreds of dollars on Cruz, Christie, Kasich, Rubio and Carson “No” in the betting markets. Gingrich’s congressional history is as antithetical to Trump’s message as Pence’s was, probably more so (at least Pence opposed No Child Left Behind, one of the very few who did). Gingrich is on record saying he could work with a president Bill Clinton but he never could have worked with a president Pat Buchanan.
Christie’s crossover appeal is limited to the Northeast. He’s toxic in the cuck corridor as his awful performance in Iowa showed. Trump/Gingrich or Trump/Christie would definitely lose Iowa and could put putatively safe states like Utah or the Dakotas in play. Pence isn’t obviously worse than either of them are in Ohio. Kasich is contemptible but he’s a popular governor in what will probably be the single most important state in November, and Pence is the most likely of the three to bring Kasich over. Trump’s clearest path to victory is to flip Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania and hold where Romney did everywhere else.
I doubt many blue collar voters are going to investigate Pence’s various positions, find out he is less hard-line on immigration than Trump, and then abandon their plans to vote Trump. There are very few voters who go to that level of engagement.
Add to that Trump’s position on trade having been rock solid for decades, and he brings that into a political environment where, for generations, no other serious presidential candidate from either party–with the exception of Bernie Sanders this time around–has been one-tenth as critical of what’s passed off as free trade as he has been. If trade is your issue, you weren’t wavering on Trump no matter who he picked as VP.
Cicatrizatic again, on the idea that Trump is a closeted white nationalist:
Trump is a pragmatist who read Coulter’s book and realized which way the wind blows. He is a good healthy force for steering America in the direction of nationalism. But he is not and never purported to be the embodiment of pure ethnic nationalism.
Trump is a businessman, a non-ideologue, a negotiator who will by nature compromise to the middle on almost all of his positions. He won’t necessarily deport all of the illegals, but will likely deport many of the worst ones. It won’t be a 50 foot concrete wall across the entirety of the Mexican border, but rather some combination of wall and security fence.
It is good to stand behind the Trump movement, but the alt-right should not make the mistake of projecting onto Trump their ultimate ideals. He is at best a temporary vessel in the fight against globalism.
The idea that Trump will win the general election, doubling as a referendum on a wall and on a moratorium on Muslim immigration and then be impeached for trying to do what he was given a mandate to do is far-fetched. A more realistic risk is that Pence stages a walkout sometime between now and November and leaving the campaign in apparent disarray.
But Pence is a hollow man, as his impotent flailing when Indiana’s ‘religious liberty’ law was criticized showed and his homely wife confirms. His Cruz endorsement during Indiana’s primary has become a running joke. Trump himself made light of it, calling it the the best non-endorsement he’s ever received.
He could be a GOPe plant preparing to self-destruct and bring Trump down with him. As far as infiltrators go, though, he can’t be anywhere close to optimal for the saboteurs.
On the other hand, Trump just offered Pence more than the GOPe ever could have in Pence’s wildest dreams. Is he going to sink beneath the waves of a sinking ship whose moment has come and gone, or is he going to abandon that ship to get on an unstoppable train? That he could barely spit out his promised endorsement of Cruz in between lavishing praise on Trump should give us hope. Asked yesterday about the wall and the Muslim immigration ban, Pence said he supported both.
He is the best cuck convert of the three as well. Gingrich and Christie have been on board for months. Pence is fresher. He creates the perception that people from all over the map are coming around to Trump. As Scott Adams has demonstrated again and again, the importance of the psychology here is difficult to overstate.
My feeling is that Trump isn’t going Manchurian candidate here but he’s not going Sulla, either. As I’ve said before, he’s being Caesarian, and he has the trap Reagan fell into as a cautionary tale on how to proceed more prudently.
In sum, then, wariness is warranted but mutiny is premature.