Sunday, July 17, 2016

I Speak From My Heart-and My Brain

Mike Pence was trying. But Trump undercut him at every step of the way.

Even when he tried to say Trump has a good heart, Trump interjected:  'I have a good heart but I also have a good brain. The brain might be more important.'

He kept interrupting Pence. On waterboarding, same thing. Pence literally couldn't answer the question as Donald kept stepping in front of it.

I came out not knowing a thing more about Pence than when the 60 Minutes interview with Lesley Stahl started.

He seriously wasn't interested in letting Mike Pence speak.

Asked if he agreed with Trump’s call for “a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States,” Pence responded: “I do,” according to a transcript of the interview.

CBS’s Lesley Stahl then read Pence’s December tweet, which called the proposal “offensive and unconstitutional.”

As happened throughout the interview, Trump, perhaps sensing his running mate’s discomfort, stepped in.

“So you call it territories. OK? We're going to do territories. We're going to not let people come in from Syria that nobody knows who they are,” Trump said. “The Constitution — there's nothing like it. But it doesn't necessarily give us the right to commit suicide, as a country, OK? And I'll tell you this: Call it whatever you want, change territories, but there are territories and terror states and terror nations that we're not going to allow the people to come into our country. And we're going to have a thing called 'extreme vetting.' And if people want to come in, there's going to be extreme vetting.”

"Trump dominated the interview, speaking far more than his new running mate. Pence was quick to praise Trump, calling him “a good man” three times, and also referring to him as “one of the best negotiators in the world” and said that Trump "embodies American strength." And the magnanimity cut both ways."

"Trump praised the performance of the Indiana economy under Pence and forgave Pence’s support for the war in Iraq, which he has repeatedly slammed presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for."

“I don't care,” Trump said of Pence’s vote. “It's a long time ago. And he voted that way and they were also misled. A lot of information was given to people. ... He's entitled to make a mistake every once in awhile.”

But Clinton is not, Stahl asked.

“But she's not,” Trump said. “No. She’s not.”

Read more:

Sounds perfectly logical. Of course Trump himself supported Iraq at the time.

And the whole GOP narrative that he also tells makes no sense at all. Hillary showed bad judgement in voting for Iraq and Obama showed bad judgment in ending it.

For more on this brilliant insight: Pence is allowed to vote for Iraq but not Pence, see Phillip Bump.

Ali Ahmadi observed:

"Im Persian and even I think this furniture is over the top. #60Minutes"

Look, say what you want about the interview. But I feel like I don't know Mike Pence anymore now than I did before it started. 

Trump simply can't let it be about anyone else but him for even a nanosecond. So it kind of defeated the purpose. 

To an extent that might have been welcome as Pence is not necessarily great at intreviews. But in any case, for all we learnt, he might not as well been there. 

Josh Rogin:

"Trump keeps interrupting Pence praising him, sometimes correcting the praise. He would rather praise himself. @60Minutes"

When Pence said Trump will be a great Commander in Chief, that Trump liked:

"I love what he just said' - Trump

Mike Pence came in to this interview known by under one quarter of Americans. Ideally, you'd want the interview to serve to:

1. Introduce Mike Pence to more of the nation so they could begin to get to know him. 

2. Showcase Trump and Pence's relationship, to show us how they mesh. 

The interview utterly failed on those two counts. If the goal of the interview was to cause inadvertent laughter, it did a great job of that. 


  1. After Trump said that thing about "territories" then Stahl should have said

    "So evangelical Christians escaping ISIS from Syria should be sent back?"

    I don't know if this was the same interview, but RedState had this to say about what Pence now has to look forward to:

    1. Best possible outcome: two weeks before the election, Pence will get tired of this and take himself out of the running, and not be shy about why either.

    2. It was amazing to see Trump just totally dismiss him to his face. 'No, I would have been fine without him, but he's a nice guy.'

      It makes me think of what the second wave feminists used to say: 'A woman needs a husband like a fish needs a bicycle.'

      Trump acts like that fish and Pence is that bicycle.

  2. Mike, a retired physicist friend of my dad's (whom I keep in contact with) sent me the following theory, which I'm just going to reproduce in whole here... I've heard part of this before (that Trump may resign prior to the electoral college vote if he wins), but not the full level of cynicism here... this is pretty good!:

    First, a few months ago it occurred to me that if Hillary would choose
    Michelle Obama as her running mate,

    then both Bill and Barack could be roaming around the Whitehouse for the
    next four years. ;-)

    Then, seriously, I listened to an extended interview with a
    Constitutional Law scholar. Several scenarios were discussed.

    One scenario is of interest should Trump win the election. There is a
    "time window" between the time the Electoral

    College members are chosen and when their vote takes place. Should Trump
    'resign' in this time window, then the

    election goes to the House (and Senate??). In that case, with the
    current House, a different Republican candidate would be elected President.

    So, (humm) it occurred to me that here is a chance for the "deal
    maker" to rake in a lot of $$$.

    If Trump made a deal with the Koch brothers, and Trump resigned during
    that Electoral College window, the Koch's could have their

    Presidential choice for, say, only about a $100,000,000.

    Far less than the $850,000,000 they plan to spend on the upcoming election.

    1. I do think that skepticism as to whether he really would do the job if he won is legitimate.

      He did say something in the past about having someone else-the VP?-do the day to day stuff with Trump sticking to the glamorous stuff.

  3. Also, somewhere I heard someone bring up the enormous pressure on Chelsea if her mom is elected:

    "Well both your father and I were president, is that so much to ask? You just need to apply yourself dear..."


    1. I often wonder if Chelsea gets into politics herself someday. I hope so-just to drive the GOP crazy.

      I remember a pretty good joke after her daughter was born by a late night comic-can't remember who-Jimmy Fallon maybe?

      The new born daughter's press person said that they could 'neither confirm or deny whether she plans to run for President in 2056.'

      That's the dream scenario. Hillary in 2016; Chelsea in 2036; the daughter in 2056.


  4. Mike, I know I promote this guy's articles (Jason Taylor) all the time, but I think this is his best one yet, and it's also the mostly clearly pro-Hillary (it's shocking that Erickson lets this guy publish articles on his site, and so frequently). But Jason lays it out more clearly than ever here, specifically mentioning Hillary's emails, and how any problems there pale in comparison to the absolute scandalous fraud that Donald Trump is, and how incredibly dangerous it would be to put someone like Trump in power:

    1. Sounds good. I got to check him out.