Monday, July 11, 2016

Trump's Pence-sive Decision

Several news outlets are reporting that Donald Trump has decided on Indiana GOP Governor Mike Pence as his running mate.

A Donald Trump campaign stop in Indiana scheduled for Tuesday is raising speculation that the presumptive Republican nominee will announce Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate.

The Washington Times reported Sunday evening that Pence has a “95 percent probability” of being Trump's choice, according to sources close to the campaign and to the governor. The first-term Indiana governor’s name has surfaced in recent weeks as a contender for the position. Pence tepidly endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas before the state's May primary, but later backed Trump, praising the chance to "take a new direction" in Washington.

"The kind of leadership that I truly do believe, to borrow a phrase, will make America great again," Pence said during a Thursday campaign stop, according to The Associated Press.

Others said to be under consideration for vice president are former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama.

Considering the convention is coming up next week for the Republicans, Trump certainly doesn't have a lot of time to make a decision.  But Mike Pence wouldn't have a whole lot of time to decide to accept, either.

The coming days could see a major shake-up in Indiana politics as Donald Trump considers Indiana Gov. Mike Pence among others as his Republican vice presidential choice.

Pence is set to attend a campaign fundraising event with the New York billionaire in Indianapolis on Tuesday - just six days before the Republican national convention in Cleveland. The Trump campaign also has scheduled a rally for Tuesday evening in suburban Indianapolis.

If Trump picks Pence as his running mate, it would scramble the Indiana governor's race as Pence could not run for both offices under state law and would have to drop his re-election campaign by noon Friday.

A number of other Republicans are already expressing interest, including House Speaker Brian Bosma and U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita. Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb, Pence's current running mate, and U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks also are viewed as potential replacements.

It would also definitively link Trump to Indiana, and I'm not sure how that will be received by Republicans in the state.  It's certainly not going to help Trump in November.  The question is will Pence gamble his political career on arguably the worst job in the GOP right now?

We'll see, possibly as soon as tomorrow.

[UPDATE]: Now we're hearing that Indiana has gone completely insane and that former Dem Sen. Evan Bayh could be getting into the state's Senate race to reclaim his old seat.

Evan Bayh is mounting a return bid to the U.S. Senate, giving national Democrats a boost as they aim to retake the chamber in November. 
An announcement about Bayh's candidacy for the Indiana Senate seat is expected later Monday morning, said a source familiar with the plans. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because they will not be released publicly until later Monday. 
National Democratic leaders have encouraged Bayh to run for more than a year, ever since incumbent GOP Sen. Dan Coats announced he would not run again. Bayh was dismissive at first, insistent he was done with public life, but Monday's announcement will mark a significant victory for Senate Democratic recruiters. 
Rep. Todd Young won the hotly contested Indiana Republican primary, beating out Rep. Marlin Stutzman for the nomination. Young has been heavily favored to beat Hill in November, but Bayh's entry into the race easily changes that dynamic. 
Bayh stunned Democrats in 2010 when he left the Indiana Senate race after being named the nominee. Indiana Democrats picked then-U.S. Rep. Brad Ellsworth to fill the Senate slot on the ballot, but he lost to Coats in the 2010 tea party wave. 
In an interesting reversal, Indiana Democrats will now have to formally place Bayh's name on the ballot after nominee Baron Hill announces he is stepping out of the race. That announcement is expected at the same time as Bayh's, according to the source.

Holy crap.  I get to break out my favorite retired StupidiTag!

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