Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Littlefinger the Kingmaker

Sorry. Image via.
BooMan was wondering yesterday why Indiana's governor Mike Pence would be under serious consideration as Trump's vice presidential nominee: why he'd want the awful job in the first place (because he's not so confident he can get reelected governor, though not in as desperate shape as Chris Christie, but in more of a hurry than Christie, whose term has another two years to go); and what use he is to Trump, which as far as Boo is concerned is about nil—he's a real rightwing extremist on moral, economic, and foreign policy issues, and a prissy, humorless drip, unlikely to dissuade any business leaders, women, and young people from voting for Clinton.

I had a hypothesis which is pretty dumb, but fairly entertaining.

It's connected with the hypothesis that Trump doesn't want to win this election and doesn't even want to run but can't figure out how to get out of it without embarrassing himself: that Pence is being prepped to be the Hubert Humphrey of this convention, the one who can be acclaimed as the nominee without having stood in any primaries when Trump withdraws.

For the party, it would be something of a rescue: they wouldn't be able to win the presidency, but they've certainly given up on that for this year anyway—what they want desperately to do is hold on to the houses of Congress, which they well may be unable to do with Trump at the head of the ticket, and Pence, in spite of his radicalism, is such a zero in public personality that he at least won't do any harm. The press will treat him as a savior, ignoring his policy views and admiring his clothes and his noncontroversial speech style and presidential white hair. The loser candidates will gladly back him because he's not one of them (the reason they haven't been able to unify up to now is that after the campaign they all hate each other too much). The various Republican constituencies—the sexual obsessives, the libertarians, the Weekly Standard pseudo-wonks—will all find things they can admire (there were Kochs and Kristols touting him as an insurgent candidate all spring).

For Trump himself, he's a real choke artist, as we know from his real estate career. What he likes to do is to back out of a deal toward the end, working mainly to look as if he's in control and preserving his brand: that's why there are so many projects in the New York–New Jersey area named after him though he hasn't owned them for years, if ever. His ideal solution to his political problem would be to duck out of the presidential campaign with that $5-billion payoff and naming rights to the party, which could now be called the Trump Party and Republican Golf Resort.

Naming the nominee, serving as a Shortfinger the Kingmaker pushing his own candidate nobody's ever quite heard of, would be playing his Apprentice role, which begins with the assumption that he is the best person for all jobs by definition and therefore the best person to decide who's good enough. Who's better than the winner? The host of the show!

Image by Lincoln Agnew for Indianapolis Monthly.

Cross-posted at The Rectification of Names.


Victor said...

Mike "The Dense" Pence for VP, and then POTUS?

He may look bland, but inside, there beats a truly dark heart...

Ten Bears said...

I too have a hypothesis which is pretty dumb, but fairly entertaining: The Retards are throwing the election. Again. For the third time.

Donald T Rump is doing everything he can to get Clinton elected. The more odious the VP, Christie in particular, the greater the prognosis for success.

gocart mozart said...

That theory is so crazy, it just might be true.

Feud Turgidson said...

When I was undergrad the Students' Union speakers committee - I wasn't on it that year, I did get voted onto it the next year in my senior year due to this incident (and I was wrong to do it because I was so freaking sincere and well-intentioned and just so terrible) - brought in Hunter S. Thompson, on a book tour to promote his first Fear & Loathing. He was expected to speak some, maybe do a reading from his book, respond to questions, sign books, the usual.

We all read everything in those days, so everyone had a book for him to sign, and we all show up acting cool like we're waiting for news on the next Woodstrock. But he's not there. They'd booked the big hall in the Athletics Center, so room for 8,000 plus, it's packed - but no HST. Two hours in, someone on the committee went to the mike and said, they got a call from HST, he just arrived, at the airport, needed a ride.

From campus on the NW side to airport on the SW ccan be an hour in traffice, my friend has his parents' wagon as they're on sabbatical in France or Belgium whatever, so he volunteers to pick up HST and commandeers me as shotgun. We got lucky with traffic, there in under 45 minutes, can't find HST anywhere. Making it worse, all we've have is a name and a dustcover picture that's an editorial cartoon, some foreign cartoonist. Two hours tromping around the airport with handwritten signs shouting his name, nothing. I phone back to Campus SU, they put me thru to speakers reception, speakers said HST called saying he'd "forgotten where" he was.

He was two states away. He'd arrived there a week before, then on this day he went to the airport to board on the reservation our speakers committee had committed to have for him there, but FORGOT WHAT AIRLINE. He never boarded. Maybe he mentioned this to our speakers reception when he phoned in, maybe not. He was still in LA.

HST used to make EVERY election he covered feel like the one we're having now feel like to everyone who's not already crazy. If he were alive today covering this election, his gifts'd be wasted. Then, so would he.

This is the worst. 1968 was disheartening, this on is soul destroying.

He's gonna auction off the nom, or he can't get his price, he'll auction off the White House, and he doesn't really care to whom, within reason, like: they can't be anyone who'll change the game because Trump likes the game and he's winning, winning. Melanie can be replaced but his wood's down (He's 70 for christie's sake), so this is all like getting off for him.

KenRight said...


Speaking of throwing something overboard, like Obama did the more admirable authentic anti-imperial Jeremiah Wright, will Clinton soften the pander and do the same to BLM? She can never be the "Law and Order" candidate but perhaps
a little more hawkish on it here than viv a vis the capital of the original Russian Empire?

Belvoir said...

Feud, authentically cool story. Crazy times, then and now.

Ten Bears said...

Interesting times, we live in.

Yastreblyansky said...

Wonderful story, Feud.

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