Pence a Good Choice?

Indiana governor should be able to put his stamp on the Trump ticket

By Tim Baldwin and Joe Carbonari

By Tim Baldwin

Either Trump or Clinton will become president of the United States. Trump is untested and controversial. He needs help to appeal to traditional conservative voters. His choice for vice president is such a way. Trump chose Gov. Mike Pence. Good choice?

Pence appeals to traditional conservatives: his stance on abortion, homosexual marriage, foreign policy, economics, and immigration. Clinton called Pence “incredibly divisive and an unpopular running mate known for supporting discriminatory politics and failed economic policies.” But perhaps it is this clear ideological distinction that Trump wanted in his choice. In contrast to Trump, Pence is a well-established politician having worked in the system step by step to rise in position. This experience will likely benefit Trump and give him more credibility to voters.

On another score, Pence supports amending the Constitution to limit Congress’ authority to tax and spend. Forty-nine states have balanced budget mandates under their state laws, but Congress has no such limits – and judicial precedent confirms this unbridled power. More Americans are becoming aware that amending the Constitution is necessary to limit federal power. But some, like those in the John Birch Society, absolutely oppose amending the Constitution in defiance of all sound reasons. Will they abandon Trump/Pence because of Pence’s stance here knowing it will help Clinton win?

Pence: there appears to be more advantages than detriments to Trump’s chance of winning.

By Joe Carbonari

The choice of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as running mate has helped both Donald Trump and the Republican Party. Pence, a six-term former congressman, knows the political ropes, has a calming demeanor, and strong conservative bona fides. He will help turn out the Republican base and calm the fears of some moderates and swing voters. He appears presidential.

He will also help turn out some Democrats, particularly the LGBT community and liberals as a whole. What the net gain in Trump votes might be is unclear.

On social issues, Pence seems to stand well to the right of Trump and caused a national stir when as governor he signed a bill making it easier to deny service based on a religious disapproval of same-sex marriage. The Indiana Legislature was forced to back off and re-write the legislation after several national corporations and organizations threatened to boycott the state.

Pence favors a strong military, limited immigration, and less freedom of choice on abortion issues. He does this, however, with less vitriol and anger than many who share his views. The head of the Republican convention’s anti-Trump movement, Kendal Unruh, has called him “a great pick.” Others have pointed out that most voters cast their ballots based on the top of the ticket, not the VP choice.

Pence takes some of the edge off the uneasiness with Trump, but moves the ticket further from the ideological center. Moderates, be careful who you enable. Pence may also have a bite.

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