You had to know Trump’s ego wouldn’t allow him to simply congratulate his VP pick, Governor Mike Pence, on a great debate performance, and then move on.
“How many of you watched the vice presidential debate last night?” Trump asked during his rally in Henderson, Nevada. “Mike Pence did an incredible job, and I’m getting a lot of credit because that’s really my first so-called choice. That was my first hire, as we would say in Las Vegas.”
I can just about guarantee you there was a team who made suggestions to Trump and ultimately guided him to Pence, who had endorsed Ted Cruz during the primaries, but was so lukewarm and indecisive with the endorsement, that it allowed Trump to later claim that it was more like an endorsement of him.
Pence, while still worlds better than Trump, as a candidate, was chosen (likely by Trump’s children) precisely because they felt he would not upstage the top of the ticket.
In fact, reports coming out immediately after Pence was named as the VP were that Trump didn’t want Pence, at all, and had tried to pull in someone else, only hours before the announcement.
Pence was just the guy he was stuck with.
The Indiana governor solidified his place as milquetoast in an earlier Virginia rally, by averting any perceived in-fighting that might begin and tossing effusive praise back to his hay-haired boss.
“Some people think I won,” Pence said, sending the crowd into a roar. “But I’ll leave that to others. You know, what I can tell you is from where I sat, Donald Trump won the debate. Donald Trump’s vision to make America great again won the debate. And when we take that vision to every corner of Virginia and every corner of this great nation, this movement, that man and that vision are gonna win all the way to the White House.”
Nice attempt at a save, Governor.
Trump’s Nevada speech further sought to grab the spotlight:
“And last night, America also got to look firsthand at my judgment,” Trump continued. “And that was judgment. You know, you need judgment for people, for deals.”
And quite a bit of your judgment was talked about in that debate, which Pence couldn’t defend. He could only counter and move on, as best he could.
Pence’s performance may be enough to drag some voters over the finish line for Trump, but if Trump doesn’t do better in the next two debates, Pence’s good performance will be quickly forgotten.
It’s not a good sign when you have people voting for you that are doing so because of the chance that you may either be indicted or worse during the first days of your presidency.