Rich Lowry believes that Mike Pence might well “fizzle” if he becomes Donald Trump’s running mate. He writes:
I understand the impulse for Trump to pick Pence — an experienced pol, in good standing with conservatives, and not much of a lightning rod, at least not yet. . . .But Trump’s running mate will have to be extremely deft at explaining away and deflecting Trump controversies. There is no reason to believe that Pence will be good at this, and I’m guessing he won’t be.
Christie (comfortable at defending anything) and especially Newt (one of the most glib politicians of the last 30 years) would be much better by this metric. They both have downsides. No one will be excited by Christie, certainly not conservatives. Newt is famously ill-disciplined.
But I wouldn’t be surprised if the Trump team thinks it’s getting a safe choice in Pence and then when he inevitably has trouble defending Trump (he has never operated on this kind of national stage), it won’t look so safe anymore.
This is good analysis, it seems to me. But think about what it means.
Mike Pence, a highly experienced politician and a bright guy, probably won’t be able to defend much of what comes out of Trump’s mouth. Doing so will require someone who is “comfortable at defending anything” or “one of the most glib politicians of the last 30 years.” In other words, an accomplished double-talker.
Anything less, and the Republican vice presidential nominee will likely end up tying himself in knots trying to advocate on behalf of Trump.
That’s quite a commentary on the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.