The Reason Donald Trump Chose Mike Pence Is He's The Republican Yin To His Yang
If there's anything that can be gleaned from HBO's Veep, it's that the vice presidential role is sometimes largely a symbolic one. The choice of running mate in a heated election season, however, is all strategic. On Friday morning, Donald Trump officially announced via Twitter that Indiana Gov. Mike Pence was his selection for his running mate. Though it's possible Trump made this decision just because Gingrich and Christie were starting to look a little desperate, it makes more sense that the reason Donald Trump chose Pence has to do with what the Indiana governor represents to voters. And what Pence represents is a bona fide, hardcore, great-grandma approved conservative Republican.
Trump essentially chose a yin to his yang to satisfy the craving of the more traditional Republican voters. Where Trump is rogue, anti-establishment and anything but a political insider, Pence has great connections within the Republican Party, to fundraising networks, and was the preferred pick of many Republican lawmakers, according to a report in The Hill. Where Trump's list of his qualifications for making deals with Congress includes "common sense," "personality," and his ability to "size up the other side," Pence has years of actual experience as a lawmaker in the House of Representatives (and as a bonus, was on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs). Where Trump has been criticized for not being a "true conservative," and being inconsistent on issues like abortion and LGBTQ rights, Pence sets conservative hearts at ease; he has railed against the pro-choice movement and initially signed legislation that permitted Indiana businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ people (he later signed an amended version that protected the community against discrimination). And perhaps most interestingly, where Trump is high-tempered and unpredictable, Pence has a "polite demeanor," as the Indy Star's Brian Easton wrote.
It looks like Pence might just be the spoon full of sugar Republicans need to make the Trump pill go down a little easier, and the governor's past opposition to the Muslim ban might even be useful to Trump as a demonstration that he can win over even skeptics of his policies.