Friday, July 15, 2016

Trump Repudiates Pence! (Well, not yet...)

Death in Nice, coup attempt in Turkey, usual dreadful signs of the Climate Crisis.  Is this why we need the Entertainer?  Is this what Trump is for?

(Remember that Billy Joel song, "The Entertainer"?  He once summarized it for me: "I am the Entertainer, I am so full of shit.")

Sowing the usual whirlwinds, Trump officially settled on Mike Pence as his vice-president.  After saying he wouldn't announce it Friday morning, he announced it Friday morning, but postponed the introductory event.  Several reporters were told he was trying to get out of it as recently as midnight.

(So there's another faction in the Trump campaign that leaked that Trump wanted somebody else, and since they leaked to CNN it may be that of the former campaign director who is now making a half million for propagandizing for Trump on what used to be an all-news network, and now isn't even a news network.)

What isn't being reported that I can see is that Pence had until noon Friday to declare whether he was running for reelection as governor of Indiana (not a sure win by any stretch) or not.  By Indiana law he can't run for two offices.  So he at least had to know.  Update: Now the NY Times has reported it. Pence's people filed the necessary papers after 11 a.

He might have been the only one who knew.  All the reports I've read say that neither Gingrich or Christie were told in advance that Trump had definitely chosen Pence.

To me it looks like the whole thing was pretty much engineered by somebody high in the Trump campaign, likely the head honcho Paul Manafort.  He likely had it leaked yesterday, including that Pence was on his way to New York for the announcement.  That seems designed to keep Trump from changing his mind.

But he probably did want to change his mind anyway, which doesn't bode well for this as a long-term relationship.  I fully expect that under the least amount of pressure, Trump will let it be known that Pence wasn't his favorite, and even that he regrets the choice.  There's more soap opera to come with this.

For now, the choice mollifies establishment GOPers like Paul Ryan, rabid religious righters and TP folk.   Trump evidently has chosen the Koch Brothers money (they like Pence) over Sheldon Adelson's money (he likes Gingrich.)  (So it's not clear how successful the GOP will be in begging Adelson to make up the $6 million shortfall for their convention.) Update: If he was trying to get Koch money, it didn't work.

 The choice of Pence seems designed first of all to get Trump through the GOP convention--and the idea that his opposition was already vanquished may have inspired him to want to dump Pence and get a soul brother, a fellow "pirate" as Gingrich said.

But Manafort also quickly unveiled the new Trump-Pence logo, so Donald really couldn't change his mind.  It's getting widely reviewed for its sexual suggestiveness.  My my.

Trump knows that Pence dissed him in the past. The pressure will increase as Trump sees (and is even asked about) Pence's statements in the past, from trade  etc. to the presidency itself-- that contradict Trump's most aggressive positions and rationale.

So now let the betting begin on how soon Trump disses Pence, and repudiates him.   Probably not in the introduction Saturday, but...

And if Trump manages to essentially forget about Pence, and sends him off to campaign in small towns and hamlets, the question come October might be...whatever happened to Mike Pence?

As for the losers, Gingrich is off using his almost-vp megaphone to get media attention for his outlandish out-Trumping Trump plan to interrogate every Muslim in America on whether they believe in Sharia law, and deport those who are dumb enough to admit it, or perhaps are convicted by special tribunals.

Christie is getting widespread whatever the cynical version of sympathy is, for this latest and biggest humiliation.  Borowitz suggests he's angry enough to refuse to pick up Trump's dry-cleaning.  

Meanwhile, announced speakers for the GOPer convention keep dropping out: the big star--Tim Tebo!--ain't going, and neither is Trump's daughter's rabbi.  But she's still speaking.  Maybe for a little longer than planned.

No comments: