And the winner of the Donald Trump veepstakes is… Indiana Governor Mike Pence. Tryouts intensified this week, with Trump holding a series of interviews with VP candidates who were frantically vying for the top spot. Interview questions included: where do you see yourself in ten years, how many favors are you owed in Congress, is that your real hair and what is your golf handicap? And like an episode of Trump’s popular TV show The Apprentice, the contestants had to jump through a series of hoops, his children turned up to all the meetings and the audience was kept in suspense until the very last second.
You’re fired! – is what Trump said to the other candidates who made it to the final round, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Trump needed someone with political experience and conservative credentials in order to both secure conservative Republican support and funding and unite the GOP, as well as be an attack dog against Hillary Clinton. And he needed someone trustworthy, someone that he is comfortable with and who really wants to work with him. Christie and Gingrich are both known and generally disliked by the public, they risk alienating too many voters or Republicans for various reasons, and both are political insiders whose loyalty to Trump is not guaranteed – he needs a puppet. Enter Apprentice Mike.
Huh? – is what you said when you heard Mike’s name. No, he’s not the magic one. You know him from last year, when he signed into law a religious freedom bill, which basically legalized LGBT discrimination – but was forced to water it down after it sparked national outrage. Which makes him look both anti-gay and knee-jerk foolish, and was the perfect running mate audition tape. Pence is a safe choice with Congress cred, he’s generally liked by conservative Republicans and his public image is still very moldable – all of which helps Trump in November. So far the Trump Train is barreling full steam ahead. Next stop, the convention.
Thinking Mr Miyagi could whip Apprentice Mike into shape? Wax on, wax off. Movie for your mood: The Karate Kid