The Corner

Beware a Pence Fizzle

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 (the Left tends to make any GOP pick a lightning rod). 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.

Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

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