Sunday, July 17, 2016

Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and the Humiliation of Chris Christie

I didn't get to watch Donald Trump introduce his running mate Mike Pence yesterday.

For it is summer, and both it and life are too short.

But now I'm sorry I didn't.

Because it was Trump at his worst or most bizarre.

And as Ezra Klein writes, it was yet another reason why he should never be President.

Back in May, EJ Dionne wrote that the hardest thing about covering Donald Trump would be "staying shocked." Watching him, day after day, week after week, month after month, the temptation would be to normalize his behavior, "to move Trump into the political mainstream." 

But today helped. Donald Trump’s introduction of Mike Pence was shocking. Forget the political mainstream. What happened today sat outside the mainstream for normal human behaviour

What started as farce continued as farce. Trump emerged without Pence. He spoke, alone, at a podium adorned with Trump’s name, but not Pence’s. And then Trump proceeded to talk about himself for 28 minutes. There is no other way to say this than to say it: it was the single most bizarre, impulsive, narcissistic performance I have ever seen from a major politician.

But then there might have been a reason for Trump's bizarre behaviour, and the song "You Can't Always Get What You Want," was probably the right song to play.

For as CNN reported, the choice of Pence was forced on Trump by his new campaign managers and his family. Trump apparently tried to change his mind at the last minute, after the decision had been made.

And the Democrats were quick to pounce on his frantic wavering, or mock it...

No doubt to suggest what might happen if Trump did become President and was faced with a major crisis.

And the even better news?

It seems that the candidate Trump favoured was no less than Chris Christie...

Who as I wrote about recently, has been reduced to fetching burgers for his boss.

Only to see his faithful service as Trump's manservant go for nothing, and end up totally humiliated on what had to be as the New York Times' Kate Zernike writes, his "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day." 

On Thursday morning, one of his closest confidants pleaded guilty to a felony charge of abusing power at the agency that Mr. Christie tapped him to lead. By that afternoon, federal prosecutors had charged a former cabinet official in connection with the same case, which spun out of the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal that has dogged Mr. Christie for nearly three years.

Then he did not get the job he had been publicly pining for, and on which he had pinned his hopes of political resuscitation.

And that was before a storm knocked down a tree and power line outside Mr. Christie’s house, starting a fire beside it. When a local television station asked the governor if he still had electricity, he gave a thumbs down, which might have been answering the question, or summing up the previous several hours, or months.

And yes, it really doesn't get worse than that. And it couldn't have happened to a more ghastly Con artist.

But what it also shows is that given half a chance Trump will always choose a flunky, or somebody he thinks he can totally dominate.

He is that insecure.

His reluctant choice of a religious fanatic, a homophobe, and an enemy of women's rights is still appalling.

And it is yet another reason, he should never be President...

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  1. Anonymous8:18 PM

    Donald Trump will win this election mark my words.


    1. And I'm betting you're just peachy keen with that, Montreal Con(man).

    2. hi MC...although the racist violence in the U.S. may play into Trump's hands as the Republican convention begins, in the long run I believe all this upheaval will end up favouring Clinton. When most American realize that despite her many flaws she can provide more stability than Trump, who could only make the situation worse...

  2. I choose to believe the Pence was forced upon him by the MIB. Trump if he wins will only be President long enough to be sworn in.

    1. hi Steve...well Pence was forced upon Trump, and I think he sees it like an arranged marriage to try to keep the Republican establishment happy. But judging from their appearance together on 60 Minutes, Pence could be the one that ensures that Trump never becomes President...

    2. Anonymous9:30 AM

      Yes its hard to believe that the makers and destroyers of countries/continents would let one isolated character derail their plans.As Putin has demonstrated there are so many options.

  3. Anonymous11:11 PM

    Although Cristie and Trump are kindred spirits by appointing Pence the Trump campaign has locked in the bible belt consisting of some 14 or 15 states.It could come at a price if people start to notice what this man actually stands for but Trump will likely keep him in the South and only let him out on a tight leash when absolutely necessary.
    Trump supporters have rejected the status quo and therefore want to believe whatever off the top of his head dribble he conjures up.Any good scam artist knows that under these conditions that the "need to believe followed by commitment to believe" can far out pace facts and logic if properly played.Why else would society fail to address known problems and instead accelerate them into a full blown crisis?

    1. hi RT... it's possible that Pence will only be used to patrol the Bible Belt, but Trump is strong there, and it seems to me that what he really needs is a VP who can win him more votes in the north. But as you say in this campaign emotion is trumping reason so I guess anything can happen...

  4. President Trump: Can He Really Win?
    WATCH ON CBC NEWS NETWORK, Sunday, July 17, 2016 at 10 PM ET/PT

    1. hi David...thanks for the link. I'll check it out when I get the time....

  5. e.a.f.3:40 AM

    Pence's beliefs do defy rationale thinking, but hey, he is a Republican and it is the U.S.A. Pence was most likely foisted upon Trump by what is left of the mainstream Republican Party.

    The announcement was weird in that there just wasn't much fan fair and there wasn't much glad handing or even Trump making a great long speech about Pence. It is doubtful the two will be in the same room for much of the campaign.

    'its really too bad Chris Christy didn't get the nod, it could have been just so much funnier on the comedy specials.

    1. hi e.a.f...yes I was hoping that Trump would choose Christie for the comic potential, and because of his ghastly record which could only drag them both down. But Pence can only alienate even more women, and they outnumber male voters. So I think he'll also do Trump more harm than good....

  6. Interesting fact, Bush was forced on Reagan and in 8 years they never broke bread together.