Donald Trump formally announced his pick for vice president on Saturday, ostensibly introducing Indiana Governor Mike Pence to an electorate that couldn’t pick him out of a lineup.
Trump selected Pence in a bid for “party unity,” which is shorthand for “unobjectionable establishment politician who won’t threaten my spotlight.” True to form, though, Trump dedicated the bulk of his rambling speech to bloviating about his own accomplishments, committing many long, breathless minutes to congratulating himself on predicting Brexit, condemning Hillary Clinton and marveling at the success of his D.C. hotel project. Did Trump know where he was? Does Trump have any idea who Mike Pence...is?
Pence’s name occasionally wormed its way into the speech, mostly in relation to how his business acumen saved the state of Indiana. Pence, Trump said, lowered the state’s unemployment rate from 8.4 percent to under five percent, and increased the labor force by more than 186,000 jobs.
“I said ‘Gimme the stats on the state, and it’s always bad. Down, down, down. Here is somebody where it’s gone up,” Trump said. Governor Pence, he added, balanced the state’s budget. “Can you imagine a balanced budget?”
After announcing that Indiana was recently recognized by Chief Executive magazine as the number one state in the U.S. for business, Trump returned to the topic at hand: Trump.
“Boy am I going to win big with the veterans,” he said. “We know that for a fact.”
Pence did succeed in eventually muscling his way onto the stage, where he confirmed what we already knew: That he’s a pretty basic guy, raised by an ear of corn and a slice of Wonder Bread.
“People who know me well know I’m a pretty basic guy. I’m a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order,” he said. “I’m really just a small town boy.” A small town boy who seems to have conflicting emotions on banning Muslims.
The joint-news conference, held in Manhattan’s New York Hilton Midtown, was initially scheduled for Friday but was delayed following the deadly attack in Nice. Nevertheless, Trump tweeted his decision to select Pence as a running mate on Friday morning.
Analysts on CBS News pointed out that 86 percent of voters have no opinion on Pence, because they don’t know enough about him to actually form one. Today’s announcement has done virtually nothing to change that, but you can educate yourself on some of Pence’s terrible legislation here.
Image via AP.