I’ve spent the past day researching and reading about Mike Pence. Donald Trump has ignited a political firestorm around him for the past year, and the signs of it slowing down anytime soon aren’t here. He will, however, begin to defer a little now to his VP selection, if only to establish themselves as “The Ticket”. To understand the true gravity of this pick, however, is to see this election has now completely changed, and it has little to do with Governor Pence.
Mr. Trump has always been a guy to go with his gut, and in business it’s served him well. I don’t think any of us would say Mr. Trump lacks fire, in fact, we are usually thinking he has a bit too much. The strange thing about this pick, however, is that it indicates a wild change in the fight for the Presidency, and very well could change the outcome of the election.
I don’t think it is a surprise to anyone that Mr. Trump loves Chris Christie. The NJ Governor endeared himself to the Donald after he dropped out of the Presidential race and through his support to Mr. Trump. For months they have been campaigning together, and building quite the friendship along the way, one which started years ago actually. Political insiders are saying without a doubt Donald Trump’s “gut” told him to select Chris Christie, but this time everything was about to change.
Donald Trump has relied heavily on his kids throughout his campaign, and Ivanka and Eric Trump have been the two most engaged. Ivanka and Eric privately encouraged the firing of Trump’s previous campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, and have had his ear for the entire run through the primaries. Both of them were correctly opposed to selecting Chris Christie, wanting a social conservative as his running mate. It’s brilliant actually, and the only hope Mr. Trump has to win the election. Either he fires up the conservative base behind him, or he loses the election. There is no scenario Mr. Trump makes the general election even close if he can’t fire up the base, and Chris Christie won’t give you that. Newt Gingrich might, but his brash personality would scare off a few voters, too. Mr. Trump doesn’t need a powerhouse behind him, he needs the running mate who can smile big, take a happy looking, perfect picture with a baby, and look legit the whole time. He needs someone who seems like a real human, and is down to earth. He already has the powerhouse in his camp anyway.
Trump’s new campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and Trump’s children, especially Ivanka, saw one candidate with the potential to do all of this, Governor Mike Pence. They were unified and adamant about this selection, and more than anything right now, Donald Trump values loyalty. Ivanka, who might be the most powerful and charismatic of them all, could possibly be one of the most intelligent campaigners we’ve ever been exposed to, and don’t be surprised to see her yield more and more influence throughout the next few months. Good grief, she graduated cum laude from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania! She has extensive business leadership resume, and has carved her own path outside of her father’s influence. Ivanka, along with Eric and Manafort, believes her dad needs the conservatives rallied behind him, and after selecting Governor Pence, he may have just pulled it off.
There are two scandals involving Mike Pence you’ll hear about in the next few weeks, because we know the media is coming after any conservative, right? First, he made some bad decisions in his first campaign, and used campaign donations for his family’s mortgage and to pay a few other bills. He wasn’t wealthy, like so many of our candidates are, so he took the money donated to his campaign to pay his personal bills. It’s kind of a silly, however, because it makes sense to provide people running for office a path to continue to campaign and pay their bills. Do we really need our elected officials to all be independently wealthy? Is that representative of our culture? The media will make it sound like he stole money, but if you read the entire report, it’s not at all what he did. After this incident, we went on a state wide apology tour, confessing what he did and asking for forgiveness. There’s also a second “scandal” involving HIV and the shutting down of a treatment center in Indiana. I’ve read the reports and the facts from this so called “scandal” and it’s a pile of hogwash. It also did nothing to cause him to lose any statewide popularity. First of all, he wasn’t the only decision maker in the process, and why is the Governor the only one responsible in Indiana for setting up HIV treatment centers? Doesn’t the POTUS have some pull, and all the funding he would need? How about the state legislature or anyone else in the federal government trying to assist? My point is, this isn’t a big deal on a political front, and there are other treatment facilities where help is available. Yes, the next center is about 45 minutes away, but much of Indiana is rural, and this is a very rural area. Usually folks know if they are choosing to live somewhere so rural, some resources are limited. Anyway, this is a non-issue, but you may hear about it soon.
For conservatives, this might be the moment you’ve been waiting for. In fact, this REALLY might be the change in tide. With Trump’s top three advisors wanting him to select a staunch pro-life and conservative force, with over a decade of experience the US House of Representatives and three successful years as Governor, this could be huge. Governor Pence will now enter the political fold with Mr. Trump’s top advisors, and the move to conservatism will never be more powerful. There will be another shift in Mr. Trump’s campaign and tactics, and should yield a huge win for conservatives.
One more thought – Mr. Trump had until the convention to play around, but now with it starting in two days, there are no more games to be played. He can’t change his advisors, because if he does he jeopardizes everything he has worked for, and he’s too smart for that. He is well aware of how much he needs Manafort, Ivanka, Eric, and now Governor Pence. Together these four will unite to guide Mr. Trump into the candidate we need, not the candidate he was even just a few months ago. He can’t win the election without the Evangelical vote, and with Pence he gets it. Once in office, he will keep his most trusted people close, as he always has, and right now those people are focused solely on the conservative base.
The convention and next month will tell us everything we need to know, but if you’re going to listen to anyone during those days, it may not be Mr. Trump you should pay attention to. The one person with more power and influence in this campaign has shown up, and she is a more powerful player than I’ve seen so far. They might be the smartest person in politics at this time, too, and possibly the new hero of the conservative Republicans. Whether or not the country is ready for her, Ivanka Trump could be the one person who decides this election, and the biggest ally of conservatives in years.